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We are experts in our field and know the food and animal product export market inside and out and we keep up-to-date with new developments and the worldwide animal health status. Beyond export health certificates, we can also help you with import permits and ‘manufacturer declarations’ about the origin and heat treatment of products.


Please choose an option from the menu below to find out more about Export Health Certificates (EHCs)

"An Export Health Certificate (EHC) is an official UK Government document, issued by APHA (Animal and Plant Health Agency), signed by an official veterinarian (OV), that confirms that certain food or animal products meet the import requirements of another country"

As a general overview, we have produced the infographic below, which explains the steps needed to get an EHC issued and signed.


The certificates available are broadly split into a number of categories:-

MEAT - includes poultry, lamb, beef, pork, venison, goat; fresh, frozen, chilled and processed products (eg burgers, sausages, kebabs), meat flavourings, mechanically recovered meat and offal (eg liver, tripe) and other products (eg bovine hooves, chicken feet/wings/thighs)

DAIRY- includes milk, cream, whey powder, infant formula, yogurt, ice cream, cheese, custard, rice pudding, ice cream, cooking sauces, baby food and formula, airline snacks, pizza and crisps. May be cow, sheep, goat or buffalo origin

HIDES - inluding skins, leather, pelts, feathers, wool, lanolin and bristles. Origin may be cow, sheep, goat, pig, deer and avian

EGGS -  table eggs and egg products. This does not include hatching eggs that are dealt with under live animal exports

GELATIN - including collagen and casings for human consumption, animal consumption, industrial use and also gelatin in tablet and capsule form

PET FOOD - canned and dry pet food and animal feed in both raw ingredient form and final processed form. Also covers fish bait

LABORATORY - culture media, blood products, test kits, serum, laboratory reagents and disaccharide sugars

MISCELLANEOUS - a wide ranging section varying from antlers and bones, to ash, charcoal and used riding boots, with many in between

We have developed a unique tool to help you do just this - just click on the button below. Simply select your product type and the country you want to export to, from the dropdown menus which appear. If your product is not listed, this normally means one of two things.

    1. The product is exempt from requiring an EHC - there may be free trade, or the importing country may only require documentation from the manufacturer, of local council environmental health officer.
    2. No EHC is available and the product is prohibited. In some cases we may be able to work with DEFRA and trade associations to try to get an EHC created, but this can take time.
Either way, don’t worry, get in touch and we may still be able to advise and help.


Export Certification Process

Decide what product you want to send to which country, then use our unique export tool  or unique export map to establish which certificate(s) you need. All products can be considered, therefore if you don’t see your product listed, get in touch and we will see if we can help.

Contact our friendly and professional team. An initial phone or email consultation will enable us to assess the feasibility of your export to see if it is possible and if so, what requirements need to be met.

We can then arrange a full written report, if needed, to get specimen certificates, advise what import permits or support document may be needed. We may charge a fee for this report, which will be deducted from the final fee if the export goes ahead.

We can also put you in touch with freight forwarders, translation and labelling advisors, chambers of commerce and the UKTI (for market advice) for more information about the other documentation required.

The exporter makes the application to APHA for the certificate - we advise that we check the documents before submitting them. For most countries, an electronic pdf of the EHC and an application form are submitted by email. For USA, a 'precertificate' and application are sent to us to sign first, before submitting to APHA. For some EHCs eg Hong Kong, Chile or Canada, the TRACES system is used. In 2020, APHA are rolling out the EHC online (EHCO) system, which will gradually replace the email system.

One of our team will visit your site at a mutually agreeable time to inspect the goods.

We will check your product, labelling, storage etc and help you to obtain the required documents and assurances. This might include details of country of origin, heat treatment and processing details.

We will check, complete, sign and stamp the export health certificate and any other required documents. We will send the original to you so you can export your product. We also file a copy with APHA (Animal & Plant Health Agency) and keep a copy on file ourselves.


Here is an example EHC, in this case 6969, which is for dairy products to Australia. The 1500 EHCs are all very different in layout and wording, so there is no 'typical' or 'standard' EHC. We can provide specimens on request for a specific country and product. The EHCs also come with guidance notes, which guide us through the regulations necessary to complete them. This is a draft EHC to use in the application, the final version is printed on cream crown bond watermarked paper.

We have produced the infographic below which shows the main countries and commodities (outside the EU) that are exported to from the UK. As can be seen the USA and China are by far the largest markets. For exporting to the USA, the process is slightly different - we sign the draft documents to be sent to APHA, where a full time Government vet in Carlisle signs the final document. For Chinese exports, we are on the specific approved OV list for exports to China.

With Brexit, there is a big push to expand into other countries including the The Americas, Asia and Australasia. DEFRA have produced the 2016-20 food and drink action plan to help companies achieve these aims.

We have produced a short video here to explain the whole process step-by-step.

Simply because we are experts in our field, with a professional and personal approach. We will provide you with a personal Amivet contact, so that you receive a consistent, regular service from the same OV.

For more information, please see our 'Why Amivet' page.

Due to the enormous variation in requirements and therefore time taken for each EHC, it is difficult to give a precise answer. We work on a competitive hourly rate for inspection of the goods and checking and completion of the paperwork, plus a site visit fee. The first shipment usually incurs a slightly higher cost as there is more background research and documentation needed.

For regular shipments of similar products, we would normally agree a fixed fee per EHC going forwards, to allow certainty for both parties. Please get in touch with us to discuss further.

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Simply get in touch by phone or email for more information.

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What to do next

Now you know which certificate you need give us a call on 01606 278707 or fill in the form below.