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Food export

Export health certificates (EHC) are required by food manufacturers/exporters who wish to export food of animal origin to countries outside of the European Community (EC), commonly referred to as third countries.

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

 If exporting products to Liechtenstein, Iceland, Norway, Switzerland or other EU countries this is considered free trade and therefore an EHC is not required. 

If you’re exporting products to other EU countries, or Liechtenstein, Iceland, Norway, and Switzerland, it’s considered free trade, so an EHC is not required. However, it’s advised you contact the countries embassy or consulate, food authority as well as the importer to check for any further requirements.

Please also note if you are exporting a food product of animal origin through the EC and then onto a third country, an EHC will be required.

 An EHC may have to be sourced from the Animal Plant Health Agency (APHA), Eastbourne Borough Council or Lewes District Council (dependent on the location of your food business) what is being exported and  to where. To determine this, please contact APHA – email: or phone: 01228 403600 Option 2, 4.

If a certificate is being issued from the APHA this is likely to be signed a vet (commonly for meat and dairy products).

The APHA may also inform you that there is a EHC template in place. Depending on where the food is being exported to this may require you to complete and submit an application form to the APHA or to contact Eastbourne or Lewes Council who can source and issues this. When submitting an application form to the APHA, Eastbourne Borough Council and Lewes District Council should also be contacted to inform them of the planned export. Please email Environmental Health at

In some cases there will not be an EHC template. Where this occurs the council can assist with the production of this.

In all cases the council advises the relevant countries embassy or consulate,  the food authority as well as liaise with the importer /food manufacturers and 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

Once the applicable certificate has been arranged Eastbourne or Lewes Council will then contact the business to arrange a suitable time and date to view the consignment in order to undertake relevant checks and view any associated documents such as, HACCP monitoring records and laboratory test reports and so on. Once this has been completed the certificate will be issued.

The process normally takes between three to five days, however, where a template EHC is not available, or is being sourced from the APHA the process can take significantly longer.

There is a cost associated with EHCs, further information is detailed on the Public Protection fees and charges page. 

Food Health Certificates (Export)


1 certified certificate


2 certified certificates certified on a single visit

£122 (effectively £61.00 each)

3+ certified certificates

£61.00 is charged for each certificate where a site visit is not required

For non-food products the export requirements differ depending on whether the export is within the EU or outside the EU and depending on the product. Certain products require a licence before export. A list of these can be found at point 4 of the following page:

Certain non-food products require a CE mark indicating they are compliant with relevant legislation to be sold legally in Europe. These requirements apply to products even if they are only sold in the UK, such as toys and electrical equipment for example.

Trading Standards Service is required to be informed if you are exporting goods packed to average weight, marked with an e mark: