Exporting food and drink from the UK to France: Common mistakes


France has been advised to apply EU rules full and strictly from 25 January 2021. As a result, there is no tolerance for errors in paperwork.

Avoid common errors by following the below guidance and reduce the risk of issues in your supply chain.



Incorrect: Business not registered and validated on TRACES before moving goods to Europe.

Correct: You must be registered and validated on TRACES before your export date.



Incorrect: Business is missing an Export Health Certificate (EHC).

Correct: You must allow 10-14 days before your export date to book the vet, get the EHC, book your haulier and send notification to the exit port.



Incorrect: Business not registered to export from the UK.

Correction: Ensure you register your business properly. Find out how on GOV.UK.  



Incorrect: Business has a non-validated status on Traces NT.

Correction: Ensure your TRACES validation has been confirmed before you move goods.



Incorrect: Business has the wrong health certificate for the goods being exported.

Correct: Check carefully that your EHC matches the goods being moved.



Incorrect: Business is missing the veterinarian/controller signature and stamp.

Correction: Check carefully that the EHC has been correctly signed and stamped by the vet/controller.



Incorrect: Business has the wrong quantity of goods mentioned in the EHC.

Correction: Check carefully that your loaded quantities match your EHC.



Incorrect: Business has listed the wrong species or is missing

Correction: Check carefully that you’ve included the correct species and no species have been missed out.



Incorrect: The EHC has been signed AFTER the departure of goods.

Correction: Ensure the EHC is signed BEFORE departure of the goods.



Incorrect: Business has not provided the correct labelling, e.g. the latin name and ISO code is missing.

Correct: Carefully check and ensure the correct latin names and ISO codes are stated clearly on the labelling.



Incorrect: Business has included wild fish and farmed fish on the same certificate.

Correction: The business must provide SEPARATE certificates for wild and farmed fish.



Incorrect: Business has made mistakes on paperwork and used strikethroughs.

Correction: Avoid strikethroughs, take more time to complete paperwork as needed.



Incorrect: Business has an absence from the approved production area for bivalve molluscs (with exceptions).

Correction: Avoid this absence from the approved area for bivalve molluscs.



Incorrect: Business has included the unique reference number of the health certificate on several certificates.

Correct: Ensure you’re using the correct reference number for other documents; you cannot include the EHC reference number.



Incorrect: Business has not attached the annex to the EHC (Unique reference number, stamp, signature, date, pagination).

Correct: Include the correctly completed annex to the certificate.


Further Guidance

Using Scotland's export hubs: Information for fish exporters

Transit Declarations: Common mistakes

What are the main changes to food and drink labelling after Brexit?