Problems with GB health certificates
DEFRA have issued specimen GB certificates which can be found here
Certificates in the GB format are required for all certificates dated on or after 1st July but can be used now and in fact most certificates we are receiving are in the new GB format.
Certificates are in two formats, those following the format of the specimen certificate laid down in Decision 2007/240 and those following the format of the specimen certificate laid down in Reg.(EU) 2019/628
For fresh meat, meat preparations, meat products, dairy products, composite products, egg products and animal by-products, you can find box-by-box notes for completion see pages 8 to 12 here
For all other products, you can find box-by-box notes for completion see pages 18 to 24 here
We are finding a number of common errors in the health certificates we are receiving in the new GB formats. These are detailed below.
Please ensure your suppliers in third countries are made aware of the issues highlighted below so they can liaise with their issuing authority to ensure these errors are not made or repeated.
- Each page not signed and stamped.
We are receiving many certificates where each page is not signed and stamped (although each sheet of paper is usually stamped). In accordance with Reg. (EU) 2019/628 article 3 point 2, each page of the certificate must be signed and stamped.
- Box I.5 Consignee/importer
We are seeing a number of consignments where the importer is in the EU. In accordance with DEFRA advice, this box must be completed with the name and address of the natural or legal person receiving the consignment in GB
- Box I.6. Operator responsible for the consignment
This should be left blank for imports. If it is completed, then it must accurately state the name and address of the forwarding agent who will be completing the CHEDP.
- Box I.9 Country of destination an ISO code
This must be ‘United Kingdom’ and ‘GB’. Other entries such as ‘Great Britain’ and ‘UK’ are not correct.
- Box I.12 Place of destination
This should be left blank. If it is completed, it must correctly state the premises where the goods will be delivered after the border checks have been completed. It should not be the importers office address.
- Box I.13:
We see this box completed with a copy of the information in box I.11. this is particularly the case for consignments of frozen cooked chicken from Thailand.
The required entry is the seaport in the country of origin where the container or trailer will be loaded on the vessel / ferry.
- Box I.16. Entry BCP
The entry required in this box is the name of the BCP and its code.
A list of BCPs and their codes can be found here. The correct entry for box I.16 for Felixstowe is Felixstowe GBFXT1
Errors in fishery products health certificates
- Box I.17 Accompanying documents
We require the bill of lading or the booking reference number (or CMR for road transport) to be entered in this box. Other documents such as invoices can be stated in addition to the Bill of lading or CMR.
We are aware that a bill of lading is not necessarily issued before the goods are loaded on board and that the certificate must be issued before the goods leave the control of the competent authority issuing the certificate. Therefore, we will also accept the shipping line’s booking reference number being entered instead of the bill of lading number. The bill of lading when issued will then either have the same number as the booking reference or be linked via the booking reference number. As containers cannot be loaded without a booking reference number, there should be no difficulty in certifying the booking reference number.
- Box I.24 Quantity:
The ‘total number’ box shown below must be left blank, only the total net weight and total gross weight boxes are completed. (The ‘total number’ is used only in cases where the weight would not be appropriate e.g. live animals, straws of semen or embryos)
Total net weight (kg)
Total gross weight (kg)
- Box I.25 Batch number
All batch numbers must be stated.
The batch numbers quoted must match the batch numbers on the products. If there is no relevant batch number, production or expiry dates may be quoted instead.
An entry which is simply a range of dates or batch numbers should not be used – if there are too many batch numbers to list, they can be included as an addendum to the certificate.
The presence of such an addendum must be detailed in box I.25 and the addendum must have the same reference number as the main certificate, be signed and stamped by the issuing authority and be included in the page numbering of the whole certificate.
If in doubt as to completion of this box, please contact us for advice
- Final consumer tick box
This is often incorrectly ticked or left unticked. This box must be ticked when the product is not going to be further processed or re-packaged after import e.g. it is in retail packs or intended for direct use in catering
- Public health attestation 6th bullet point.
The wording must be in accordance with the specimen certificate which can be found here. We have found a number of certificates with different wording taken from the equivalent EU certificate
- Public health attestation 7th bullet point
The required wording refers to ‘Articles 67 to 71’. We have seen many certificates quoting articles 69 to 71 which is incorrect.