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Import Control and Food Safety Guidelines

A Guide to Application for Health Certificate for Foods of Animal Origin


To provide a general guidance to Hong Kong exporters who wish to export foods of animal origin to European Union (EU) member states.

Certification Authority

The Food and Environmental Hygiene Department (FEHD) of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government is the competent authority recognised by the EU to issue health certificates for foods containing ingredients of animal, poultry or fishery origin.

Points to Note

  • This is a public service provided by the FEHD to assist local exporters of foods of animal origin in meeting the veterinary health requirements imposed by importing EU member states.
  • Sending in an application for the "Health Certificate for Foods of Animal Origin" does not guarantee the issuance of such certificate. The FEHD needs to inspect the food establishment and the manufacturing process concerned to ensure all requirements specified in the relevant Directives of the EU Council are fulfilled before issuing a health certificate.
  • Condition of the Certificate: Not applicable (subject to the requirements of the importing country)
  • Relevant Ordinance: Not applicable
  • Relevant Directives of the EU Council:
    Fishery Products - Council Directive 91/493/EEC
    Poultry Meat Products - Council Directives 77/99/EEC & 92/118/EEC
  • Validity of the Certificate: Not specified (to be decided by the importing member states).

Application Procedure

1. Application for a health certificate must be submitted in a prescribed form which is free of charge from the Veterinary Public Health Section of the FEHD on the 43rd Floor, Queensway Government Offices, 66 Queensway, Hong Kong.

2. The applicant or his/her representative must submit the completed application form to the Veterinary Public Health Section in person and pay the prescribed certification fee (currently HK$7,165 per certificate as at September 2003 for each consignment of food products under one bill of lading or one airway bill).

3. The following information must be submitted along with the application:

(a) description of the product, including the exact description of the animal, poultry or fishery ingredients contained therein;
(b) a complete breakdown of the packaging and the weight of the consignment;  
(c) identification marking(s);
(d) country of destination;
(e) country of origin of the animal, poultry or fishery ingredients contained in the product;
(f) names and addresses of the consignee and consignor;
(g) name and address of the food establishment in Hong Kong; and
(h) other information such as the expected date of departure, the name of the freight vessel or the flight number of the freighter (if applicable).

4. Special requirements, if any, must be stated in the application form for inclusion in the Health Certificate subject to their being ethically acceptable.

5. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that all the necessary and correct information is available to the FEHD at the time of inspection, and is presented in the application form or attached thereto at the time of application.

6. Inspection of the food establishment and the manufacturing process will be made within 30 days from the date of the application. A request to cancel the inspection must be made in writing and reach the FEHD within these 30 days or the certification fee will be forfeited.

7. The Health Certificate may not be issued if the applicant is unable to provide the full details and/or the documents as may be required by the FEHD within 30 days after inspection. In addition, if the FEHD is not satisfied that the specified requirements have been met, the Health Certificate will not be issued and the certification fee will be forfeited.

Additional Notes

  • After the inspection, if the FEHD is satisfied that the specified requirements have been met, the Health Certificate will normally be issued within two working days upon receipt of the full set of documentation from the applicant.
  • Applicants should note that it is not possible for the FEHD to alter the Health Certificate for food products which have already been delivered to their destination or which are locked in containers ready for delivery. If alterations to any of the details on a health certificate are required, the applicant must have to apply for the inspection of the product again through the normal procedure so that the new facts can be verified by the FEHD. Therefore, the applicant should, for his own good, check that necessary details have been correctly included in the Health Certificate before any product is exported.
  • The FEHD will not issue a health certificate in respect of any trade or arrangements that may, for any reason, be considered undesirable.
  • In addition to the 2-working-day processing time, the minimum time required for arranging and conducting a field inspection of a product is normally seven working days. Applicants are thus advised to submit applications well in advance.


For further information or enquires, please contact the Veterinary Public Health Section of the FEHD -

   Tel : 2867 5428
   Fax : 2521 8067
   Email :
Revised, September 2006

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2007 copyright logo | Important notices Last Revision Date : 21-01-2008