Products of animal origin - international trade regulations



Goods derived from animals are referred to as products of animal origin (POAO). POAO include certain live animals for direct human consumption, foodstuffs, by-products and goods that may have come into contact with animals, such as hay and straw. Most POAO controls apply to countries outside the European Union (EU). Intra-EU transactions are simpler, unless there is a major outbreak of disease. Live animals for breeding and production are also subject to similar controls on imports.

Traders must follow detailed guidelines for specific types of POAO as well as the general system of declarations and checks at the point of entry into the UK. You usually need to provide evidence of specific veterinary or health checks to ensure your products are allowed into the UK or to export goods.

This guide shows you how the system works, what to do if you have problems and the paperwork you need to import or export POAO.

  • Food Standards Agency Imported Food Helpline
    020 7276 8018