Importing products not of animal origin

Guidance on importing high-risk feed and food products of non-animal origin (non-POAO).

Important information

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

Feed and food products of non-animal origin are any products that do not contain any ingredients derived from animals or animal products.

Some examples of products of non-animal origin (non-POAO) are: 

  • fruits
  • vegetables
  • nuts
  • confectionary
  • cereals
  • herbs
  • spices

Most products of non-animal origin may enter through any port, although importers should contact the port or the local authority in whose area the port is situated to check that the port has the necessary facilities in place to handle food. 

Find port contact details.

Contact your local authority.

The legislation controlling products of non-animal origin imports into the UK is Regulation 2017/625. This is implemented in Scotland by the Official Feed and Food Controls (Scotland) Regulations 2009 (as amended).

In general terms official controls on such products will be carried out regularly by the local authority port health team on a risk-assessed basis. These will include document checks as well as identity and physical checks, as appropriate. FSS is the competent authority for imports of non-POAO feed.

Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2019/1793 (as amended) imposes temporary increase of official controls, special measures and emergency measures governing the entry into the European Union of certain products of non-animal origin from certain third countries implementing Regulations (EU) 2017/625 and (EC) No 178/2002.

This regulation also lists the products, their country of origin and the frequency of checks that must be carried out.

High-risk products

Some feed and food of non-animal origin products are designated to be high risk. A high-risk product is feed or food that is either a known or emerging risk to public health. They are known as 'high-risk products not of animal origin' (HRFNOAOs). This may be because of presence of pathogens, contaminants and toxins including aflatoxins.

High-risk products can only enter the UK through ports and airports approved as Border Inspection Posts (BCPs). At BCPs additional official controls will be carried out.

On 05 April 2024, Food Standards Scotland designated Forth Ports in Grangemouth as a Border Control Post for HRFNOAOs.

This means certain goods listed in the Commission Implementing Regulation ((EU) 2019/1793) can now enter Great Britain through this port. This regulation sets temporary increases of official controls and emergency measures governing the entry of specific HRFNAO into Great Britain from certain countries.

View our guide to imports and exports for more information.

Visit GOV.UK for a list of all Border Control Posts in the UK.

Visit the FSA website for more guidance on importing high-risk products.