Import controls at smaller seaports and airports guidance

A UK manual on the import controls for food and feed of non-animal origin at small ports and airports is available. The guidance is for port health local and enforcement authorities, and has been developed by the Food Standards Agency and the Association of Port Health Authorities.

About import controls at ports

All port health authorities, local authorities and enforcement authorities with ports (sea and air) in their areas are responsible for carrying out official import controls to ensure that imported food and feed is safe to eat, suitable for animal feed and meets legal requirements. Officers should generally be aware of what food and feedstuffs are being handled at the relevant point of entry, using a risk-based, intelligence-led approach to enforcement and surveillance.

About the manual

The guidance, which can be found at the link below, is specifically aimed at those authorities with points of entry through which occasional and/or low levels of consignments of feed or food of non-animal origin (FNAO) are received. It is intended to assist those authorities to ensure that they know what is coming through their port and are carrying out risk-based, targeted checks.

The main part of the manual provides enforcement officers at these points of entry with appropriate information, practical guidance and advice to enable them to secure the effective control of food and animal feed imported into the UK from non-EU countries. This includes definitions of key terms, information on reviewing manifests etc to identify and monitor consignments, an imported food/feed checklist, information on risk based checks and appropriate enforcement, record-keeping and a directory of agencies – roles and responsibilities.

The accompanying annex to the pack provides: example documentation (including: ship manifest, airway manifest, airway bill, bill of lading, commercial invoice, arrivals list, CED and CVED), along with example notices and a template to record checks.

All references to legislation refer to the version current on the date this document was issued. The Agency will continue to update the pack as appropriate. Should you require further advice related to imported food controls, please contact us by emailing or call the helpline on 0207 276 8018.