Local authorities carry out a range of health controls at the UK borders. These include checks on imported food, ship and aircraft inspections for food safety and infectious disease control purposes, as well as general public and environmental health checks. The work is carried out by port health officers (specialist environmental health officers) and veterinarians, who are employed by the local authority or port health authority.
Port health controls are managed by local authorities who enforce regulations on behalf of central government. The Food Standards Agency and the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) are responsible for the overall policy in the area of public and animal health for food and feed. Through the Association of Port Health Authorities the local authorities work closely together and liaise with the government.
This guide outlines the imported food controls carried out by port health authorities and looks at how different organisations are responsible for enforcement. It explains how you can comply with relevant health regulations, what to do if you fail to meet import conditions and who to go to for help.