Products of animal origin - international trade regulations

Products of animal origin in international trade

Products of animal origin (POAO) are defined as any products derived from animals or products that have a close relationship with animals. They include:

  • fresh meat and offal
  • game and poultry
  • meat products
  • fish, shellfish and fish products
  • processed animal protein for human consumption
  • processed pet food or raw material for pet food production
  • lard and rendered fats
  • animal casings
  • milk and milk products
  • eggs and egg products
  • honey
  • semen, embryos, manure, blood and blood products
  • bones, bone products and gelatine
  • hides and skins
  • bristles, wool, hair and leathers
  • hay and straw
  • hunting trophies, ie animal heads and skins
  • insect pupae

If you intend to trade animal products, you should carefully check the entry requirements before moving the goods.

If you are moving POAO within the European Union (EU), you will need to meet any relevant health certification and product-marking requirements specific to each type of product and which are standardised across the EU.

Generally, each type of POAO has specific import requirements in addition to the general procedures laid out in this guide. Read more about importing POAO.

When you import POAO from non-EU countries, your goods will be checked at the point of entry into the UK at Border Inspection Posts. You will have to ensure the relevant paperwork has been completed in order for Customs to clear the goods. Goods must be certified by recognised authorities in the originating countries - these countries are approved on an EU-wide basis. Read more about overseas veterinary certificates and Border Inspection Posts.

When the goods arrive at the port, paperwork is checked by the port health authority. For further information about the health certificates, Common Veterinary Entry Document (CVED) and customs documents you need, as well as other supporting commercial documents, see import checks on products of animal origin.

Once your POAO have passed the checks, and you have paid the right fees, they will be issued with a CVED and can be released into customs control and then into free circulation.

If the goods are rejected, you must ensure they're either re-exported or destroyed. See what happens if my products of animal origin goods aren't cleared?

If you are exporting outside the EU, you must check the entry requirements for your target country before you ship your goods.