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Animal health and public health: other products of animal origin

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Animal health and public health: other products of animal origin

The European Union provides a clear health framework governing the trade in and imports of certain animal products to ensure the protection of human and animal health whilst complying with internal market rules.


Council Directive 92/118/EEC of 17 December 1992 laying down animal health and public health requirements governing trade in and imports into the Community of products not subject to the said requirements laid down in specific Community rules referred to in Annex A(I) to Directive 89/662/EEC and, as regards pathogens, to Directive 90/425/EEC [see amending acts].


The Directive and its amending legislation cover certain products of animal origin, in particular animal casings intended for human consumption, processed animal proteins intended for human consumption, blood and blood products from hoofed animals and poultry, and poultry meat and farmed game meat. In general, this legislation relates to products of animal origin that do not fall into the following categories:

  • domestic animals of the bovine, porcine, ovine, equine and caprine species, together with products obtained from their meat;
  • egg products;
  • aquaculture animals (live fish, crustaceans and molluscs from a farm) and derived products; fisheries products (all seawater or freshwater animals or parts thereof, including their roes, excluding aquatic mammals, frogs and certain other aquatic animals);
  • milk and milk-based products.

Trade in or imports of any new product of animal origin must be authorised by the Council, following assessment by the Commission and, if appropriate, an opinion from the European Food Safety Authority. This assessment evaluates the risk of the spread of serious transmissible diseases, not only for the species from which the product originates but also for other species which could carry the disease or become a focus of disease or a risk to human health.

The products of animal origin should not originate from any holding situated in a zone subject to restrictions because of the occurrence of a disease to which the species from which the product is derived is susceptible. Nor should they originate from any establishment or zone from which movements or trade would constitute a risk to the animal health status of the Member States, except where products are treated to eliminate this risk in accordance with Community legislation.

The products in question should come from establishments registered with the competent authority in their State. These establishments should ensure that the rules for product surveillance and monitoring are respected, particularly in terms of taking and analysing samples, and informing the competent authority. They should also provide the products with certificates specifying the nature of the product, its name and, if appropriate, the veterinary approval number of the production establishment.

The rules on checks laid down by Directive 89/662/EEC and, as regards pathogenic agents, by Directive 90/425/EEC apply especially as regards the organisation of and follow-up to the checks.

The products referred to in this Directive may be imported into the European Union (EU) only if they satisfy the following requirements:

  • They must come from a third country or part of a third country on a list drawn up and updated according to the health status of the region in question and whether that country abides by health rules equivalent to those in force in the EU.
  • They must come from listed establishments for which the competent authority of the third country has provided the Commission with guarantees that they meet health requirements equivalent to those in force in the EU.
  • In certain specific cases, they must be accompanied by an animal health or public health certificate corresponding to a model, which certifies that the products meet the additional conditions or offer the required equivalent guarantees and come from establishments offering such guarantees.

Moreover, specific conditions may be imposed, especially in order to protect the EU from certain exotic diseases and diseases transmissible to man. These decisions may be adopted on the basis of an evaluation and, if appropriate, the opinion of the European Food Safety Authority, of the risk of the spread of serious transmissible diseases for species from which the product originates or for other species.

Experts from the Commission and the Member States may carry out inspections in third countries to verify whether the guarantees given by the third country regarding the conditions of production and placing on the market can be considered equivalent to those applied in the EU.

With the entry into force of the hygiene package in 2004, the specific public health requirements set out in Annex II to this Directive are now governed, according to context, by Regulation (EC) No 853/2004, Regulation (EC) No 854/2004 or Directive 2002/99/EC.



Entry into force

Deadline for transposition in the Member States

Official Journal

Directive 92/118/EEC


31.12.1992 (Article 12)31.12.1993 (other provisions)

OJ L 62 of 15.3.1992

Amending act(s)

Entry into force

Deadline for transposition in the Member States

Official Journal

Decision 95/1/EC



OJ L 1 of 1.1.1995

Directive 96/90/EC



OJ L 13 of 16.1.1997

Directive 97/79/EC



OJ L 24 of 30.1.1998

Directive 2004/41/EC



OJ L 157 of 30.4.2004

Amendments to the annexes

Annex I - Specific animal health conditions Decision 94/466/EC [Official Journal L 190 of 26 July 1994];

Decision 94/723/EC [Official Journal L 288 of 9 November 1994];

Decision 95/339/EC [Official Journal L 200 of 24 August 1995];

Decision 96/103/EC [Official Journal L 24 of 31 January 1996];

Decision 96/405/EC [Official Journal L 165 of 4 July 1996];

Decision 2001/7/EC [Official Journal L 2 of 5 January 2001];

Directive 2002/33/EC [Official Journal L 315 of 19 November 2002];

Regulation (EC) No 445/2004 [Official Journal L 72 of 11 March 2004].

Annex II - Specific public health conditions

Decision 95/338/EC [Official Journal L 200 of 24 August 1995];

Decision 96/340/EC [Official Journal L 129 of 30 May 1996];

Directive 96/90/EC [Official Journal L 13 of 16 January 1997];

Decision 1999/724/EC [Official Journal L 290 of 12 November 1999];

Decision 2003/721/EC [Official Journal L 260 of 11 October 2003];

Directive 2004/41/EC [Official Journal L 157 of 30 April 2004].

The latter Directive deletes Annex II and refers, according to context, to Regulation (EC) No 853/2004, Regulation (EC) No 854/2004 or Directive 2002/99/EC.

The successive amendments and corrections have been incorporated into the basic text. This consolidated version [PDF ] is for reference only.


Lists of third countries and establishments

Decision 2003/812/EC [Official Journal L 305 of 22 November 2003] Lists of third countries from which Member States are to authorise imports of products subject to Directive 92/118/EEC.

Amended by:

Decision 2006/696/EC [Official Journal L 295 of 25.10.2006].

Decision 97/569/EC [Official Journal L 234 of 26 August 1997] Provisional lists of third country establishments from which Member States authorise imports of meat products.

Amended by:

Decision 98/9/EC [Official Journal L 3 of 7 January 1998];

Decision 98/163/EC [Official Journal L 53 of 24 February 1998];

Decision 98/220/EC [Official Journal L 82 of 19 March 1998];

Decision 98/346/EC [Official Journal L 154 of 28 May 1998];

Decision 1999/336/EC [Official Journal L 127 of 21 May 1999];

Decision 2000/253/EC [Official Journal L 78 of 29 March 2000];

Decision 2000/555/EC [Official Journal L 235 of 19 September 2000];

Decision 2002/74/EC [Official Journal L 33 of 2 February 2002];

Decision 2002/671/EC [Official Journal L 228 of 24 August 2002];

Decision 2003/204/EC [Official Journal L 78 of 25 March 2003];

Decision 2005/787/EC [Official Journal L 296 of 12.11.2005].

Health conditions and veterinary certification

Decision 2003/779/EC [Official Journal L 285 of 1 November 2003] Health requirements and veterinary certification for the import of animal casings from third countries.

Amended by:

Decision 2004/414/EC [Official Journal L 151 of 30 April 2004].

Decision 2000/585/EC [Official Journal L 251 of 6 October 2000] Health conditions and veterinary certification for the import of wild and farmed game meat and rabbit meat from third countries.

Amended by:

Decision 2002/646/EC [Official Journal L 211 of 7 August 2002];

Decision 2003/74/EC [Official Journal L 28 of 24 February 2003];

Decision 2004/118/EC [Official Journal L 36 of 7 February 2004];

Decision 2004/212/EC [Official Journal L 73 of 11 March 2004];

Decision 2004/245/EC [Official Journal L 77 of 13 March 2004];

Decision 2004/413/EC [Official Journal L 151 of 30 April 2004].

Decision 97/199/EC [Official Journal L 84 of 26 March 1997] Health conditions and veterinary certification for the import of pet food in hermetically sealed containers from certain third countries which use alternative heat treatment systems.

Decision 94/775/EC [Official Journal L 310 of 3 December 1994] Health requirements and certification for the import of certain products covered by Directive 92/118/EEC.

Decision 94/453/EC [Official Journal L 187 of 22 July 1994] Implementing rules on the animal health and public health conditions required for imports of certain live animals and animal products from Austria, Finland, Norway and Sweden in application of the European Economic Area Agreement.

Last updated: 09.04.2008