Export Health Certificates

Information on export certificates, what types the council provide, requirements, how much they cost and who to contact to request one.

What is an Export Health Certificate?

Export Health Certificates (EHC’s) may be required by food manufacturers/exporters who wish to export food of an animal origin outside England, Wales and Scotland.

These certificates confirm that a specific business complies with all relevant legislation and the food produced is without risk to health.

Dependent on the destination importing country and the commodity type an EHC may have to be sourced from the Animal Plant Health Agency (APHA), Lancaster City Council or Private Sector qualified officer, depending what is being exported and to where.

To apply for a EHC (online only since 2021) please visit the relevant page on gov.uk and this will generate an email and alert us of your request, we will then contact you to organise a visit if applicable.

If a certificate is being issued from the APHA this is likely to be signed by a vet (commonly for meat and dairy products), although fishery products, honey and certain composite products may be certified by a local authority EHO.

The online system will generate appropriate certificates dependant on the products being exported and country of import which will be verified with an official stamp and signature. Therefore, the information you input into the gov.uk website is of paramount importance.

In all cases, the council advises the embassy or consulate of the relevant country, food authority, as well as the importer, be liaised with by the food manufacturers/exporters to find out about any import conditions and if the certificate meets the stipulated requirements.

The typical information required for the application which will be displayed on the certificate is as follows:

  • Manufacturer
  • Minimum durability
  • Storage conditions
  • Approval number
  • Consignor
  • Consignee
  • Destination
  • Product
  • Quantity
  • Country of origin
  • Date of production
  • Packaging
  • Batch number

It must be noted, however, that it is the exporter's responsibility to ensure that the destination country's requirements are met.

Once the applicable certificate has been arranged, a food safety officer from Lancaster City Council will then contact the business to arrange a suitable time and date to view the consignment if necessary in order to undertake relevant checks and view any associated documents such as HACCP monitoring records and laboratory test reports, etc. Once this has been completed, the certificate will be issued.

How much does an Export Health Certificate cost?

The charge is based on a flat rate of £167.10 per certificate to outside the United Kingdom and £150 to Northern Ireland plus mileage at 45p per mile.

How long does it take to process an Export Health Certificate?

It usually takes three to five days to process the certificate dependent upon workload demands and access arrangements.

Who do I contact if I have queries about an Export Health Certificate?

Should you have specific queries please contact:

Last updated: 13 January 2021