Milk products from third countries
Whilst every attempt is made to keep information notes current, import conditions may change and importers are responsible for checking the current requirements
Importer Information Note (IIN) – conditions of import of raw milk, dairy products, colostrum and colostrum based products from outside the EU (IIN MKDR/1)
The import of raw milk and dairy products from outside the EU.
‘Raw milk’ is defined in Regulation No (EC) 853/2004 as milk produced by the secretion of the mammary gland of farmed animals that has not been heated to more than 40 °C or undergone any treatment that has an equivalent effect.
‘Dairy products’ are defined as processed products resulting from the processing of raw milk or from the further processing of such processed products.
‘Colostrum’ means the fluid secreted by the mammary glands of milk-producing animals up to three to five days post parturition that is rich in antibodies and minerals, and precedes the production of raw milk.
‘Colostrum-based products’ means processed products resulting from the processing of colostrum or from the further processing of such processed products.
Imports of raw milk, dairy products, colostrum and colostrum based products (including products containing milk, milk products, colostrum and colostrum based products) are permitted provided that they:
- come from an approved country or from an approved part of a country;
- come from an EU approved plant; and
- are accompanied by appropriate animal and public health certification
2. Production standards
In order to be able to meet these requirements, the raw milk, dairy products, colostrum and colostrum based products must have been produced in accordance with the conditions laid down in:
- Council Directive 2002/99/EC laying down the animal health rules governing the production, processing, distribution and introduction of products of animal origin for human consumption;
- Regulation (EC) No 178/2002 laying down the general principles and requirements of food law, establishing the European Food Safety Authority and laying down procedures in matters of food safety;
- Regulation (EC) No 852/2004 on the hygiene of foodstuffs;
- Regulation (EC) No 853/2004 laying down specific rules for food of animal origin;
- Regulation (EC) No 854/2004 laying down specific rules for the organisation of official controls on products of animal origin intended for human consumption; and
- Regulation (EC) No 882/2004 on official controls performed to ensure the verification of compliance with feed and food law, animal health and animal welfare rules
More detailed information on the hygiene legislation can be found on the Food Standards Agency website.
3. Country of origin
The approved third country list for imports of raw milk, dairy products, colostrum and colostrum based products from outside the EU can be found in Commission Regulation (EU) 605/2010. It should be noted that colostrum/colostrum based products can only be imported from countries listed in Column A of that Regulation.
In addition, the country of origin must be listed for milk in Commission Decision 2011/163/EU on the approval of residue monitoring plans submitted by third countries, in accordance with Council Directive 96/23/EC.
4. Approved establishments
Consolidated lists of approved plants are available on the European Commission’s website.
5. Health certification/documentation
Consignments imported from third countries must be accompanied by a health certificate laid down in Regulation (EU) No 605/2010, which is signed by an official veterinarian of the veterinary authority in the country of origin.
- ‘Milk-RM’ Health certificate for raw milk from third countries or parts thereof authorised in column A of Annex I intended for further processing in the European Union before being used for human consumption. ‘Milk-RMP’: Health certificate for dairy products derived from raw milk for human consumption, from third countries or parts thereof authorised in column A of Annex I intended for importation into the European Union.
- ‘Milk-HTB’: Health certificate for dairy products derived from milk of cows, ewes, goats and buffaloes for human consumption from third countries or parts thereof authorised in column B of Annex I intended for importation into the European Union.
- ‘Milk-HTC’: Health certificate for dairy products for human consumption from third countries or parts thereof authorised in column C of Annex I intended for importation into the European Union.
- ‘Colostrum-C/CPB’: Health certificate for colostrum of cows, ewes, goats and buffaloes and colostrum-based products derived from colostrum of the same species from third countries or parts thereof listed in column A of Annex I for human consumption intended for importation into the European Union.
- ‘Milk/ Colostrum-T/S’: Animal health certificate for raw milk, colostrum, dairy products or colostrum-based products for human consumption, intended for transit through or storage in the European Union.
Guidance on how to complete a health certificate can be found in Commission Decision 2007/240/EC.
For dairy products for transit through/storage in the European Union, model certificate ‘Milk/ Colostrum-T/S’ should be used.
For a transitional period until 6 September 2014 the introduction into the European Union of consignments of raw milk and dairy products not intended for importation into the European Union but destined for a third country either by immediate transit or after storage in the Union, in accordance with Articles 11, 12 or 13 of Directive 97/78/EC, accompanied by a health certificate conforming to the model set out in Part 2 of Annex II to Regulation (EU) No 605/2010, in its version prior to the entry into force of this Regulation, shall be authorised, provided that the certificate has been signed before 26 July 2014.
7. Special arrangements for New Zealand
The health certification for milk and milk based products is laid down in Commission Decision 2003/56/EC. Information on recognition of sanitary measures is available in Commission Decision 2006/855/EC.
8. Health and identification marks
In accordance with Regulation (EC) No 853/2004, products of animal origin must bear an identification mark which shows the approval number of the approved premises together with an abbreviation for the country of origin. The mark must be applied directly to the product or to the wrapping or packaging.
For dairy and colostrum products they must bear an identification mark in accordance with the requirements of both Regulation (EC) No 853/2004 and No 854/2004 and the mark must be applied before the product leaves the establishment.
9. Veterinary checks
Consignments may only be imported through an approved Border Inspection Post (BIP). Following satisfactory checks at the BIP, consignments may then circulate freely within the EU. A list of BIPs is available on the Defra website. If the consignment does not meet the import requirements, the BIP may require that the consignment is re-exported or destroyed.
Consignments must be pre-notified in accordance with The Trade in Animals and Related Products Regulations 2011 for England (and equivalent legislation in the Devolved Administrations) to the relevant BIP before arrival in the country, by completion of Part I of the Common Veterinary Entry Document (CVED) or by electronic means, as agreed with the BIPs competent authority.
Consignments presented for import at the BIP must be accompanied by the original health certificate(s); faxed or photocopied certificates are not acceptable.
- Further guidance on veterinary checks on products
- Trade in Animals and Related Products Regulations 2011
10. Iceland, Norway/Liechtenstein/Switzerland
The EU has International Agreements with Iceland, Norway, Switzerland and Liechtenstein, which means that they implement EU veterinary legislation in relation to the movement of animal products. Therefore animal products from Iceland, Norway, Switzerland and Liechtenstein must comply with the same requirements applying to animal products from Member States.
11. Safeguard measures
These notes do not cover situations where emergency safeguard action has been taken, at very short notice, to prohibit or restrict the importation of certain products from certain countries following an outbreak of serious disease in those countries may not be covered. Importers are advised to contact the Specialist Service Centre for Imports (see below) to check if any action has been taken in relation to the current status of any particular country. Details of safeguard measures can also be found in our Declarations and Customer Information Notes.
12. European Union legislation
Consolidation consists of the integration in a legal act of its successive amendments and corrigenda. It provides more transparency and easier access to EU law. Several legal texts published in different issues of the Official Journal of the European Union (OJ) are combined as a ‘consolidated family’ in one easy-to-read document.
Consolidated texts are intended for use as documentation tools and the institutions do not assume any liability for their content. Please note that these texts have no legal value. For legal purposes please refer to the texts published in the OJ.
To search for legislation go to the EUR-lex home page (go to the middle tab – ‘by document reference’) and insert the year and number of the piece of legislation you are looking for and indicate the legislation type eg to search for Council Directive 91/496/EEC: Year – 1991; Number: 496; Type: Directive. Click on search
In the next screen, on the left hand side, under the tab ‘by subdomain’ click on ‘legislation’.
To view the original version, click on pdf or html symbol to access the document
To see the consolidated version, click on the ‘latest consolidated version’ and then click on the pdf or html version to access the document.
If you want to see which legislation has amended, corrected or repealed/revoked the primary legislation (ie bibliographic information), click on the text of the title of the document and then in the grey tabs above ‘title and reference’ click ‘All’
Please note that it may take time to update the lists of amending legislation.
13. Contact for general information on import requirements
14. Contacts for other important advice and guidance
Importers should note that the information given relates only to animal health and public health conditions of import. It does not give guidance on other conditions that may need to be met.
The information sheet gives details of other organisations you may also need to consult.