Importing Composite Products

import and sell your composite products in the UK.

If you have an established business that aims to introduce products to UK customers, you need to be up to date with the latest import rules and requirements. 

Composite products are a special category with specific rules, restrictions, and exemptions. Let’s get right into all the steps you need to take if you want to position, import and sell your products in the UK. 

What Are Composite Foods? 

Composite foods are a mix of processed products from animal origin and plant products used as a main ingredient. This category includes products ranging from pork pies and chicken burritos to mayonnaise and milk chocolate. 

Examples of composite product are: 

  • Products that contain processed meat or a minimum of 50% milk, dairy, egg or fish products 
  • Products that contain 50% or more honey, gelatine or snails

Importing Composite Products Into the UK

Composite products imported from the EU to the UK must meet the following requirements

  • The meat, milk, dairy, egg or fish in your product must come from the EU country or business in that country approved to export to the UK
  • If your product contains 20% or more marine-caught fish or other fish products, you may need a catch certificate and processing statement or storage document
  • Products made with honey, gelatine or snails must come from an approved country and may need a health certificate from the EU exporter

Import Notifications 

From 1 January 2022 you must notify the authorities in the UK about your composite product import from an EU country, except for the Republic of Ireland. You must submit the notification in IPAFFS (Import of products, animals, food and feed system). 

The notification must include the information about the business you are importing from and whether it’s in the EU, Iceland, Norway, Switzerland, Lichtenstein, San Marino, Faroes, or Greenland. 

Documents Required From 1 November 2022

Health certificate 

Most composite products imported from the EU to the UK, or transiting through the UK to the EU or a non-EU country, will need a health certificate from 1 November 2022. 

The EU exporter must include in the consignment the original health certificate from the competent authorities in their own country and give you an electronic copy for the IPAFFS. 

Commercial document 

You will need a commercial document instead of a health certificate if your composite product is exempt, or if the EU exporter says you need one. This document must also travel with the consignment.

The EU exporter completes the document, and it must include:  

  • details of what’s in the consignment
  • the name of the person who sent it
  • the name of the person it’s being sent to. 

Additional information that must be in the commercial document or product labelling is:

  • the nature, quantity and number of packages of the composite products
  • the country of origin
  • manufacturer details
  • list of ingredients. 

Border Control Posts

From 1 July 2022, you must import composite products from the EU into Great Britain through a border control post (BCP) unless your product is exempt.

You must notify the BCP about your consignment in advance and ensure that the BCP you are using is designated to check your shipment’s commodity.


Exempt products do not need a health certificate and they can enter the UK through any point of entry, not just through border control posts. 

Products fall into this category if they are: 

  • Heat treated (undergone complete cooking or heat treatment during manufacturing) 
  • Made without processed meat, meat extracts or powders
  • Made with less than 50% of any other processed product of animal origin
  • Labelled for human consumption 
  • Securely packaged or sealed in clean containers

Make Your Import Process Easier 

Starting a business in the UK market and handling the administration, logistics, marketing, and wholesale on your own can be difficult, especially with the post-Brexit changes. 

Instead of hiring various disjointed agencies, ITnnov offers a single point of contact for all export marketing operations for your business. For more information, feel free to contact us at


The UK market offers a huge potential for export. If you believe you have a composite product suitable for UK consumers, you can use the current situation as an opportunity to expand your business. 

Yet, entering a new market can involve a lot of work and risky investments. If you want to establish and maintain a position in the UK market, you need to keep track of all the changes in import and export regulations. 

If you want to read more about other useful topics, follow the ITnnov news section


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