Trading with products from animals with countries outside and inside the EU

Animal products can spread contagious diseases. There are therefore rules for trading with animal products which importers and exporters must comply with. The rules partly depend on whether you trade with countries in or outside the EU. The rules also depend on what the product is and how it has been processed. The rules also apply to you as a private person when you bring in or dispatch animal products outside or inside the EU.

You can read general information here but to find out about all the rules, you need to read the legislation.

This applies to all trading with animal products regardless of the country of origin

Animal products can be contagious if they have not been processed or sufficiently treated or if they have become re-infected after processing or treatment. The infectious agent can cause diseases such as foot and mouth disease, swine fever, avian influenza and anthrax. The risks are greatest if the infected products are used deliberately or accidentally as feed or otherwise come into contact with animals. It can have major consequences if such diseases spread. There are therefore rules on bringing in animal products from other countries which you as purchaser, importer or private person must comply with.

To avoid problems in connection with bringing in products from other countries, it is important that you find out exactly what applies in good time in advance.

Derogation from the infection protection rules

The protection rules do not apply to objects regarded as finished products such as leather goods, down pillows and fur coats, nor to jewellery made of, for example, bone or teeth.

Products that have reached the end point

Products that have reached an ”end point” are no longer covered by the legislation on animal by-products. This may, for example, be processed pet food labelled in accordance with EU legislation for trading in the EU. Other products with an end point might be hides and skin, wool and hair, feathers and down, and fur, if certain conditions are met.

However, please note that there may be species protection rules that you must comply with.

Bringing in animal products from other countries

Animal products from EU Member States

If you bring into Sweden products with animal content (except food) from other EU Member States as well as from Norway or Switzerland, the same rules generally apply as for products transported within Sweden.

Specially regulated products

Special rules apply to the following products when you bring them in from another EU Member State:

  • Category 1 material
  • Category 2 material
  • Meat-and-bone meal produced from Category 1 or Category 2 material
  • Animal fat produced from Category 1 or Category 2 material
  • Processed animal protein (i.e. products that have been produced from Category 3, such as meat- or bonemeal, fish meal or blood meal).

The reason is that these products can be infectious or be used incorrectly in the feed chain.

In order to be allowed to bring in products in the above four points from another EU Member State to Sweden, the user in the country of origin must notify its authority and apply for approval from the Swedish Board of Agriculture. The sender applies for approval on a special form. The form is available in all EU languages but should preferably be submitted in Swedish or English. The application for approval must have been received by the Board of Agriculture at the latest 20 days before the consignment arrives in Sweden. If the application is sent in another language than Swedish or English, the processing time will be extended. The form is available in Annex XVI of Regulation (EU) No 142/2011.

The consignor must enter all information about the consignment in Traces.

When the consignment has arrived, a registration must be made in Traces confirming the arrival. This requires established procedures between the consignee and the Swedish Board of Agriculture.

Before your first reception, you must contact us well in advance via e‑mail to get the information you need. In some cases, after consultation with us, you can register the consignments you receive in Traces.

Samples for research and diagnostics

There are special rules for material for research and diagnostics. You can read more about the rules on the page on research and diagnostics.

Animal products from countries outside the EU

Requirements on you as importer

The basic requirement to be able to import animal products is that you who are responsible for the import have the required permits to receive and handle the material. A minimum requirement is that you are registered as operator. However, it is often required that you also have approval to handle the specific product or that you have an approved establishment. If you import processed pet food which is ready to be placed in the market, it is sufficient for you to be registered as a feed business operator.

Countries or areas that you may import from

You may only import products that consist of animal by-products or processed products from the countries that the EU has approved for imports. Further information is available on the approved countries in table XIV in Regulation (EU) No 142/2011.

Protective measures limit import

If there is an outbreak of a contagious disease or there is a risk that prohibited substances will accompany products from countries outside the EU, the EU can quickly decide on protective measures. This may entail that it will be prohibited to import certain products from certain countries or areas. The rules may change quickly depending on the state of infections in the world. Contact the Swedish Board of Agriculture for information on the current situation.

Requirements on the supplier’s establishment in the country of origin

A basic rule is that the establishment which the product comes from shall be approved or registered by the authorities in the country of origin. The establishment must be included on a list in Traces. You can check yourself whether the establishment has been approved. This can be done in the EU database on establishments outside the EU.

Documents and certificates that accompany the product

Most products must be accompanied by a veterinary certificate signed by an official veterinarian in the exporting country. It is sufficient in the case of certain products with a commercial document signed by the supplier in the exporting country.

Information about the documents that are to accompany the product is contained in the tables in Annex XIV of Regulation (EU) No 142/2011. The certificates are in Annex XV of the same regulation.

For products in the fourth point under the heading When you need an import permit, it is shown in the Swedish Board of Agriculture’s import permits what health certificates are required.

When you need an import permit

In certain cases, an import permit is required from the Swedish Board of Agriculture. You will need an import permit if you wish to import any of the following types of products:

  • certain types of category 1 material as stated in Article 26 of Regulation (EU) No 142/2011
  • research and diagnostic samples
  • trade samples and display items
  • animal by-products and derived products from aquatic animals and aquatic invertebrates and products from these such as fish eggs, terrestrial invertebrates and their transformation forms (for example, larvae) and products derived therefrom, category 3 material consisting of animals and parts of, inter alia, rats, mice, rabbits and hares. Please note that the material may not be intended for feeding land living farmed animals except fur animals.

You can apply for an import permit via our e-service for imports.

The application shall have been received by the Swedish Board of Agriculture at the latest 30 days before the product arrives in Sweden.

Special requirements for game trophies and other prepared items

Game trophies and other prepared items from birds and ungulates and ungulates, which consist of bone, horn, hooves, claws, teeth, hides or skin, must in many cases comply with special requirements even if they have been treated and can be kept in room temperature. If they, however, have been stuffed or mounted, they need not be accompanied by a veterinary certificate, although they shall be accompanied by a commercial document for these as well as for game trophies from other kinds of animals. This may be in the form of a consignment note or a simple document stating the sender, recipient, quantity, type of product and date of dispatch. Contact the Swedish Board of Agriculture if you are uncertain. Please also note that there are rules on protection of species that you must comply with.

Products you may not import

It is prohibited to import the following products:

  • untreated manure (in accordance with the definition of manure in Regulation (EC) No1069/2009)
  • untreated feathers or parts of feathers and down
  • beeswax in the form of honeycomb.

Veterinary border control

In order for you to be able to bring products into the EU, they are most often subject to a veterinary border control. If you are unsure about whether the requirement also applies to your products, you can look at the list in Regulation (EU) No 2021/632. The products that are to undergo veterinary border control are on the list. Research and diagnostic samples are exempted if transported directly to Sweden.

Ensuring that the goods have reached their destination

The Swedish Board of Agriculture must ensure that certain products have reached their final destination. Accordingly, the border control veterinarian will do this by placing a request for a reply in Traces. These are the products affected:

  • certain blood products
  • certain bones, horns and hooves as well as products from these
  • animal by-products for producing feed for fur animals and for producing other pet food than raw pet food and for production of processed products for use outside of the feed chain for farmed animals
  • rendered fats for certain purposes
  • fat derivatives
  • photographic gelatine produced from category 1 material
  • trade samples (i.e. trade samples that do not comply with all the requirements for the product in question if it had not been a trade sample).

The official veterinarian at the border control post takes care of the formalities, so that you only need ensure that the consignment is transported directly to the place of destination set out at the time of the import.

Bringing animal products to other countries

Animal products to other EU Member States

In the case of most products with an animal component, which you dispatch to other EU Member States and to Norway and Switzerland, the same rules apply as for products transported within Sweden. However, there are special rules for the following products:

  • category 1 material
  • category 2 material
  • meat-and-bone meal produced from category 1 or category 2 material
  • animal fat produced from category 1 or category 2 material
  • processed animal protein (i.e. products that have been produced from category 3, such as, for example meat-and-bone meal, fish meal or blood meal).

This is because these products can entail a risk of infection or risk being at the wrong place in the feed chain.

For products covered by the first four points, you must as sender notify the Swedish Board of Agriculture about your plans in good time before you dispatch any products. You must also apply for an import permit with the authority of the country of destination. This application shall be made on a special form in Annex XVI of the Regulation (EU) No. 142/2011.

The form is available in all EU languages, but you should submit it in the language of the country of destination. If you submit the form in the language of the country of destination, the authorities have 20 days in which to decide on authorisation and any conditions. If often works as well with English, and our neighbouring countries usually accept Swedish. But find out about the language requirements as the processing time may otherwise be prolonged.

For all products in the bullet list, it is required that you as consignor register every consignment in Traces. You do this by entering all information about the consignment in Traces DOCOM. This is the information required in a commercial document. You can then print the commercial document and let it accompany the consignment.

When the consignment has arrived, the authorities in the country of destination shall verify this and enter a confirmation in the system which the authority that is responsible for performing control at your establishment can access. If it has not been confirmed that the consignment has arrived, the authorities shall do an investigation.

Animal by-products for further manufacturing of processed feed material for fish

If you are going to send category 3 animal by-products from a slaughter house, which are to go to a processing plant in the EU or Norway or Switzerland, you must in certain cases be included in a special list that can be reached via the EU Commission’s website. This applies if the processing plant intends to make processed animal protein to be used for fish feed. The recipient establishment must be able to ensure that your establishment does not slaughter ruminants or handle material from ruminants. Contact the Swedish Board of Agriculture if this is the case. After that the Swedish Board of Agriculture contacts the Swedish Food Agency, where we ensure that your establishment complies with the requirements, we will then include your establishment on the list that the Commission links to.

You can read more about the requirements in Chapter IV D in Annex IV of the TSE regulation. Special authorisation is required if your food establishment handles material from ruminants and you still wish to send on animal by-products for this type of feed purpose. You must also be able to show that material from ruminants is kept separate from the material you are intending to send. Please contact the Swedish Board of Agriculture if this is the case.

A commercial document shall accompany the products

A commercial document issued by the consignor shall accompany the transport of animal by-products and processed products in the EU and to Norway, Iceland and Switzerland. Always use the standardised commercial document which is to be in the language of the recipient country. Read more on the pages on commercial documents and transport of animal products.

Use the Traces system

Instead of using the standardised commercial document, you can if you use the Traces data system, download the commercial document from the system. All data shall be included in the print-out. The document shall be signed by you and in original accompany the products. You and the transporter shall each have a copy.

Animal products to countries outside the EU

You can read here about what applies when you are going to export animal products to countries outside the EU.

If the products are going to Switzerland, Norway, Andorra and the Faroe Islands, the same rules apply as to sending products from animals to another EU Member State. Read more under the heading Products from animals to other EU Member States.

Find out about the rules in the recipient country

In order to be able to export or take with you animal products to a country outside the EU (other than Switzerland, Norway, Andorra and the Faroe Islands), you must find out about the requirements that apply in the recipient country. Get in contact in good time with the recipient country’s embassy or veterinary authority to find out the following:

  • Is it possible to export the product to the recipient country?
  • Does the product comply with legislation in the recipient country?
  • Do you need to apply for anything in particular, for example, an import permit?
  • Are there special rules in the recipient country for products that according to EU legislation are considered to have reached the end point?
  • Are there special CITES requirements for the product?
  • Which health certificates are required, or which other requirements must be met?
  • Is any particular approval required?

Obtain a health certificate

Contact an official veterinarian well in advance to ascertain whether there is any negotiated health certificate that applies to the country you are going to sell your animal products to. If there is a negotiated certificate it should be used.

If there is no negotiated health certificate, you should contact the authorities in the destination country and find out which certificates they accept or what requirements must be met. If they only accept their own country's certificate, make sure your official veterinarian gets it well in advance. Never use a previously saved certificate without checking with the receiving country that the certificate is still valid and it is the latest version.

If you have only been informed about the requirements that must be met in order to be allowed to export to the country, it is you as the exporter who must write the certificate and insert the current requirements, as well as verify in writing with the recipient country that the final version is approved.

You must then give the information and the certificate to your official veterinarian in writing well in advance of the planned export.

The Swedish Board of Agriculture’s logo must not be used for a non-negotiated certificate.

The official veterinarian can always refuse to sign a health certificate if the requirements of the certificate are not met or if it is written in a language that the official veterinarian does not understand.

Please note that when a non-negotiated or general certificate is used, the export takes place at the exporter's risk. Neither the Swedish Board of Agriculture nor the official veterinarian can provide any guarantees that the certificate will be accepted.

Submit an export application if required

If a negotiation with the recipient country is required to be able to export a particular product, you must submit an export application in our e-service. When the export application has been received, we at the Swedish Board of Agriculture will take care of negotiations with the country concerned. Please note that it may take a long time before the negotiations are completed, usually several years. It is not a solution for a one-time export.

The export application is primarily aimed at those who intend to export large quantities and frequently. Note that received export applications are prioritized by the Swedish Board of Agriculture.

Find out whether there are export restrictions

Before you export animal products to countries outside the EU, you need to find out whether there are export restrictions due to infectious animal diseases.

Find out what rules apply for transport

It is also important that you find out what rules and requirements apply for transport.

Submit a customs declaration

You must always submit an electronic customs declaration to the Swedish Customs before you export animal products to countries outside the EU.

Products for research and diagnostics

Other rules apply if you send or take with you animal products which are to be used for research or diagnostics. Read more about the rules on the page on research and diagnostics.

You also need to find out the requirements that apply in the recipient country.

Contact us if you have any questions

Please e-mail us if you have any questions.

New rules for bringing animals or animal products to the United Kingdom

Here, you can find out what rules apply when you are bringing animals or animal products to the United Kingdom, but you must also read the general rules that apply when exporting to countries outside the EU.

As of 1 January 2021, new rules apply to trade with the United Kingdom. The ministry responsible for these rules is the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA). If you have any questions, please contact them.

The rules are described in the guide Border Operating Model.

The UK is implementing the new rules in several phases throughout 2021 and 2022. The conditions for exports to the United Kingdom may change, and it is therefore important that anyone carrying out exports stays up-to-date via the DEFRA’s website.

What you need to do as an exporter

Companies that are exporting to the UK need to, among other things:

  • In collaboration with the importer, find out which certificates should accompany the consignment.
  • Ensure that you have access to the web-based system TRACES.NT in order to record the details required for the certificate.
  • Check that the dispatching establishment is registered or approved, and that the transporter meets applicable requirements.
  • If the transport to the UK will pass through other EU Member States, you must also check what applies when exporting to other EU Member States.
  • Contact an official veterinarian in good time!

Health certificates and pre-registration

The importer to the UK should pre-register live animals, breeding materials and products from animals from the EU with the UK system Import of Products, Animals, Feed and Food Systems (IPAFFS). This must be done at the latest one business day prior to the expected arrival. A health certificate must always accompany the consignment. Physical controls may be carried out.

The health certificate has been developed by UK authorities and is available in the EU computer system TRACES.NT or on DEFRA’s website. It is your responsibility as an exporter to find out which certificate must be used, and for that reason it is important that you, potentially with the help of the importer, find out what is required by checking DEFRA’s website. You can also read more on their website about how the various parts of the certificate are filled in and which information is mandatory, and which is optional.

This applies to exports to the United Kingdom:

  1. The importer must register the consignment in the UK through the IPAFFS computer system
  2. The consignment will receive a unique notification number (UNN) in IPAFFS, which has the format IMP.GB.2021.1XXXXXX.
  3. A health certificate issued by an official veterinarian in Sweden must always accompany the consignment.
  4. The importer in the UK must provide the UNN number to the exporter or to the official veterinarian in Sweden, who will record the number in the health certificate.
  5. The exporter must provide the importer with an electronic copy of the health certificate so that it can be uploaded to IPAFFS.
  6. The exporter is responsible for ensuring that the original health certificate accompanies the consignment.

Questions and answers

What rules apply for trading with seal products?

By seals is meant all species included in the animal group seals (Pinnipedia). This group consists of three families:

  • eared seals (Otariidae)
  • earless seals (Phocidae)
  • walruses (Odobenidae)

According to the EU seal regulation, trading with seal products is prohibited in the EU. By seal products is meant all products coming from seals, such as:

  • meat
  • oil
  • blubber
  • organs
  • untreated skin and skin that is tanned or preserved in another way
  • clothing items including parts of treated skin
  • omega 3 capsules
  • tusks

Seal products that you may sell

Seal products that originate from traditional hunting engaged in by inuits and other indigenous populations can be sold if all these conditions are met:

  • Hunting has been traditionally pursued by inuit communities or other indigenous populations.
  • Hunting contributes to the indigenous population’s subsistence and is not primarily operated on a commercial basis.
  • Hunting is pursued in a way that takes into account animal protection taking into account the life style of inuit communities or indigenous population.
  • A certified issued by an approved body accompanies the product.

You may also sell products from seals shot in Sweden before 18 October 2015 if you have a certificate from the county administrative board.

Authorities that may issue certificates

There are currently only three approved authorities:

  • Greenland’s Department of Fishing, Hunting and Agriculture (Postboks 269, 3900 NUUK, Greenland)
  • Department of Environment, Government of Nunavut (P.O. Box 1000, Stn. 1300, Iqaluit, NU X0A 0H0, Canada)
  • The Canadian Government in the Northwest Territories (P.O. Box 1320, Yellowknife NT X1A 2L9, Canada)

It is possible to apply to the EU Commission to be approved.

Import of seal products for own use

Import of seal products is permitted if it is only concerns goods which are for the personal user of the traveller or the traveller’s family. The products may not have such an extent as to raise suspicions that there is a commercial motive.

What rules apply for furs and cat and dog skins?

Furs and cat and dog skins and products that contain the same may not be:

  • stored for sale
  • advertised
  • sold
  • distributed.

This applies both in Sweden and in other EU Member States, and the products may not either be imported or exported.

What type of feed may I as a private person take with home from abroad?

As a private person, you may bring in all types of feed, regardless of weight from all EU Member States and from Andorra, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, San Marino and Switzerland.

In the case of feed with animal content, you may only bring pet food from other countries if it is required for health reasons and provided that it is not more than 2 kilos, under the conditions that the products

  • are intended for the pet accompanying the passenger
  • are shelf-stable
  • are packaged proprietary brand products for direct sale to the final consumer
  • that the packaging is unbroken unless in current use.

Contact us if you have questions

Please e-mail us if you have questions.

For questions about despatching animal products to other countries:

For questions about bringing in animal products from other countries:

Revision date: 2023-03-16

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