Importing products of animal origin

Imported products of animal origin (POAO) and live animals present a high level of risk as they can transmit serious human and animal diseases. 

Important information

These pages are being revised. Further information on food and feed imports into the UK can be found on the Food Standards Agency website.

Imported POAO and live animals present a high level of risk as they can transmit serious human and animal diseases. Veterinary border controls assure that consignments of live animals or products of animal origin can only enter the UK if they have satisfactorily undergone specific checks.

A range of controls exist for POAO imports to protect both public and animal health.  Examples of animal products imported for human consumption that must be checked include:

  • meat, including fresh meat, meat products, minced meat, meat preparations, poultry meat, rabbit, farmed game meat and wild game meat
  • eggs and egg products
  • milk and milk products
  • fish and fishery products
  • honey
  • gelatine and gelatine products

Each batch or 'consignment' of POAO products must:

  • come from a country approved to export that type of product to the UK
  • come from approved premises. 
  • be accompanied by appropriate certification
  • be subject to relevant controls in line with the Border Target Operating Model (BTOM)

Imported POAO must be presented at a designated Border Control Post for veterinary checks in line with its risk categorisation, or unless otherwise required by port authorities. These checks are being applied in a phased manner in line with the BTOM.

View a list of Border Control Posts in the UK.

Information from Food Standards Agency on the BTOM.

Importing live fish, molluscs and crustaceans

It is a requirement to gain authorisation from Marine Scotland to import live fish, molluscs and crustaceans for human consumption or immediate processing for human consumption.

Visit the Scottish Government website for information on importing fish or shellfish.


It is essential to pre-notify authorities in Great Britain before products of animal origin are imported. Importers and import agents must use the online import of products, animals, food and feed system (IPAFFS) to do this.