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Export Health Certificates to Australia for UK exporters 

Our friendly team of export vets have vast experience of signing export health certificates (EHCs) for a wide variety of goods to be exported to Australia. We can provide a competitively priced, high quality service tailored to your individual needs. We can advise and help you obtain the correct documentation and we can then check your products and then sign the final EHC. 

Australia is an important target market for UK exporters of food and animal product exports – the market for this sector was worth approximately £17 million in 2016 and it is one of the target markets for the UK Food and Drink International Action Plan. Given the continuing uncertainty over ‘Brexit’, and the historic ties between the countries, it is more important than ever to maintain and increase sales to Australia.


Many food items and products of animal origin will require an ‘Export Health Certificate’ or EHC, signed by an official veterinary surgeon (OV). There are currently around 30 different EHCs available for Australia, which cover some of the following commodities:-


Imports into Australia are strictly controlled by DAWR (Department of Agriculture and Water Resources) who insist on very strict biosecurity conditions and zero tolerance for any errors. It is therefore vital to have the correct documentation or the goods are likely to be be destroyed on arrival.

Dairy products such as cooking sauces, whey powder, puddings, can usually be exported. In most cases, they will require an EHC if the dry weight content is >10% dairy ingredients. The milk can originate in any country with UK equivalent standards and must be free from foot and mouth disease, lumpy skin disease, sheep/goat pox and rinderpest (cattle plague – now considered eliminated). The species of origin must be stated. The dairy EHC is regularly updated.

Meat exports are currently limited to certain pork and pig meat goods from approved premises only. Some meat based flavourings are permitted. Poultry/beef/lamb exports to Australia are currently banned. Strict hygiene and origin requirements must be met as well as freedom from certain diseases.

Other categories allowed include wool, fisheries products and pet food. You can use our interactive map or export tool to get further details on the certificates available or please contact us for further information.


These are normally required and specify which sections of the EHC we certify. The import conditions are set by DAWR and can be accessed via their BICON system (Biosecurity Import Conditions).  The importer or their agent, would usually apply for this. The permit lists the conditions that must be met on the EHC. The permit is normally valid for multiple shipments within 2 years. Try to be as broad as possible with the list of goods you may be sending and think ahead. Also allow for the fact that shipping can take 6 weeks and the permit should be in date both at signing and on arrival.


The EHC application process is explained step by step below.

  • Exporter registers on Government Gateway and completes EHC via the EHC online (EHCO) system
  • APHA issue certificate the next working day by digital download to nominated OV
  • OV inspects the goods as usual and obtains any necessary support documents
  • OV edits, prints, signs and stamps the EHC on plain paper – it has a watermark and security code
  • OV forwards scan copy and original to exporter


Any manufacturer declarations (mandecs) must be worded correctly and include the phrase “ I am aware that is is an offence to give a false declaration”. The person signing must have reasonable knowledge that what they are signing is correct and must be on the approved list of signatories held by APHA, who can and do follow up on mandecs to check their validity.


Steps are being taken by various agencies to permit more meat exports to Australia and it is hoped this may resume in the near future. A lot will also depends on any free trade agreements post Brexit – the Australian Primer Minister has made some positive comments, although it remains to be seen if this results in any action.


There are relatively few vets who are active in the export certification field and it is important to choose someone who has experience with the system for Australia. At Amivet Exports we are more than happy to work with clients to offer a ‘tailor made’ service. Some companies already export and just need us to inspect the goods and sign the paperwork when needed; others are new to exporting and require a lot more guidance and help through the process.

We have a team of nearly 100 OVs and CSOs and travel extensively throughout the UK and aim to be as flexible as possible. You will also get a named contact, so you will get a familiar contact that can get to know and understand your business. For further information and a free, informal discussion about your export requirements, including what products you may need an EHC for, please contact us.