Overseas veterinary certificates and Border Control Posts

Making changes to documents accompanying products of animal origin

All documents that accompany your products of animal origin (POAO) must be originals. The original Veterinary Health Certificates must be stamped, dated and signed by an authorised veterinary surgeon in the third country.

All documents must be in English, or include an English translation.

Only the official who produced a veterinary health certificate is authorised to make any changes to it. You should also be aware that:

  • All documents must be legible. There is no international agreement that documents must be typed, but this is preferable.
  • Correction fluid must not be used in any circumstances. This could trigger an investigation into why the document(s) were amended that could delay the processing of your consignment(s).
  • Any alternations must be crossed through but not completely deleted. The changes should be stamped and signed by the person completing the documentation. Changes marked with an initial and not a stamp and signature are acceptable but at the official veterinary surgeon's (OVS's) discretion.
  • Faxes or photocopies of certificates aren't acceptable.

Replacement health certificates aren't acceptable, as the certificate must have been issued while the consignment was in the exporting country. If there is a minor error on the certificate, do not have a replacement certificate issued. It may be possible to have an explanatory letter issued by the official who issued the certificate in the exporting country, at the discretion of the OVS.