Overseas veterinary certificates and Border Control Posts

Declarations at the Border Control Post

You must make sure that products of animal origin (POAO) your business imports enter the UK via a Border Control Post (BCP), formerly know as a Border Inspection Post (BIP), operated by the Port Health Authority.


EU Directive 97/78/EC requires that the person responsible for any consignment that contains POAO present the consignment to the BCP with part 1 of the Common Veterinary Entry Document (CVED) completed. This is usually done electronically via the Trade Control and Expert System (TRACES). Read more about using TRACES to trade in animals and animal products.

Customs responsibilities

Consignments undergo veterinary and paperwork checks at the BCP of entry to ensure that they meet import conditions.

After your consignment has successfully completed veterinary checks and the official veterinary surgeon (OVS) has endorsed your CVED, your consignment can move through customs. You will need to check local arrangements for transmitting the CVED document to the HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) National Hub to ensure that HMRC is aware that the veterinary checks have been satisfactorily completed. At some BCPs you or your clearing agent will need to arrange to collect the completed CVED from the BCP and fax it to HMRC.

Supporting documents

The POAO consignments that you bring into the UK will also be required to have other supporting documents. Read more about international trade paperwork: the basics.

Additional requirements

Any POAO consignments you import into the UK which also have organic status must be supported with the appropriate certificates. Read more about importing organic produce.

Organic imports from non-approved third countries must also have Defra authorisation. Some third countries have approved status which means that they have achieved a high enough level of organic quality to match those in the European Union (EU).