Do I really need a vet to export food? Don’t they treat sick animals?
Many companies who are looking to export food products of animal origin for the first time focus on the business aspects of food production – such as marketing, packaging, and market discovery. Eventually though, whichever stage of the business process they are in, they will need to speak to an official veterinary surgeon (OV).
In this blog, Amivet Exports, a leading provider of veterinary export health certification for the worldwide export of animal products from the UK, will explain the role of the OV in the export process, which products need an export health certificate, which countries you can export to, and finally how to start the process.
Do I need an Export Health Certificate?
Certain animal products including many foods require an ‘export health certificate’, also known as an ‘EHC’ or ‘vet cert’ to be exported. These include red meat, white meat, processed meat (sausages, burgers etc), offal, tripe and meat products (eg feet, wings). Additionally, dairy products eg milk, cream, whey, butter, yogurt, baby food, cooking sauces, custard and rice pudding may also require an EHC.
There are other products as well, including but not limited to, hides, skins, wool, gelatin, pet food and laboratory samples.
How do I know if my product needs an Export Health Certificate (EHC)?
That’s the easy part. At Amivet Exports, we’ve created a free, easy to use 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.
Can I work with any vet?
No – the vet must be an ‘official veterinarian’ (OV) – these are appointed by the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA), a branch of DEFRA and are a fully qualified veterinary surgeon, who has undergone extensive extra training in export work.
There are different types of OV, they must have the ‘PX’ or product export designation to do this sort of work. Very few vets regularly do this type of export work and it is important to chose an OV who is experienced in this field and with a good eye for detail.
At Amivet Exports, we have many years experience and are familiar with the import requirements of many countries. In addition to our vast export experience, we also provide an advisory service – contact us at an early stage to look into the export.
Who will issue my EHC?
The actual EHC is issued by APHA. The OV will inspect the product, get any necessary documentation and declarations and then sign and stamp the EHC to confirm that the products meet the requirements of the importing country, which may include:- country of origin, health status/disease freedom, handling methods, storage, transport, heat treatment etc
Which countries can I export to with my EHC?
Currently, Export Health Certificates are only used for exporting to countries outside of the EU. This may well change after Brexit, but for now, exports within the EU single market do not need an EHC. Every country is different in what they require, for example, some countries also need an import permit. At Amivet Exports, we have worked with clients who have exported all over the world.
I’m new to exporting, and I’m currently researching markets. Where do most of our food exports go to?
The USA and China are the two biggest export markets, and food exports outside the EU are increasing year on year, with big growth also seen in the Middle East. If you are looking for market advice, we have excellent links with organisations such as DIT, Chambers of Commerce and Food and Drink Exporters’ Association, and we are more than happy to refer you to them down the line.
How can you get expert 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