If you’ve ever tried to export items of animal origin from the UK, you’ll be well aware of the potential complications that SIVEP can bring.

SIVEP (the Veterinary and Phytosanitary Border Inspection Office) is a stringent process where specific documentation is needed as part of all customs procedures. This is true for all imports and exports. These checks are applicable to any item of animal or plant origin, whether it’s healthy livestock or products that are derived from animals, such as whey protein, chocolate, meat, food items, or potentially even medical supplies. The checks require complete sanitary certifications as well as an approved sign-off from a veterinarian before any goods can continue their onward journey.

Until now, these checks have been on exports from the UK, with dedicated checkpoints available at the SIVEP Port in Calais to manage this process. But since October 2023, the SIVEP process has also been applicable for any European imports into the UK.

Here at Waller Transport Services, we excel in managing the SIVEP process from start to finish.

Our reputation for handling the process precedes us. Our attention to detail is why our vehicles are rarely kept waiting longer than two hours for the SIVEP documentation checks to take place.

If you’re worried about how to cope with the complexities of SIVEP certification checks, please book a call with one of our team.

But to help you get started, we’ve created a helpful guide to SIVEP to help you learn more about what it is and why it’s used for imports and exports.


What is the SIVEP process?

The SIVEP process is explicitly designed for products that have animal or plant origins. These may also be known as Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) products.

The SIVEP checks are a three-part process.

Firstly, customs agents will verify that you have the correct paperwork with your customs documentation for all imports and exports.

Once the documentation has been confirmed correct, customs agents will also verify any identification requirements. This may involve checking to ensure any batch numbers correspond to the information on the sanitary or phytosanitary certificate. If you are transporting live animals, these identification checks will need to make sure the animals hold the correct passport information.

You will then need to have a physical check, which is managed by a veterinarian. The vet may take any samples for analysis, assess the temperature of any live animals or conduct a visual examination of any goods you are transporting.

Once all of the checks are complete and customs agents are happy, drivers will be able to continue their onward journey.


What items need to have SIVEP checks?

You should expect to have to pass through SIVEP checks if you are importing or exporting any of the following.

  • Live animals
  • Animal products (meat, seafood, dairy items, chocolate, egg products, honey, whey protein powder…)
  • Animal products not intended for human consumption
  • Animal feed
  • Plants


What documentation will you need as part of the SIVEP controls?

The documentation you need may depend on whether you are transporting live animals or simply items deriving from animal or plant origins (such as meat, protein supplements, plants or medical supplies).

For all imports and exports, drivers will need to carry a mandatory Common Health Entry Document or CHED certificate. They may also need a Document Sanitaire Commun d’EntrĂ©e (DSCE), which is an EU Sanitary document.

You will also require an MRN barcode (Movement Reference Number) if you are travelling from the UK to France and onwards into mainland Europe. The shipper or a dedicated customs broker must complete these documents.

If you do not have the correct documentation during the SIVEP check, your driver will not be permitted to continue with the onward journey until the paperwork has been received.

It’s important to double check you have the right paperwork in place before embarking on your journey to avoid the risk of any lengthy delays.


How long does it take for the SIVEP checks to be completed?

There is no guaranteed time for the SIVEP checks, as there are many variables.

Your timescales may depend on how busy the port is, as well as the complexities of the goods you are carrying.

As the SIVEP controls include a physical examination from a veterinarian, it also depends on what physical checks they need to make.

The easiest way to streamline your SIVEP processes is to pre-check all documentation before your drivers leave. Here at Waller, we pre-check all paperwork, ensuring any SIVEP checks are as quick and seamless as possible. Thanks to our stringent pre-departure checks, our drivers are rarely kept waiting longer than two hours.


What happens if your paperwork isn’t correct?

The rules are extremely strict. If you have incorrect paperwork, your drivers will not be able to continue their onward journey.

These delays can be extremely costly. Not only will you have to cope with the financial implications for your wider supply chain, but you will also need to pay your driver for their time throughout the duration of the delay.

That’s why we conduct strict pre-departure paperwork checks to ensure everything is ready for the customs agents. It allows us to guarantee your drivers will have minimal delays and your goods can get to where they need to be on time and on budget.


How Waller can help simplify SIVEP imports and exports

We specialise in helping businesses manage their SIVEP imports and exports. While many logistics firms shy away from delivering animal or plant-related products because of the complexities of SIVEP, we embrace them.

We’ve refined our processes, both here in the UK at Dover and at the SIVEP Port in Calais, where we have excellent relationships with customs agents. Our attention to detail is why our drivers can sail through the SIVEP controls with minimal delays.

We know our pre-inspection checks have confirmed everything is in order and simply needs to be rubber-stamped by the customs officials. And with quicker SIVEP processing times, our clients can experience faster deliveries wherever their goods need to go.

Book a call with one of our SIVEP experts to discover how we can enhance your European imports and exports.