Blogs | 24 March 2022

How to obtain animal health certificates in the Netherlands

As of January 1, 2022, the import of all Products of Animal Origin (POAO) needed to be pre-notified via the UK’s IPAFFS system—but there are more changes coming. Beginning July 1, 2022, yet another phase of the UK Border Operating Model will roll out. One of the major requirements is that a sanitary certificate must accompany animal food products and POAO in order for goods to be cleared at the border—however, this will happen in three stages:

  1. July 1, 2022 Certification for meat, meat products, and animal by-products will be mandatory.
  2. September 1, 2022 Certification and physical checks of all dairy products will take effect.
  3. November 1, 2022 Certification and physical checks for all other POAO, including composite products and fish, will enter into force.

This article details the process of requesting and obtaining the required paperwork from the Dutch authorities.

Obtaining NL customs credentials for POAO

In order to request health certificates, you must first obtain certain credentials to gain access to the National Food and Goods Authority (NVWA) portal. First and foremost, you must obtain a digital ID required to utilise services from the NVWA, called eHerkenning. eHerkenning is commercial software which can be bought from one of several providers. The minimum level of eHerkenning required is EH2+. When requesting eHerkenning for the use of creating health certificates via e-CertNL, you must make sure that eHerkenning is activated for access to RVO, (Netherlands Enterprise Agency) whilst requesting eHerkenning, as the e-CertNL service is offered by the RVO. All of this information and the required steps can be found on the NVWA website.

Once credentials for eHerkenning have been received, you must apply for a customer number from the NVWA. Without this, it is not possible to identify who is requesting the certificates.
Once the abovementioned steps have been completed, it is necessary to receive credentials for logging into e-CertNL. The NVWA has written useful guidelines for first-time logins.

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Registering your company for NL sanitary certificates

Every company that wants to export to the UK must register in e-CertNL to request health certificates online. The export assistant tool will guide you through this process. It starts with filling out a basic protocol about the products to be exported, followed by a registration request for exports to the UK. Once this information is approved by the NVWA, your company has been successfully registered and you are ready to continue exporting!

Requesting export health certificates for the Netherlands

As of July 1, 2022, it is possible to request export health certificates (EHCs) via e-CertNL. This is done in two steps.
  1. Indicate before 8am on the day prior to export what kind of goods are to be exported.
  2. Provide the details of the shipment before the moment of departure.

Final tip for POAO exports from NL

The NVWA carries out administrative and physical spot checks on the application and on the shipment before issuing the health certificate. You will want to take this time into consideration when exporting goods. To avoid delays, make sure to file the paperwork in time and leave enough space for potential checks!

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