The way you apply for export health certificates (EHCs) is changing – Export Health Certificates Online (EHCO)
APHA are in the process of rolling out a new system for the application for EHCs. We have worked with them to do some of the testing and advised on some of the functionality. Although the system is not yet fully in operation, the bullet points below should help provide some useful information.
- Each exporting company will need to register as an exporter. You will need a Government Gateway account to do this. The first person to enrol becomes an ‘admin’ and can then invite other users within the company to enrol. You can choose to enrol for other DEFRA services too eg import.
- Amivet is enrolled as a certifier, but also has access to the exporter application system so we can assist anyone who needs help.
- The exporter will use the online portal to make their application (instead of completing the EHC pdf and EXA form and emailing it to APHA);
- The exporter completes the EHC online – you will always get the most recent version to use.
- The exporter also fills in a series of questions – similar to the information on the EXA form.
- Exporter can view ALL their current applications on their dashboard – along with their current status
- Amivet get a notification for each application – we can accept, decline or reject the application
- The status may be PROCESSING (APHA staff are working on it); DISPATCHED (EHC has been sent to Amivet) or COMPLETED (Amivet have confirmed the EHC has been signed)
- Please note that EHCs printed on cream watermarked paper will still need to be posted to the OV.
- EHCs that can be printed on plain paper (eg USA/China pre-certs, TRACES etc) will be available to the OV via their portal to download.
- Our role remains largely unchanged in terms of inspection of products, checking supporting documents, disease status etc
- Once we have completed an EHC we will still send you a copy to approve. We no longer have to send a copy to APHA but must retain one for our records.
- We will mark it COMPLETED on the dashboard
- We will then hand/post/courier the original document as required.
- The EHCs themselves, and their requirements, should not change.
- It is being rolled out in phases from March 2020, the most common EHCs being available first.
- APHA aim to have around 100 EHCs available by summer 2020 – across various commodity groups including meat, dairy, fish, hides&skins and animal feeds.
- The remaining 1,500 or so EHCs will be added in due course.
- The new system will work alongside the current ‘manual’ system, we are not aware of any plan to stop accepting old style applications in the foreseeable future.
The system should be quicker and smoother and enable you (and us) to see all the applications in one place, with various filter options in place. There may be a few teething problems and there are a couple of key questions we need to address:-
How to ensure the exporter can select the correct OV to ensure they are aware of the application and that the EHC gets posted to the correct address?
Support docs and certified copies – there is often a chain of email communication and support docs being passed on – will these be done via email as now, or on the portal?
We will of course keep exporters updated of any progress. In the meantime, the DEFRA EHCO guidance notes can be downloaded here.
We have created a unique Export Tool, that will tell you which export certificates you need for your products. You can also search by country using our interactive map. You can click here for an example of an EHC.
How can you get further advice?
Amivet Exports covers a wide range of animal products and countries. So, for advice about import permits and Export Health Certificates, call our team of qualified export vets on 01606 278707. Alternatively you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org