Export requirements for food operators trading with the UK

Export requirements for food operators trading with the UK

If you operate a food business in Ireland and export food to the UK (i.e. third countries), it is imperative that you understand the requirements for exporting food in order to avoid delays at the port and ensure your food exports meet the entry requirements of the UK. These requirements are in addition to customs formalities. 

What are the export requirements for Food Business Operators with effect from 01 April 2021?

  1. Registered as an exporter with the Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine.
  2. Exports of qualifying products must also be accompanied by the relevant Export Health Certificate provided by the Competent Authority in the EU Member State of origin.

Please note that the type of health certificate required for individual categories of products may differ and, therefore, consignments with different products may require a number of health certificates.

An Export Health Certificate (EHC) is required for the following:

  • products of animal origin;
  • composite products (some derogations);
  • fish and fishery products; and  
  • foods of non-animal origin e.g. fruit and vegetables (some exempt products). 

How/Where do I apply for an EHC?

From 01 April, as the exporter, you must ensure the consignment is accompanied by an EHC.

Type of Product

Where to apply for an EHC

Meat, Meat Products & Composite Products

  • Register on TRACES and apply for an EHC.
  • Alert your Veterinary Office via email.


Honey Products


  • Register on TRACES and apply for an EHC.
  • Alert the Honey Inspectorate, located in DAFM's laboratory in Backweston , 3 working days before the export date.

Dairy Products

  • Apply through DAFM’s Dairy Products Certification System (DPCS).

Fish and Fishery Products

  • Apply through a Sea-Fisheries Protection Authority (SFPA) regional port office.

Fishery Products subject to IUU/Catch Certificate

  • Apply to SFPA through the Export Certificate System (ECS).
  • For direct landings apply to SFPA through the ERS system.

      Foods of non-          animal origin            e.g. fruit and            vegetables

  • Access DAFM’s Export Certification System (ECS)


The original EHC must accompany the consignment. If you do not have the requisite EHC your goods will not be accepted for entry to the UK. You should not ship the goods until you have EHC(s) to accompany the consignment.  

Should you wish to discuss your food import/export requirements, our customs & international trade experts can assist you. Please contact us by email at brexit@bdo.ie or by phone at 01 470 0000.