Other Products of Animal Origin

Other Products of Animal Origin

Other products of animal origin, in this case, are defined as all those products for human consumption where harmonised EU rules for importation and trade that have not been laid down elsewhere. They include:

  • eggs
  • honey and royal jelly
  • snails
  • frogs' legs
  • blood and blood products
  • bone
  • animal casing
  • lard and rendered fat
  • gelatine

NB: The information here relates only to products imported or traded for human consumption. See the rules on animal by-products for information on import and trade of the aforementioned products not intended for human consumption

The following rules must be respected before other products of animal origin can be traded or imported into the EU:

  1. The rules governing both imports and intra-community trade of other products of animal origin for human consumption are laid down in Council Directive 2002/99/EC. This Directive, which has been amended several times, harmonises the rules and establishes the animal and public health rules for the import and trade in the Community for animal products where specific Community rules have not been laid down elsewhere*.

    *In addition to the products listed above, the underlying rules governing the import of farmed game meat and rabbit meat are also laid down in Council Directive 92/118/EEC. Details can be found at pages relating to the import of game meat

    • The objective of this harmonisation is to make sure that the same principles for importation and trade are applied in all the Member States and prevent products introducing infectious diseases that are dangerous to livestock or humans.
    • Council Directive 92/118/EEC describes the animal and public health principles on which importation and trade is based, and the requirements to be fulfilled before 'other' products of animal origin can be either imported or traded.

    For imports, in addition to fulfilling the basic requirements within the Directive, the most important aspects are:

    • the requirement that all products are only imported from listed non-EU countries that are authorised to import the specific product in question. For some products (honey and royal jelly, eggs and egg products, gelatine, frogs' legs and snails) it has been necessary to specifically lay down lists of non-EU countries from which imports are authorised. These are contained in:
      • in Commission Decision 2003/812/EC (which replaced Commission Decision 94/278/EC as from 1 May 2004).
      • In addition, the product must be accompanied by a health certificate stipulating that it meets the animal and public health requirements laid down in the Directive for import into the EU countries.

    Council Directive 2002/99/EC now forms the legal basis for all animal health rules governing the production processing; distribution and introduction of products of animal origin for human consumption and supersedes Council Directive 92/118/EEC. However the EU countries do not need to implement this until 1 January 2005 and hence Council Directive 92/118/EEC may continue to apply until that date.

    For intra-Community trade, in addition to fulfilling the basic requirements within the Directive, the most important aspects are:

    • A requirement that all products within the scope of 92/118/EEC for trade must come from an authorised establishment that is registered and under the control of the competent authority.
    • A requirement that all products be accompanied by a commercial document containing certain basic information, including the establishment of origin.
  2. Animal products covered by the Directive 92/118/EEC that are imported into the EU must be inspected at a Border Inspection Post (BIP) - as listed in Commission Decision 2009/821/EC - where Member States' official veterinarians ensure that they fulfil all the requirements provided for entry into the EU. (Council Directive 97/78/EC lays down the principles governing the organisation of veterinary checks on products of animals origin entering the Community from non-EU countries).

    For intra-Community trade, the veterinary checks as laid down in Council Directive 89/662/EEC apply.

  3. As is the case for fresh meat, non-EU countries must also comply with certain public health requirements in order to export certain products covered by Directive 92/118/EEC. For example, a country is required to have an approved 'residue' monitoring plan and be listed on Commission Decision 2004/432/EC on the approval of residue monitoring plans submitted by non-EU countries in accordance with Council Directive 96/23/EC, and implement certain conditions in relation to BSE (for products containing bovine and ovine meat). Details of the general public health requirements can be found at the Biological Safety web section and additional information on residues at the Chemical Safety web section.

  4. A summary providing 'General guidance for third country authorities on procedures to be followed when importing live animals and animal products into the EU' can be found under Import Conditions at the International Affairs web section.