Importers and enforcement activity complaints

The relationship between enforcers and importers is generally good and both work together to ensure that the consumer is protected. However, sometimes enforcement activity can cause concern to individuals and commercial enterprises.

The following information is provided for individuals and commercial food and feed importers. It provides advice on redress options that are available when there are concerns relating to enforcement of imported food and feed controls at points of entry (seaports, airports, and international rail links).

The advice concerns options available to businesses or individuals who are importing food and feed from outside the European Union (EU) into the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (UK) and are not content with actions taken or service provided by local authority enforcement officers at points of entry.

Animal Health advice

If you wish to find advice on redress relating to products of animal origin imported from outside the EU that are not food, e.g. hunting trophies, then please contact your local Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) office. APHA is an executive agency of the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra). Contact details can be found on APHA website.


HM Revenue and Customs advice

Local authorities (including specialist local authorities called Port Health Authorities), normally carry out imported food and feed control services. However controls on illegal imports of animal products and documentary checks for feedingstuffs imports are the responsibility of HM Revenue and Customs. If you wish to discuss concerns relating to smuggling of animal products, have had food or feed seized by Customs Officers or wish to make a complaint about Customs then please seek advice from the Customs national helpline:

Tel: 0845 010 9000

Remember, when importing food or feed from outside the EU into the UK you are responsible for ensuring that the import is legal and that all correct paperwork is provided to the relevant Authority/enforcement bodies. You should also be prepared to provide further information and documentation on request to an enforcement officer.

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