Working with the Port Health Authorities
Support and advice on port health import controls
You may have questions regarding any consignment you're importing which may be liable to port health controls. If you're using an agent or freight forwarder they may be able to help.
Once you have identified the port or airport you intend to use to import your goods, you can choose to contact them directly.
If you're importing products of animal origin the port or airport must have a Border Control Post (BCP).
The Food and Veterinary Office of the European Commission carries out regular inspections of BIPs to see if they meet European Union standards.
The Department of Agriculture, Environment & Rural Affairs (DAERA) has responsibility for animal and plant import health.
Find out more about animal health and welfare.
The Food Standards Agency (FSA) enforces regulations concerning non-animal origin food imports.
If you want to carry out tests on food you're importing, you can contact the environmental health services at your local authority. They may be able to arrange for chemical or microbiological analysis, though you'll be charged for this.
Alternatively, you may choose to use the services of an official food control laboratory or agricultural analyst.
You may prefer to contact your local chamber of commerce for help on port health matters.
Any attempt to import food by avoiding the standard controls is illegal. Smuggled food imports are the responsibility of HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC), who operate a number of teams at customs-approved areas of ports of entry.
HMRC Fraud Hotline0800 78 8887