In the world of international trade, navigating the regulatory landscape is paramount. One key element ensuring the health and safety of traded goods is the SPS goods certificate.
SPS stands for Sanitary and Phytosanitary, indicating its role in safeguarding human, animal, and plant health during cross-border trade.
An SPS goods certificate is a document issued by the exporting country’s authorities, affirming that specific products meet the sanitary and phytosanitary standards of the importing country. This certificate plays a crucial role in facilitating smooth trade by providing assurance regarding the safety of goods.
It’s fundamental for agricultural products, foods, and animal products.
In an era where global supply chains connect diverse regions, this certificate acts as a key to enter the country and its market, ensuring that products comply with the health and safety regulations of both the exporting and importing nations.
Clearly, the SPS goods certificate is an important document, and international traders are well-advised to stay updated on the means of application. As it pertains to Great Britain, HM Revenue and Customs have issued the guide, How to apply for a health certificate to export SPS goods.
Using our cross-border expertise, we’ve unpacked all the essential information in the following blog post.
SPS goods encompass a wide array of products related to the worlds of plants, animals, and their derivatives. These goods are subject to stringent regulations and controls to ensure that they pose no threat to human, animal, or plant health.
Understanding the scope of SPS goods is crucial for businesses engaged in international trade, as compliance is essential for seamless cross-border transactions.
For example, exporting a shipment of dairy products to another country would likely require an SPS goods certificate. The certificate would confirm that the dairy products meet the relevant health and safety standards, ensuring that they are fit for human consumption and do not pose a risk to the importing country’s population or its agricultural and environmental health.
A Health Certificate is a formal document that serves as official confirmation that your export adheres to the health standards mandated by the destination country.
You will need an SPS goods certificate for each:
Particularly vital when exporting or transporting live animals or animal products, the Health Certificate attests that your goods meet the health requirements of the European Union/European Economic Area countries when moving from Great Britain.
The certification process involves applying for a Health Certificate, typically overseen by an Official Veterinarian (OV) or a Food Competent Certifying Officer (FCCO). Recognised by the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) for possessing the correct qualifications, these professionals play a crucial role in ensuring that your exported goods meet the necessary standards.
Note that the advice contained in this guide may NOT apply if you are:
Administering the certification process is the responsibility of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), a government body in the UK.
The Animal Plant Health Agency (APHA), an Executive Agency of Defra, operates on behalf of various government bodies, including the Scottish Government, Welsh Government, and the Food Standards Agency.
APHA authorises and provides guidance to inspectors, and the Centre for International Trade, managed by APHA, oversees the EHC Online system.
When navigating the certification process, exporters must choose an Official Veterinarian (OV) or a local authority (LA) inspector, and ensure they are authorised to inspect the consignment and sign the Health Certificate in the days preceding the export.
Navigating the application process for an SPS goods certificate involves several stages. Ensure a smooth experience by following these steps:
1. Create Essential Accounts:
2. Preliminary Checks:
3. Liaise with the Official Veterinarian (OV) or Inspector:
4. Submission of Applications:
Remember, the collaboration with the certifying officer is pivotal. Their expertise ensures that your application aligns with the health and safety standards required for SPS goods.
Always refer to the guidance notes for specific details related to your consignment, and reach out to relevant authorities for any clarifications during the application process.
The specific nature of individual applications will vary, but you can typically expect to give information around:
The approval process involves coordination between APHA, the Official Veterinarian (OV), or inspector. Here’s what you need to know:
1. Notification from APHA:
2. Verification of Certificate Transmission:
3. Arranging with OV or Inspector:
4. Conduct of Examination and Inspection:
Adherence to these procedures ensures a seamless approval process and facilitates the smooth movement of SPS goods, meeting the health and safety standards required by the destination country.
Obtaining an SPS goods certificate is not only a regulatory necessity but a critical component in ensuring the health and safety of exported products. The meticulous process involved in acquiring these certificates speaks to a commitment to international standards and the responsible trade of SPS goods.
If you’re interested in professional and independent guidance in acquiring an SPS goods certificate, SPS Control Compliance consultancy could be for you. Here at clearBorder, we also offer a range of other consulting services tailored to facilitate seamless trade operations, including:
Embrace the future of international trade with clearBorder as your strategic partner; contact us now to learn more.