Exporting Foodstuffs FAQ

How do I go about exporting foods?

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

DAFM: +353 (0) 1 607 2000; www.agriculture.gov.ie
SFPA: +353(0) 1 678 3636; www.sfpa.ie

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.

From 1st May 2011, the Environmental Health Service of the Health Service Executive (HSE) are responsible for issuing Export Certificates for foods of non-animal origin. Information on applying for an Export Certificate and the application form are available on the HSE website.

The FSAI issue Export Certificates for food contact materials. Download certificate application form and checklist For more information please contact advice-line on 1890 336677

What controls are in place for exporting foodstuffs to the United States?

If exporting food to the United States, exporters must be aware of the Public Health Security and Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Act of 2002 (the ‘Bioterrorism Act’ or the ‘Act’). From December 2003, the Bioterrorism Act requires all domestic (US) and foreign food facilities that manufacture/process, pack, or hold food for human or animal consumption in the US to register with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). There is no fee for registration, which may be carried out online (see below).

The Bioterrorism Act also requires that advance notice is issued to the FDA for any shipment of human or animal food imported or offered for import. From 2004, food businesses importing to the US will also be required to maintain traceability records similar to those required under EU legislation. Manufacturers, processors, packers, distributors, receivers, holders and importers of food will be required to keep records identifying the source from which they received the food, and the recipient to whom the food was sent.

Read more information on the Bioterrorism Act

I am travelling abroad on holidays soon, is it safe to bring packaged baby formula/jar baby food with me?

Baby/infant formula and baby food may be taken abroad on holidays. It is advisable, however, to bring commercial brands of unopened products. There are also other considerations depending on your destination. If travelling to another EU country, you can bring a reasonable amount of any food, as long as it is for personal use. However, if travelling to a country outside the EU, it is only permitted to carry reasonable quantities of foods that are not of animal origin.

Note: For large amounts of product, it may be necessary to satisfy customs officers that the food is for personal use.