International Regulations (IRegs) for Animal Product Exports

Last Modified: July 11, 2024

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), Veterinary Services (VS) has created the International Animal Product Export Regulations (IRegs) to provide exporters with our best understanding of importing countries requirements for certain animal-origin products.

Countries may change their import requirements without notice. In all cases, the exporter has the responsibility of having their importer confirm with the Ministry of Animal Health in the importing country the certification requirements prior to shipping. The exporter should obtain any required certificates prior to shipping. Most countries will not accept certificates issued after consignments have shipped. The availability of APHIS endorsement of certificates should not be assumed until after consultation with the pertinent VS Field Operations Veterinary Export Trade Services (aka VS Service Centers).  

Exporters are responsible for confirming prior to shipment that they have all certification required for the consignment.

The primary role of APHIS, VS in the certification of animal products for export is to provide certification about the animal health status of the region of origin of the product. If other certifications are required, APHIS, VS may not be the Agency authorized to provide the required export certificate.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding the procedures and requirements for exporting animals, animal products, or to obtain a zoosanitary certificate for an animal product, you should contact the VS Field Operations Veterinary Export Trade Services (aka VS Service Centers) covering the area from which the product will be exported, the area in which your office is located, or the area in which the product is manufactured. If you have a shipment on hold in a foreign country, please contact the Veterinary Services service center that issued your certificate.

* If you have a shipment of animal products or by-products that has been exported from the United States and you intend to return the shipment to the United States, please use our VS Permitting Assistant.

Exporters are advised that the forms linked below are to be submitted to the endorsing office electronically by email after preparation consistent with the Special instructions for exporters regarding the preparation of the new VS forms. Exporters should contact the endorsing office officials regarding the correct email address to use and the proper formatting of emails so that the process flows well. If submission by email is not possible, exporters should contact endorsing office officials to discuss alternatives. Prior to endorsement, APHIS prints the forms on special VS Security Paper. Only the below JUL 2022 versions of the VS Form 16-4 and VS Form 16-4A may be used.

*This version of the VS Form 16-4 also contains the following statement as the initial content of the "ADDITIONAL DECLARATIONS" area: "This is to certify that rinderpest, foot-and-mouth-disease, classical swine fever, swine vesicular disease, African swine fever, and contagious bovine pleuropneumonia do not exist in the United States of America."

Prior to using these forms, users should ensure Adobe Reader Version 9.0 (or above) is installed on their computer. Version 9.0 (or above) is necessary to ensure that the forms open and function optimally. Any Adobe software (Reader, Standard, or Professional) may be utilized as long as it is version 9.0 or above.

Dairy Products

The USDA, Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are the agencies primarily responsible for the certification of dairy products exported for human consumption. (APHIS, VS may provide certification in certain circumstances.) AMS can be contacted at:

  • Dairy Standardization
    Agricultural Marketing Service
    U.S. Department of Agriculture
    P.O. Box 96456
    Washington, DC 20009
    Phone: 202-720-3171
    Fax: 202-720-2643

Meat and meat products; processed egg products bearing the FSIS mark of inspection

The USDA, Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is responsible for export certification of meat and some meat products, as well as many processed egg products (such as pasteurized eggs), for human consumption.

Aquaculture and fish products

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), U.S. Department of Commerce, certifies fishmeal, fish oil, and certain other seafood products intended for human consumption. Contact information for NOAA is below. Exporters should send general questions not addressed on the following websites to:

  • NOAA Seafood Certification Program
    U.S. Department of Commerce/NOAA Fisheries
    1315 East West Highway
    Silver Spring, MD 20910
    Phone 301-427-8300 or Toll Free 800-422-2750
    NOAA Seafood Commerce and Trade
    NOAA Inspection Offices
  • NOAA Fish Meal Program
    Fish Meal Program Manager
    National Marine Fisheries Service
    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
    P.O. Drawer 1207
    Pascagoaula, MS 39567
    Phone: 228-762-7402 ext. 312
    Fax: 228-762-9200

Table eggs and other egg products not bearing the FSIS mark of inspection

The USDA, AMS is the Agency that endorses export certificates for table eggs and certain other egg products (for human consumption).

Honey and other Products of Apiculture for Human Consumption

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) are responsible for the certification of honey and other products of apiculture for human consumption. For more information, please contact:

  • Charlotte Liang, Ph.D.
    Office of Food Safety
    Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition
    U. S. Food and Drug Administration
  • Specialty Crops Program
    Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS)
    Marketing and Regulatory Programs
    United States Department of Agriculture

Plant and Plant Products

The APHIS Plant Protection and Quarantine (PPQ) is the Agency responsible for certification of certain plant products. For more information, please visit the Plant and Plant Product Exports section of the website.

Locate your local PPQ Plant Export Specialist

CITES Documentation

The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service is the Agency responsible for providing CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) certification. If CITES documentation is required, exporters should contact the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.

Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for bulk gelatin and collagen shipments

In many cases, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is the appropriate authority for the certification of shipments of gelatin and collagen. The pertinent FDA office for certification of gelatin and collagen intended for human consumption may be reached at:

Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for other commodities

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) also provides certification of certain other products not listed above.

Questions regarding certification by the FDA of commodities (intended for human consumption) not listed above may be directed to:

Questions for FDA regarding the export of “veterinary products” (as defined by FDA- not including veterinary biological products licensed by the APHIS Center for Veterinary Biologics) may be directed to:

Questions for FDA regarding commodities (intended for animal consumption and not listed above) may be directed to:

Additional information regarding FDA programs associated with the export of commodities intended for animal consumption may be available at:

Veterinary Biologicals

The APHIS Center for Veterinary Biologics (CVB) is the agency responsible for export certification for veterinary biological products.  For more information, see Exports: Veterinary Biologics Products. CVB may also be contacted regarding these exports via:

IRegs for Animal Product Exports

For countries not listed, the requirements are not known. However, exporters wanting to ship animal products should have the interested party (importer/buyer) in the destination country contact the appropriate ministry for the specific requirements.