Guide

Overseas veterinary certificates and Border Inspection Posts

Border Inspection Posts

Border Inspection Posts (BIPs) are operated by local authorities who are responsible for the health controls of goods coming into the UK via seaports and airports. BIPs are based at several locations throughout the UK and employ the official veterinary surgeons (OVSs) and official fish inspectors (OFIs) who carry out all consignment checks. Their role is to check that imports of all live animals and products of animal origin (POAO) conform to regulations and are accompanied by the appropriate documentation.

You can find the list of Northern Ireland BIPs for POAO.

Specified Risk Material

The POAO consignments that your business imports into the UK require a veterinary certificate to ensure they aren't infected with any transmittable diseases. While there are many infections that could be carried by your consignments, one of the most serious is transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs). The authority that issues your health certificate should ensure that the consignments are free from all major diseases.

The regulations don't apply to:

  • cosmetic or medicinal products or medical devices, or to their starting materials or intermediate products
  • products which aren't intended for use in human food, animal feed or fertilisers, or their starting materials or intermediate products
  • products of animal origin intended for exhibition, teaching, scientific research, special studies or analysis, provided those products aren't eventually consumed or used by humans or by animals other than those kept for the research projects concerned
  • live animals used in or intended for research

It's your responsibility to ensure that you have the correct documentation to satisfy the OVS/OFI at the BIP and that the products in your consignments as listed above will not be consumed and that adequate safeguards are in place to prevent this from happening by accident.