DEFRA has recently published updates on the Export Health Certificates taking place from 31 January 2024.
From this date, importers of animal products that need certification, originating in the EU and EFTA countries, or their import agents, should upload a pdf file containing a GB health certificate to the GB pre-notification system, IPAFFS.
DEFRA strongly encourages the use of verifiable PDF certificates and have published a list of EU and EFTA countries, from which DEFRA will accept these.
Verifiable PDF Certificates
For further details on which countries can provide verifiable PDF certificates please visit, Countries Great Britain will accept validated PDF GB health certificates from – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk).
A verifiable PDF is a certificate issued electronically from the exporting country’s system which has a QR code and/or hyperlink that allows GB inspectors to validate the status of the certificate.
Your exporter is responsible for ensuring that the digitally signed EHC is exported in the PDF format from either TRACES, Becert for Belgium, e-CertNL for the Netherlands, Mattilsynet for Norway and CEXGAN for Spain, in the correct way. The exporter is also responsible for sending the PDF of the digitally signed EHC to the importer or their agent.
The person responsible for the load is responsible for creating the notification in IPAFFS and uploading the digitally signed PDF to that notification.
The PDF certificate, downloaded from TRACES or other approved EU/EFTA country systems, must be uploaded to IPAFFS. If a verifiable PDF is attached to IPAFFS, there is no need for a paper copy of the EHC to accompany the consignment.
Paper-Based Export Health Certificates
If a paper certificate is used, it will need to travel with the consignment , a scan will need to be provided to the importer to upload to IPAFFS.
A scan of a paper certificate is not a verifiable PDF, however. The use of verifiable PDFs is highly encouraged to avoid unnecessary administrative burden. Please note: Further guidance will be issued on the post April approach, in the coming weeks.