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Food Export Certificates

Export certification is usually required by non-EU countries to provide assurance that exported food meets their import requirements and has passed through an official export route from the country of origin.

A number of agencies can be involved in export certification and individual non-EU countries may have different requirements. It is difficult, therefore, to provide general guidance that can be applied in all cases but the information below may help you.

At present certification is not required for foods exported to EU countries but this may change depending on the future UK-EU trading relationship.

Non-EU countries often require products of animal origin (POAO) to be accompanied by a veterinary export health certificate (EHC) which is issued by the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA). However, the majority of fishery products and products of non-animal origin (PNOAO) do not generally require a formal EHC, but the country receiving the products may require some form of attestation to confirm compliance with EU food law.

The Rural Payments Agency (RPA) is responsible for issuing export licences, for common agricultural policy (CAP) related agricultural commodities, and Certificates of Free Sale (CFS). Certificates of Free Sale can provide assurance to destination countries that certain exported products are free from dangerous additives, radiation and similar harmful substances and are fit for human or animal consumption as appropriate. Some non-EU countries specifically request this type of certification. RPA can be contacted on Tel: 03300 416 500 or at Email:

The food safety team at Stroud DC can issue a health certificate in respect of PNOAO exported from food businesses located in the District. We can provide assurance to non-EU country authorities that certain food and drink products being exported meet, as a minimum, UK and EU food safety requirements as well as any additional conditions required by the destination authority. There is a charge for this service.

If the food product is not manufactured in the UK and you are only involved in its storage and distribution, you will need to provide us with information on the originating production premises, product or process before we are able to confirm that, although the product is produced elsewhere, it is considered to comply with EU law, is fit for consumption and is freely available for sale within the EU.

It is the responsibility of the exporting business to find out what the import requirements are in the destination country before seeking to obtain the appropriate export certification.

Please allow at least 3 working days (plus delivery time) for export certificates to be processed. Certificates are normally sent by 1st class post unless you make other arrangements.

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