EU Exit - Food and Drink Exports

Trade rules for food and drink businesses in Scotland

More information for businesses

Last updated 21 December 2021

Export Health Certificates – Seafood exports to the EU from 15th January 2022

You need an Export Health Certificate (EHC) to export live animals and animal products to countries to the EU and to move live animals and animal products to Northern Ireland.

EHC’s will be required for all export consignments from Scotland to the EU which contain either Products of Animal Origin (POAO) or Composite Products.

An EHC is an official document confirming consignment information, and attesting that the consignment complies with EU health standards and regulations so that your product(s) can be successfully exported from Scotland to the EU. Without this you cannot trade with the EU.

  • Apply for EHCs for export from Scotland to the EU using the online service.

From 15 January 2022, businesses that export fishery and aquaculture products for human consumption to the European Union (EU) and Northern Ireland (NI) will be required to use new export health certificates (EHCs). Read more information on Marine and fisheries: exiting the EU and Changes to health certificates for seafood exports to the EU.

Defra has published guidance on Export Health Certification for POAO away from the premises of origin.

External Resource

Marine and fisheries: exiting the EU

The UK's withdrawal from the European Union will lead to some of the most significant changes to the UK, and Scotland, political and economic landscape in decades.
External Resource

Changes to health certificates for seafood exports to the EU

Guidance for seafood exporters on export health certificates (EHCs). This page gives information on what is needed to export to the EU.

Food and drink businesses in Scotland who plan to export their produce across the EU need to follow trade rules as a “third country” exporter to the EU.

This page outlines the specific requirements for food industry exporters and stakeholders to be aware of.

Businesses approved to export to the EU

You can see an up to date list of businesses approved to export to the EU and check your TRACES number on the website:

Moving goods into Northern Ireland

If you move goods such as:

  • live animals,
  • products of animal origin (POAO),
  • high-risk food not of animal origin, and
  • plants and plant products,

From GB to NI, you must pre-notify the arrival of your consignment of goods into Northern Ireland by completing a CHED (Common Health Entry Document) document using the TRACES-NT online system. This needs to be completed 24 hours before your goods arrive in NI at your Point of Entry. TRACES.NT is the European Commission's online notification system for moving agri-food goods into Northern Ireland from GB.

If you do not pre-notify, it may result in additional checks on your goods at the point of entry and delay the movement of the goods through the point of entry in Northern Ireland.

Further information:

  • Department of Agriculture, Environment  and Rural Affairs (DAERA) has published guidance on using TRACES-NT.
  • Visit the DAERA website for additional information about pre-notification of the arrival of consignments at a Northern Ireland point of entry.
  • DEFRA trader showcase on moving goods from Great Britain to Northern Ireland

Shellfish trading requirements

Pectinidae (eg scallops), tunicates (eg sea squirts, sea cucumbers and sea urchins) and marine gastropods (eg winkles and whelks etc.) which are harvested and landed in Great Britain, are permitted to be traded without a Site Identification Number (SIN) code (previously called GBR code), as they are not filter feeders as specified in the relevant regulation.

All other live bivalve molluscs (LBMs) will need a SIN code. The SIN codes can be found here.

However, before they can be placed on the market for human consumption and be eligible for export health certification they will require to have passed through one of the following types of approved premises – a fish auction, a dispatch centre or a processing establishment. The UK list of approved food establishments is available here.  

The shellfish sector will continue to be kept informed on any updates to requirements for completing their movement documents.

URGENT REQUIREMENT - Registration and Inspection of Fishing Vessels

Fishing boat

Fishing vessel owners in Scotland are legally required to register their fishing vessels as food businesses, and be inspected by the relevant local authority to enable their catch to be exported.

If you intend to export your catch, either directly or indirectly to any EU Member State you must contact your Local Authority (LA) Environmental Health Department to register as a food business with them, and make arrangements to have your vessel/s inspected by LA officers. Here is a letter to all fishing vessel owners in Scotland explaining further.

The responsibility to register with, and have your vessel inspected by the relevant LA, rests entirely with food business owners, so fishing vessel owners should contact their relevant LA now.

Original news announcement and letter to fishing vessel owners.

EHC webinar slides

On 8 January 2021,  we hosted industry webinars with Scotland Food & Drink and Seafood Scotland to discuss the certification process and services, what’s happening now and how FSS is responding.

Guidance for certification hubs

The following guidance is effective as of 1 January 2021:


New EU EHC provision at logistics hubs

Scottish Government and FSS have developed a supplementary approach, specifically for the fishery trade at a number of logistics hubs in central Scotland, to complement the EHC provision undertaken by LAs in Scotland, and ensure trade from Scotland to the EU continues, as far as possible, without undue delay.

FSS staff are responsible for signing EHCs at these specific sites, following confirmation of compliance provided by the exporters’ relevant LA.

Why is there an additional approach?

The anticipated scale of demand for salmon and seafood exports EHCs to be signed by Scottish LAs was highly unlikely to be met. This additional approach – of using existing logistics hubs to sign certificates for consolidated loads - will allow a significant proportion of salmon and seafood to be exported with the necessary signed EHCs, therefore, relieving some of the pressure on LAs and supporting Scotland’s food and drink industry.

Exporters who are unable to use, or choose not to use, one of the hubs will still be able to request a signed EHC from their own LA. LAs will also continue to sign EHCs for exports to non-EU (third country) destinations.

Businesses do not need to use the logistics hubs to access the EU market

LAs will also provide the Certifying Officers located at the logistics hubs with attestations of compliance from food businesses within their area. In addition, LAs will also continue to be responsible for providing EHCs for food businesses who export to third countries (as occurs presently), and to food businesses exporting to the EU who choose not to, or are unable to, utilise the service provided by the hubs.

Where are the hubs?

There are three logistic hubs where Scottish salmon and seafood exports can pass through; one in South Lanarkshire and two in North Lanarkshire.


If you are a LA or food business looking for further information on fishing vessel registration or the new logistic hubs, please contact

Industry suppliers can contact the APHA helpdesk for export enquiries:

Other information

Download the technical specification of lists of EU approved food establishments.

Visit Scottish Government’s EU Exit seafood sector guidance page for additional guidance. 

Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs has recorded industry webinars available online:

More on this topic


EU Exit

Requirements for businesses now that the transition period has ended.


Action required by fishing vessel owners in Scotland ahead of EU Exit

Food Standards Scotland has joined forces with industry leaders to raise awareness across Scotland’s fishing industry that fishing vessels need to be registered as food businesses, and be inspected by the relevant local authority to enable catch to be exported, either directly or indirectly, to Europe after EU-exit.


EU Exit - Registration and Inspection of Fishing Vessels

Letter for Fishing Vessel Owners in Scotland