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How to choose an official veterinarian to sign your export documents....

Posted by andrewivesonadmin | Posted 26th January 2017 | Blog

Many people may not be aware that to export certain animal products outside of the EU, you need an Export Health Certificate (EHC). This includes, but is not limited to: meat, dairy, eggs, and other animal products. Only an official veterinarian (OV), who must be a fully qualified veterinary surgeon, can sign an EHC, so we’ve written this blog post as a short guide for what you need to look for when choosing an OV.


Can any vet sign an export health certificate?

The short answer is no. Only an official veterinary surgeon (OV), who has been appointed by  DEFRA to complete Government documents on their behalf, can sign EHCs. Depending on where in the world you’re exporting to, EHCs may be required for:


  • Meat (beef, pork, lamb, venison, poultry and processed meat products)
  • Dairy (milk, whey, yoghurt, cheese, butter & ice cream)
  • Hides, skins, wool, feathers & lanolin
  • Collagen, gelatin & casings
  • Eggs
  • Fish and fishery products
  • Laboratory
  • Pet food and animal feeds
  • Miscellaneous


Official veterinarians are also appointed to a specific panel e.g. PX (product exports, which covers animal products such as those listed above), and they have undergone extra rigorous training in export documentation, and are subject to regular revalidation.

How do I know I’m choosing the right veterinary surgeon?


There are relatively few vets who are appointed to this panel, and who are active in this field. Therefore, there are a few factors that you should consider when selecting an OV. These include:


  • Experience – do they have experience in the product and country you are looking at?
  • Quality – will they provide a top notch service?
  • Reliability – will they turn up on time and do what they promise and sign and return the EHCs promptly?
  • Availability – can they work within the timescale required? Do they work weekends and evenings if needed?
  • Location – can they get to your location, or the location of export?
  • Contacts – are they in regular contact with trade associations, e.g. DIT, APHA and other industry bodies to ensure they keep up to date with latest legislation and certificate changes?
  • Familiar – will you have a nominated point of contact so you have a vet that truly understands you business, rather than have a different person turn up each time?
  • Proactive – can they look into new markets with you to try and grow and expand your business?
  • Informative – do they regularly provide latest news updates and information via the website, email and social media?



The great news is that Amivet Exports fulfils all of the above criteria, and with our many years of experience, and many happy customers, we’ve gained a keen insight into both the legal requirements of exporting, and the worldwide market opportunities that are available to you.

How can Amivet Exports help me with my exporting needs?


We offer a reliable, prompt, high quality service, which is tailored to your individual requirements. As part of our advisory service, we can help you to identify new export markets to grow your business.


Our official veterinarians have substantial experience in all aspects of exporting, as well as close links with industry bodies and associates who are promoting education and awareness of exports, and as part of our proactive approach, we will work with you to truly understand your business needs.


Start exporting today.


If you think that you’re ready to start your exporting journey today, contact us for an initial phone or email consultation with our experienced veterinary team.

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Welcome to Amivet Exports
A leading provider of veterinary export health certificates and advice for the worldwide export of food and other animal based products from the UK. Our network of official vets means we can provide a nationwide service. Call now for more info!

Why choose Amivet?
We offer a reliable, prompt, high quality food and animal product certification service and can help you find new export markets and opportunities, help you with current markets and EHC needs. Our experienced team of OVs will be with you every step of the way.

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