Moving animals, plants and certain agrifood products 

This page is relevant for importers and exporters of products of animal origin and plant products (including certain agrifood products), who will be in charge of the regulatory formalities, but also for transport operators. Hauliers may be denied access if they are not in possession of the required sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) documentation (to be provided by their customers).  


Importing products of animal origin from the EU: guidance available here  

Exporting products of animal origin from the EU: guidance available here  

Importing and exporting plant products: guidance available here   

Phytosanitary requirements applying to wooden pallets: Movement of wood packaging material from 2021 



Changes to the rules for movement of composite products from GB to NI/EU

The rules for movement of composite products (a food containing both processed products of animal origin and products of plant origin) from GB to NI/EU will change with the introduction of new EU Animal Health Regulations on 21 April 2021. Some of these changes include:

  • Non-shelf stable products without meat and containing less than 50% of processed products of animal origin will now require a new official certificate.
  • Shelf-stable products not containing meat products (except gelatine, collagen and highly refined products) and containing less than 50% of processed products of animal origin will require a new private attestation to accompany the composite products.

Businesses on the Authorised Trader list moving goods from GB to NI will not be required to complete new composites’ EHCs or private attestations until the relevant phase of compliance comes into effect from 1 October 2021. In the meantime, Scheme for Temporary Agri-food Movements to Northern Ireland (STAMNI) declarations will meet these requirements in line with the movement criteria. However, all such goods moved from GB to NI by Authorised Traders must comply with the regulatory requirements for production of composite products.

Further information to help determine whether a product is a composite or not is available here. The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) is running a series of Q&A webinars to explain what these changes mean. Dates and links to register for these are included in a DEFRA guidance note here.

The latest NI Department for Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) guidance can be found here.



Export Health Certificates (EHCs) will be required to export animals and products of animal origin. Read more about how to get an EHC. 

Importing fish from the EU: guidance available here  

Exporting fish to the EU: guidance available here 

Endangered animal and plant species are protected by the CITES international convention. These requirements don’t only apply to animals and plants but also to processed goods containing CITES species such as certain cosmetics or wooden items. Find out more.   

Groupage export facilitation scheme (GEFS): To reduce the number of Export Health Certificates required from businesses that export a large number of products of animal origin to the EU, Government introduced a “Groupage Export Facilitation Scheme”. It will only be available to exporters who work with a stable list of well-identified suppliers. Not all products of animal origin will be eligible. Find out more here