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SPF Eggs

  1. Specified Pathogen-Free (SPF) eggs are defined in Commission Regulation 798/2008 as ‘hatching eggs, which are derived from ‘chicken flocks free from specified pathogens,’ as described in the European Pharmacopeia, and which are intended solely for  diagnostic, research or pharmaceutical use.
  1. SPF eggs are not fit for human consumption.

1. SPF eggs must be produced in accordance with the valid European Pharmacopoeia, in which the requirements are defined. These particular characteristics should prevent the introduction of avian influenza, Newcastle disease and other relevant poultry diseases into the Community.

2. Member States wishing to import SPF eggs from countries which are not considered as free from Newcastle disease and avian influenza can only do so if that country can offer satisfactory animal health guarantees for this specific product.

3. The approved third country list for imports for SPF eggs can be found in Commission Regulation 798/2008.

4. SPF eggs shall be marked with a stamp bearing the ISO code of the third country of origin and the approval number of the establishment of origin.

5. Each package of specified pathogen-free eggs must only contain eggs from the same third country of origin, establishment and consignor, and must bear at least the following particulars:

  • The stamp bearing the ISO code of the third country of origin and the approval number of the establishment of origin.
  • A clearly visible and legible indication that the consignment contains specified pathogen-free eggs.
  • The consignor’s name or business name and address.

6. SPF eggs imported into the Community must be transported directly to their final destination after import controls have been completed satisfactorily.

7. SPF eggs may only be used in facilities where they have to be destroyed or otherwise treated after use in such a way that any risk of spread of disease is prevented.

  1. Consignments of SPF eggs imported from third countries must be accompanied by the relevant health certificate, which conforms to the model laid down in Commission Regulation (EC) No 798/2008 and which is signed by an official veterinarian or inspector of the veterinary authority in the country of origin.

  2. The certifying veterinarian should ensure that only the relevant paragraphs and, where appropriate, additional guarantees and/or special conditions applicable to the exporting country are included.

1. Consignments of SPF eggs entering the EU must be inspected at an EU-approved Border Control Post (BCP) where Member States' official veterinarians ensure they fulfil all the requirements provided for in EU legislation.

2. The operator responsible for the consignment must give the BCP at the intended point of entry advance notification of the arrival of the consignment.

3. There is a required minimum pre-notification notice period of at least 24 hours’ notice in advance of the consignment’s arrival.

4. Failure to submit correct documentation within this timeline may result in significant delays in the consignment being processed through the Border Control Post.

5. Pre-notification is given by the submission of Part 1 of the Common Health Entry Document (CHED-P), as is laid down in Commission Implementing Regulation (EC) No. 2019/1715, through the online TRACES NT system.

6. Other supporting documentation associated with the consignment should be submitted at this time as well - such as the health certificate, invoice, packing list, bill etc.


1. Providing all the documentation has been submitted correctly and within the correct timeframes, a large proportion of the documentary check can be commenced in advance of the consignment’s arrival. This includes examination of the veterinary certificate and other documents accompanying a consignment.

a. Please note the original hard copy of the health certificate must travel with the consignment, this will be checked and held at the BCP at the point of entry into the EU.

2. Provided all is in order with the documentary check, the consignment will then be subject to an identity check at the BCP to ensure it identifies with the consignment that was declared in the documentation.

3. A proportion of consignments will be selected for a full physical inspection with/without sampling as appropriate.

4. Upon satisfactory completion of the required checks, the decision is entered in Part 2 of the CHED which must accompany the consignment to the first place of destination referred to in the

5. If the consignment does not meet the import requirements, the consignment may be rejected and either re-exported or destroyed.