Exporting animal products is a complex and highly-regulated process, requiring certifications to ensure products are safe, healthy, and meet the standards of importing countries. Obtaining the necessary certifications is crucial for businesses looking to sustain and grow their operations internationally.
According to the UK government’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), “importing countries or regions require that [animal-related] goods traded with them are safe in order to protect public health and animal health. This safety is generally assured by requiring an Export Health Certificate (EHC) issued by, or on behalf of, the government of the exporting country.” (Export Health Certification for Products of Animal Origin Away from the Premises of Origin).
Certifications must be issued by a government-appointed veterinarian and comply with the guidelines set by organisations such as the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) and the European Union (EU).
The certification process can vary depending on the type of animal product being exported, including live animals, meat, dairy, seafood, pets, wildlife, poultry, and livestock. The certifications must be accompanied by a health certificate that attests to the product’s compliance with the animal welfare and health standards in the importing country.
At clearBorder, we designed specialist training courses such as the Border Ready Food and Animal Products Course to make this easy. Our courses equip your team with the skills and knowledge needed to maintain profitable and sustainable export operations. Alternatively, you may be interested in our animals product export certification consultancy services, which provide advice uniquely tailored to your business and its goals.
Animal product export certifications are official documents that confirm that products meet the health, safety, and welfare standards of the importing country. These certifications are required by governments around the world to ensure that animal products are safe for human consumption and meet local regulations.
The primary purpose of animal product export certifications is to protect animal health and welfare, and to prevent the spread of diseases across borders. DEFRA states that “certification is an essential part of international trade in animals and animal products, and it helps to ensure that products meet the importing country’s requirements.”
In the UK, the export certification process is overseen by the government and requires the involvement of a government-appointed veterinarian. The veterinarian inspects the animal products and issues certifications.
According to AHDB (Agricultural and Horticultural Development Board), annual UK exports of livestock alone exceed 580,000 tonnes, worth over £1.3 billion (AHDB), with the majority of shipments going to countries in the EU. Additionally, many of the UK’s other export food products originate from animals. This highlights the importance of understanding the correct certifications.
Relevant certification is often required for POAO (Products of Animal Origin). To obtain animal product export certifications, a business must first determine the specific requirements of the importing country. This can include a range of certifications, such as the Export Health Certificate (EHC), issued by DEFRA on behalf of the UK government, or certifications issued by international organisations like the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) or the European Union (EU).
To apply for an EHC, a business must first select a government-appointed veterinarian to inspect the animal products. The veterinarian will then issue the EHC, which attests to the product’s compliance with the animal welfare and health standards of the importing country.
The following steps outline the process of applying for an EHC:
It is important to note that the EHC must be obtained prior to shipment, as it is required for entry into the importing country.
In addition to an EHC, there are several further types of animal product export certifications that a business may need to obtain – this depends on the type of product being exported and the requirements of the importing country. Three of the most common certifications include:
To find the specific requirements for animal product export certifications, you can start by reviewing the guidelines set by organisations such as the OIE or EU. Additionally, businesses can contact the relevant authorities in the importing country, such as the USDA, FDA, or APHIS in the US, for information on the required certifications.
Using the correct animal product export certifications is crucial for successful international trade in animal products. The certifications must be accompanied by a health certificate that attests to the product’s compliance with the animal welfare and health standards of the importing country. Failure to obtain the necessary certifications can result in rejection of the shipment and damage to the business’s reputation.
Obtaining the necessary animals product export certifications enables businesses to trade internationally, helping to grow operations and increase ROI.
|Benefits of Obtaining Animals Product Export Certifications|
|Access to new markets||By obtaining the correct certifications, businesses can expand their operations into new international markets, increasing their customer base and revenue.|
|Increased credibility||Having the correct certifications demonstrates to customers and potential customers that a business takes the health and welfare of animals seriously, and is committed to producing safe and high-quality products.|
|Compliance with regulations||Obtaining certifications ensures that businesses are in compliance with the regulations and standards set by the importing country, reducing the risk of shipment rejection and legal penalties.|
|Improved reputation||Demonstrating a commitment to animal health and welfare can improve a business’s reputation and strengthen its brand.|
Ultimately, animal product export certifications are an essential part of international trade in animal products, providing businesses with the necessary certification to expand into new markets, increase credibility, and comply with regulations.
By obtaining the correct certifications, businesses can ensure that their products are safe and meet the standards of importing countries, protecting both public health and animal health.
Occasionally, exporters may make errors in the obtaining or processing of required export certificates. While a mistake may not be a malicious attempt to mislead or deceive the relevant authorities, it is nonetheless considered a serious violation of responsibility and will be punishable as such.
To avoid seizure of goods, suspension of operations, damage to reputation, or even imprisonment, be aware of the most common mistakes exporters tend to make.
Securing the correct export health certificates for animal-related products is crucial for international trade. Failure to obtain the necessary certifications can result in costly delays, penalties, and/or the rejection of shipments.
The government and relevant agencies, such as DEFRA, USDA and OIE play a key role in overseeing and enforcing the guidelines and requirements for export certification programs.
Note that obtaining an export certification involves a rigorous process, which includes inspections by a veterinarian and the assessment of animal welfare and health. This process is in place to ensure that the following are safe for consumption and meet international health standards:
By engaging clearBorder’s bespoke consultancy services, businesses can optimise their operations for success and stay compliant with the latest guidelines; ultimately, benefiting their bottom line and maintaining the integrity of the animal products industry.
Get in touch now to book a free consultation with our industry experts and discuss your needs.