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What Is The Legal Basis

There is variety of European Legislation which governs the importation of Products of Animal Origin from third countries.  Further, detailed information can be found at the following:

What Products Fall Into This Category

A product listed in Annex I to Commission Decision 2007/275/EC (concerning lists of animals and products to be subject to controls at Border Inspection Posts under Council Directives 91/496/EEC and 97/78/EC(d)) and, in addition, hay and straw.

Examples of animal products imported for human consumption that must be checked include:
  • Meat, including fresh meat, meat products, minced meat, meat preparations, poultry meat, rabbit, farmed game meat and wild game meat
  • Eggs and egg products
  • Fish and fishery products
  • Milk and milk products
  • Honey
  • Gelatine and gelatine products

Composite Products
A composite product is defined in European Union (EU) legislation as a ‘foodstuff intended for human consumption that contains both processed products of animal origin and products of plant origin and includes those where the processing of primary product is an integral part of the production of the final product’.

Commission Decision 2007/275/EC and Regulation (EU) No. 28/2012 (as amended by Regulation (EU) No. 468/2012) set out import conditions for importing composite products from non-EU countries

What Documentation Do I Require

Common Veterinary Entry Document
The Common Veterinary Entry Document (CVED) is a document that shows that the necessary checks have been carried out on entry into the EU and can be found in Commission Regulation 136/2004.

CVEDs are completed via the TRACES system.

Health Certificate
Requirements are set out in specific Commission Decisions. These lay down health certificates which must accompany all imports and must be signed by an Authorised Officer of the competent Authority of the exporting third country guaranteeing that the conditions for import into the EU have been met. On arrival in the EU, the animal products and the accompanying certificates must be verified and checked by an Authorised Officer at a designated Border Inspection Post (BIP).

Pre Notifying And Payment To The Authority

Pre notification
It is a requirement of legislation that importers notify the authority responsible for the BIP of the intended arrival of all Products of Animal Origin. This is achieved by the submission of Part 1 of the CVED.

The CVED, along with any other required documentation and payment, must be submitted to the Authority prior to the arrival of the vessel.

There is a standard charge to cover the cost of veterinary checks and this must be paid before the consignment is released into free circulation.

What Official Checks Are Carried Out On My Consignment

Documentary Check
The documentary check is the assessment of the CVED, public and or animal health certificates and accompanying commercial documentation, which may include bills of lading, invoices and packing lists.  100% of consignments are subject to documentary checks.

Identity Check
100% consignments are also subject to identity checks which involves the verification that the product, health marks, stamps and other necessary product and or package information conforms to the declaration on the health certificates and accompanying documentation.

Physical Check
Commission Decision 94/360/EC prescribes the level of physical checks for certain products.  The physical check may include sampling the product to look for pathogenic micro-organisms or illegal contaminants such as veterinary drugs residues or heavy metals.

From time to time, Port Health Authorities may be instructed by the European Commission to vary the rate of checks and type of sampling.

Completion Of Official Checks

Satisfactory Checks
Completion of satisfactory official checks will allow for the product to be released into free circulation within the European Community.

Consignments may also be released, under customs control, to another member state where the products will be cleared.

Unsatisfactory Checks
If your products fail any of the import conditions they may be re-exported to a country outside of the EU.  If the consignment is deemed to be a risk to human/animal health, or where there is a failure to re-export the product following failure of checks, the consignment will be sent for destruction by incineration.

All costs for destruction are to be met by the person responsible for the consignment.