FOREIGN AGRICULTURAL SERVICE
EU rules on certification for imports are complicated and are not always harmonized across member states. The vast majority of certificates required by EU law, are animal and public health certificates. The competent authorities in the U.S., responsible for issuing certificates to accompany U.S. exports to the EU, must use the format established by EU legislation. In addition to the legally required EU health certificates, a number of other certificates are used in international trade. These certificates, such as the certificates that must accompany shipments of organic products, serve mainly as quality guarantees.
Because the EU-27 has 23official languages, the language used on the certificate is important. According to the general principles for veterinary certification (Council Directive 2002/99/EC), certificates must be in the official language(s) of the member state of destination, as well as those of the member state where the border inspection is carried out. A member state may, however, agree to accept certificates in an official Community not its own.
When certification of a particular product is not (yet) harmonized, such rules are controlled by the individual member state which means that member states may have different certification requirements. Member states may also apply a waiver to harmonized EU certification requirements in case of commercial samples. Information on country-specific requirements can be obtained from the FAS offices in the EU or can be found in the member states’ certification guides (see "Reports").
2009-2010 Certification Guide (published October 2009):
- Member State Certification Guides: Austria (2008), Belgium & Luxembourg (2007) , Czech Republic (2006), Denmark (2006), Finland (2008), France (2006), Hungary (2007), Netherlands (2008), Portugal (2007), Poland (2005), Romania (2007), Slovakia (2006), Slovenia (2007), Spain (2007), Sweden (2006), United Kingdom