Exporting food products
Your food business may need Export Health Certificates (EHCs) if it exports food products abroad.
Export Health Certificates may be required by food manufacturers or exporters who wish to export food of an animal origin to countries outside of the European Community (EC), commonly referred to as 'third countries'.
These certificates confirm that your business complies with all relevant legislation, and that the food produced is without risk to health.
On this page:
Products of Animal Origin - APHA certificates
The Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) is normally responsible for issuing EHCs for the exportation of certain products including fresh meat, dairy and a range of other non-composite foods of animal origin.
Third countries will only accept a formal APHA-issued EHC signed by an official veterinarian. Under certain circumstances some APHA EHCs can be signed by local authority certifying officers, for example some dairy and fishery products.
Visit the GOV.UK website to find an Export Health Certificate for the products you intend to export. If an appropriate EHC template is not listed, contact APHA to confirm whether a suitable EHC is available by calling 03000 200 301 or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Products Not of Animal Origin - Council certificates (Export Endorsements)
It may be that your product does not require a formal EHC, but the importing country requires verification of compliance with food law. For such products we may be able to provide assurances about certain food and drink products produced in New Forest. Your business must already be either registered or approved by us.
This assurance will confirm that the premises the products were produced at is regularly inspected by us and is compliant with relevant food hygiene and safety law. As the exporter, it is your responsibility to find out the destination country's requirements by liaising with its embassy or consulate, food authority and importer. This will inform the exact wording of any export endorsement which needs to be issued.
This is likely to apply to processed and composite food products, fishery products, and products not of animal origin (PNOAO). Examples of such foods include:
- non meat based food products
- alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks
- sweets and confectionary
- fruit juices
- food additives and flavourings.
Apply for a council export health certificate (export endorsement)
The request form can include any required wording, and is also likely to include other key identifying information to be displayed on the certificate. This may include:
- minimum durability
- storage conditions
- approval number
- country of origin
- date of production
- packaging and batch number.
Once we have received your application, we will contact you by phone to take a credit card payment.
Following payment, we will undertake all necessary inspections or checks required to corroborate and verify that the requirements of the certificate have been met. This may include inspection of the consignment and associated documents such as HACCP monitoring records.
For subsequent requests from the same business an inspection may not be required, and photographic evidence of the consignment may be sufficient.
We will try to incorporate the wording indicated on your request form onto the Export Endorsement. However, we cannot include wording that implies that we can vouch for the safety of an individual batch or consignment of food. Our wording reflects the fact that your foodstuffs are produced and stored in premises subject to our jurisdiction as a food authority, and which have been subject to a satisfactory inspection programme.
If the importing country requires a certificate stating that the product is fit for human consumption, we need to substantiate the claim before this can be stated on a certificate. This requires examination or analysis at a food laboratory of a sample(s) from the batch being exported. It is your responsibility to arrange and pay for this.
We will provide a draft certificate for your approval prior to issuing the final copy to you.
We reserve the right to decline to issue a certificate if your premises, hygiene standards or practices fail to meet food safety standards.
The process normally takes between three to five days (subject to payment received). Where a template EHC is not available or is being sourced from APHA, the process can take significantly longer.
£93 for issue of first certificate (including site visit).
£42 for subsequent certificates issued, if a site visit is not required.
For further information about EHCs, contact us using the details below.
Phone: 023 8028 5411
Food and Safety Team
New Forest District Council