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Document 31989L0662

Trade in animal products between EU countries — veterinary checks

Trade in animal products between EU countries — veterinary checks



Directive 89/662/EEC — veterinary checks in intra-EU trade


  • It sets out rules for European Union (EU) countries concerning veterinary checks on animal products imported to the EU and traded between EU countries.
  • The ultimate aim is that such checks will take place only in the country of dispatch rather than at internal EU borders or at the destination.


EU countries must ensure that animal products intended for sale have been checked and labelled in accordance with EU rules for the destination in question and are accompanied by an appropriate health certificate.

Where the products are intended for export to a non-EU country, the transport operation must remain under customs supervision up to the point of exit from EU territory.

EU countries must ensure that during checks on imports from a non-EU country at ports, airports and frontier posts, the following actions are taken:

  • a documentary check on the products’ origin;
  • products are sent under customs supervision to an inspection post for veterinary checks.

Checks at origin

EU countries of dispatch must ensure that operators comply with veterinary requirements at all stages of the production, storage, marketing and transport of the products.

In addition, the EU country of origin will penalise any infringement, in particular where it is found that the documents do not correspond to the actual state of the products or that products do not comply with health rules.

Checks on arrival at the destination

  • The EU country of destination must carry out:
    • spot checks or take samples to verify that veterinary requirements have been complied with;
    • checks during transit or in the territory of destination where an infringement is suspected.
  • The EU country of destination may require that the seller in the country of origin apply the national rules of the destination country. The rules to be followed by sellers are set out, whereby they must check procedures at points of entry into the EU of products from non-EU countries. The procedures to be applied when a check reveals an irregularity or a serious threat to animal or human health are also set out.
  • Together with Council Directive 91/496/EEC, this directive covers measures to be taken if any disease that can be transmitted to humans from animals occurs, or other issues that could present a serious threat to animal or human health. In intra-EU trade, the EU country of origin is primarily responsible for these measures.
  • In relation to animal products from non-EU countries, the European Commission may, as a precaution where there is a serious animal or public health risk, ban imports or impose special conditions.
  • Directive 91/496/EEC also amends the procedures at border inspection posts. It also requires the Commission to introduce a computerised data-processing system linking the border inspection services with its own veterinary authorities.
  • Council Directive 92/67/EEC amends the rules on intra-EU trade with a view to completing the internal market.


It has applied since 22 December 1989. EU countries had to incorporate it into national law by 1 July 1992, except for Greece which had to do so by 31 December 1992.


Council Directive 89/662/EEC of 11 December 1989 concerning veterinary checks in intra-Community trade with a view to the completion of the internal market (OJ L 395, 30.12.1989, pp. 13-22)

Successive amendments to Directive 89/662/EEC have been incorporated in the original text. This consolidated version is of documentary value only.

last update 12.09.2016