SPS requirements usually include export health certificates. This will be discussed in detail below. Our Cross-Border Trade Hub section on SPS checks has lots more information.
What is an export health certificate?
An export health certificate (EHC) is an official document that confirms that an item being exported meets the health requirements of the destination country.
Do I need an export health certificate to trade between Ireland and Northern Ireland?
There are no requirements for export health certificates on most goods moved between Northern Ireland or Ireland in either direction. The same rules also apply for goods moving directly from Northern Ireland / Ireland to another EU member state.
There will be some exceptions. This article focuses on the requirement for moving products of plant and animal origin. For more information on the customs requirements for moving goods between GB and Northern Ireland, please visit our section on trade in goods, customs and the Windsor Framework.
Trade between Northern Ireland and Great Britain
My business is based in Northern Ireland. Do I require an export health certificate when selling goods in GB?
Under the Windsor Framework there are no new requirements for businesses in Northern Ireland to obtain an export health certificate when exporting to GB. However existing rules still apply, and to see what products require export health certificates please contact the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA).
Trade between Ireland and Great Britain
Do businesses in Ireland require an export health certificate when exporting to GB?
At present only high-risk goods such as live animals and germinal products require an export health certificate and pre-notification prior to import into GB from Ireland. However, this will change on a phased basis from 31 January 2024.
With the UK no longer being part of the EU, any goods imported into Ireland from Great Britain which are of plant or animal origin will be required to comply with EU Sanitary and Phytosanitary requirements. More information around requirements for importing into Ireland can be found by visiting the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (www.gov.ie).
How do I identify the risk level for my product?
There are two ways to identify the risk level for your product. These are:
- Using the risk categories summary tables set out in the Border Target Operating Model. These can be accessed by visiting this guidance on GOV.UK: TOM risk categories for animal and animal product imports from the EU to Great Britain: summary tables.
- To look up the risk categories for specific commodity codes, use the separate TOM risk categories for animal and animal product imports from the EU to Great Britain: searchable list with commodity codes.
What is the Border Target Operating Model?
The new Border Target Operating Model is a document which sets out a new approach from the UK government to ensuring security over all imports and the approach to ensuring compliance with all sanitary and phytosanitary controls. A copy of the full model can be found at the following link: Final_Border_Target_Operating_Model_gov.uk_version.pdf (publishing.service.gov.uk)
We will continue to update the content as we move forward and encourage you to ask us your questions via our Chatbot.
When are the changes happening?
The introduction of the new Border Target Operating model will see some changes regarding the requirements for moving goods subject to sanitary and phytosanitary controls between the EU and GB.
The timeline for these changes is as follows:
- 31 January 2024
The introduction of health certification on imports of medium risk animal products, plants, plant products and high-risk food and feed of non-animal origin from the EU.
The requirement to submit pre-notification for low-risk plant and plant origin products will also be removed.
- 31 October 2024
The introduction of documentary and risk-based identity and physical checks on medium risk animal products, plants, plant products and high-risk food and feed of non-animal origin from the EU.
Existing inspections of high-risk plants / plant products from the EU will move from goods destination to border control posts.
Example export health certificates
As part of the preparation for the introduction of the Border Target Operating Model the UK government has released a series of model export health certificates.
Additionally, businesses in Ireland can contact the following email address for support: Traces@agriculture.gov.ie
Who can I contact for support?
In Northern Ireland businesses can contact DAERA on 0300 200 7840. You can also find details of your local DAERA regional office via the following link: DAERA Direct Regional offices | Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs.
In Ireland businesses can contact the following email address for support: Traces@agriculture.gov.ie
Do you need further assistance?
InterTradeIreland support can be accessed by engaging with our chat function. You may also be eligible for fully funded consultancy advice, subject to criteria.
Simply click the icon at the bottom right to get started.
Article reviewed: September 2023