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Information about exporting food

The movement of goods to a destination outside the European Union is referred to as an 'export'. A country that is not a member of the EU is often referred to as a 'third country'. Each third country can set their own requirements for food imported into their country and such trade is often subject to restrictions or may require additional certification.

The EU Market Access Database

The EU has a Market Access Database that contains extensive information about market access conditions in non-EU countries.

Which body to contact for animal and fish products

  • when exporting food of animal origin such as meat, poultry meat, eggs and egg products, milk and milk products, honey, etc., exporters must contact the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM).
  • the Sea-Fisheries Protection Authority (SFPA) should be contacted when exporting fish and fishery products.

Export Certificates

For foods of non-animal origin being exported from Ireland to countries outside the EU, importing countries may require an Export Certificate (also known as a Certificate of Health, Certificate of Manufacture & Free Sale, Certificate of Export, Certificate of Fitness for Human Consumption or Sanitary Certificate), depending on the foodstuff being imported, and the local controls in the importing country. The competent authority in the importing country should be contacted for further information.

  • The Environmental Health Service of the Health Service Executive (HSE) is responsible for issuing Export Certificates for foods of non-animal origin. Information on applying for an Export Certificate is available on the HSE website. HSE export certification team:

Export certificates for food contact materials

  • The FSAI issues Export Certificates for food contact materials exported outside the EU on occasion if required. Please contact FSAI if you have a specific enquiry with as much detail on the situation and the relevant products as possible. Further information may be required so please contact the FSAI in good time before the certificate is required.

Exporting Resources:

Food Business Operators must ensure they are registered on TRACES, with a connected user account to their Operator Profile, if they plan to create an Export Health Certificate. This includes for exports to Great Britain, or other health certificate documents on TRACES NT.

The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine has provided two general training sessions for the TRACES system. These training sessions can be found below or on the Department’s TRACES website page, along with guidance. 


For information about Exporting Agricultural products, see the Exporting Agricultural Products page: Exports of Agricultural Products


For additional information about exporting to Great Britain, see the Food Exports - Brexit page.