Skip to content

Imports of animal products for research

Related Links

Contact information for Animal and Plant Health Agency.
if you've seen a term you don't understand, please check here for an explanation.

Guidance on the importation of animal derived materials for educational, research or museum purposes.

Guidance for imports for research

The purpose of this guidance is to help to advise stakeholders how and when to use General Licences and General Authorisations for the importation of animal derived materials for educational, research or museum purposes.  

The Research Licensing Regime allows organisations or individuals to import animal derived material for research, education or museum purposes.  The type of research can vary and may include:

  • a pharmaceutical company developing a drug
  • a food manufacturer doing quality testing
  • a university student carrying out research.  

The material can only be imported as a scientific specimen. At the end of the study it must be either destroyed or re-exported to a Third country.  

Material imported under this regime cannot be used for commercial purposes.  If you wish to import material to store and supply to a third party for them to carry out research, this must be done under commercial import rules.

Can I import my animal product under the Research Licensing Regime?


  • if your import is intended for educational, research or museum purposes
  • if the import will not come in contact with any ruminating animals, swine, poultry or horses
  • if on completion of the testing you can dispose of the residues of the material and the remainder of the packaging either by: incineration at an approved premises, autoclaving or re-exporting
  • if the products are not derived from animals known or suspected to be infected with a pathogen that causes a notifiable disease
  • if the products originate from animals in a premises or region or zone of a country that is NOT subject to official restrictions due to a notifiable disease to which the animals are susceptible according to European or other national animal health legislation.


  • if you intend to supply the import to a third party as a commercial transaction
  • if you wish to import live animals
  • if the product carries a specified animal pathogen
  • if you cannot meet the conditions on the licence/authorisation.