Exporters: Join Groupage Exports Facilitation Scheme

03 November 2020

International trade

Suppliers and exporters are being encouraged to register for the Groupage Exports Facilitation Scheme (GEFS) if they export multiple products of animal origin from GB to the EU and/or Northern Ireland.

It is intended to facilitate certification of EU export health certification and provide Certifying Officers and competent authorities with a sufficient level of confidence.

If you are exporting products to the EU or Northern Ireland by groupage (multiple products in a single container), the GEFS is designed to help facilitate exporter requirements. It can only be used after the end of the transition period on 31 December 2020.

If this applies to your business, you are encouraged to register to be part of the scheme:

What is groupage?

Groupage can be described in a few ways. It can be either:

  • multiple products shipped in a single container
  • the same product but sourced from more than one source, shipped in one container
  • multiple products of the same commodity type grouped as a single consignment

What products can be exported?

The scheme aims to help the export of products of animal origin for human consumption. This includes composite products, processed meat products and meat preparations, processed milk, matured or processed dairy products and eggs or egg products, plus more.

To export these products after the end of the transition period, businesses need to meet specific product requirements. You will need an Export Health Certificate for each consignment when exporting, and product will need to be in a specific format. This is explained further in the scheme guidance, linked above.

Fresh meat, raw milk and products not for human consumption and live animals are not covered by the scheme.

How to join the scheme?

An application form must be submitted to Defra, which should take five days to process.

There are also requirements your supplier needs to meet before you can use the scheme to export product, such as an inspection with a registered vet which will include providing evidence showing health, traceability and processing records of your product.

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