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Information about exporting food

The movement of goods to a destination outside the EU 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 has a Market Access Database that contains extensive information about market access conditions in non-EU countries.

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.

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:

The FSAI issue Export Certificates for food contact materials. Download the certificate application form and checklist