Products of animal origin - international trade regulations

Import checks on products of animal origin

When products of animal origin (POAO) arrive into the European Union (EU) the port health authority (PHA) at the point of entry into the EU makes three checks at the Border Control Post (BCP):

  • document check - this ensures that any required health certification and pre-notification documents are present and correctly completed
  • identity check - this ensures the goods are the same as those described on the accompanying paperwork
  • physical check - the PHA may examine a proportion of the shipment to ensure it does not pose a threat to animal or human health

Physical checks are carried out according to the perceived risk level of specific products and their origin. The percentage of consignment checking is set by law.

Read more about overseas veterinary certificates and Border Inspection Posts.

Import licensing and paperwork for specific goods

You must check the paperwork you will require to import your specific types of POAO. If you are importing POAO into the UK that are not covered by EU-wide regulations, you will need to hold a licence to do so.

Leaving the port

Once the document and identity checks are completed, the goods are examined by veterinary inspectors. When these checks are passed and you have made the payment for the inspection, the PHA will complete Part 2 of the Common Veterinary Entry Document (CVED) and the goods will be released to HM Revenue & Customs officers.

Once they are customs approved, the goods can be released and removed from the port. A copy of the CVED must accompany the goods to their first destination after clearing customs, and be retained there for at least 12 months.

Keep up to date

Regulations, inspection requirements and licensing changes for POAO can change quickly. It's a good idea to ensure you keep on top of these changes.