Port Health documentary requirements


The Products of Animal Origin (Third Country Imports) (England) Regulations as amended (which implemented Council Directive 97/78/EC) require pre-notification of the arrival of a consignment containing Products of Animal Origin at any European Seaport Border Inspection Post (BIP), including Southampton. In practice this means presenting the relevant paperwork of a CVED and Health Certificate to this office in advance of the consignment arrival.

Common Veterinary Entry Document (CVED)

These are standard forms based on EU requirements. The agent/importer must complete all the relevant details on Page 1 of the CVED and present it to this office along the health certificate and other specific documents. A CVED must be completed for each part of the consignment that has a public health certificate. Once the consignment and documents have been inspected the CVED is completed, signed and stamped by an Authorised Officer/Official Veterinary Surgeon, and the original and the copy are returned to the agent/importer. A copy must remain with the consignment until its arrival at the premises of destination stated on the health certificate or documentation. NB. 1 CVED per Health Certificate: which identifies a consignment. The CVED must be original and double sided.

For a CVED to be issued, the following original documents must be submitted to the Port Health Office:

Health Certificates 

Health Certificates are obtained from the competent authority of the country of origin. They must contain specific pieces of information as listed in the relevant EU Decisions and Directives:

  • Be the original copy
  • Have a unique reference number
  • Be fully completed
  • Have no unauthorised alterations or to be defaced in any way, i.e. no Tippex, crossing out etc
  • Be drawn up in English (i.e. In the official language of the Member State where the checks are carried out. If necessary more than one language can be used
  • Be made out to a single recipient
  • Consist of a single sheet of paper (for meat, fish and fishery products)
  • Be signed by the Official Veterinary Surgeon or equivalent Official Representative of the Competent Authority of the country of origin and have an official health stamp of the country of origin in a different colour to that of the printing ink
  • Be dated in the relation to the date of loading of the products for dispatch towards the community. Health Certificates issued retrospectively will not be accepted
  • Detail the address(s) and approval number(s) of the processing plant of origin. This must correspond to that detailed on the packaging
    Where Health Certificates fail to comply with any of the above requirements, the consignment will be refused entry into the EU.

Invoices/Packing lists 

Invoices must relate to the consignment, be dated in relation to the date dispatch and preferably be in their original format. It is advisable that the following information is included: container number, consignee and consignor, details of species of fish or meat/types of product, percentage of fish or meat, net weight.

Common Veterinary Entry Document (CVED) charges 

Charges are listed elsewhere on the website.

We are required by EU legislation to make a charge for Veterinary Checks. As Southampton this is based upon the gross weight of the consignment. Further to these charges, your consignment will be subject to charges for the transportation of the consignment to the inspection facility by Southampton Container Terminal or demurrage charges. You will need to contact the individual shipping lines for their scale of charges. Payment for the veterinary checks must be received with the documents, failure to do so will result in delays in clearance; consignments cannot be released until the payment is received.

Payment is made via a Southampton PHILIS Pre-Payment Account.

Common Entry Document (CED)

Articles 15 to 24 of Regulation (EC) no. 882/2004 includes requirements for import controls on ‘high risk’ feed and food of non-animal origin. High risk includes non-animal products that represent a known or emerging risk. Annex 1 of regulation (EC) no 669/2009 sets out a list of those products subject to an increased level of controls. 

Southampton Port Health is a Designated Point of Entry. Importers are required to pre-notify, from 25th January 2010, using the standard Common Entry Document (CED) at least one day before the physical arrival of the relevant consignment. Further information can be found in Commission Regulation No 669/2009 as amended by No 1235/2012. Annex 1 contains a list of high risk products.

CEDs are required for high risk foodstuffs listed in the Annex to 669/2009 as amended and 1152/2009 as amended. A CED is also required for products falling under 91/ 2013 on additional safeguard measures for specific foods from certain countries and under 2013/287/EU for GM rice products from China.

Illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing

In addition to the public and animal health controls, imports of wild fish and fish products from outside the European Union are subject to Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) controls. Imports need to be accompanied by a validated catch certificate confirming it was legally fished.

More information about IUU controls over fish can be got from EU Commission.

Food and feed imports from Japan

Information imposing special conditions governing the import of feed and food originating in or consigned from Japan following the accident at the Fukushima nuclear power station and repealing Implementing Regulation (EU) No 284/2012 Imports of food and feeds from Japan