Anyone wishing to import or export raw hides or skins will need to obtain a valid veterinary certificate. These should be provided by the veterinary authorities in the country of export.
Therefore, for import into the UK from outside EU a certificate is required that conforms to the format set out in Commission Regulation (EC) No 668/2004 of 10 March 2004 – pages 40-45.
The import of raw hides from outside of the EU is dealt with in paragraph 9 of the Importer Information Notes – Treated hides and skins of Ungulates, which requires prenotification of animal products in accordance with the Trade in Animals and Related Products Regulations, 2011. Section 2 (1) of these Regulations defines an animal product as any product listed in Annex 1 of the Commission Decision of 17 April 2007 concerning lists of animals and products to be subject to controls at border inspection posts under Council Directives 91/496/EEC and 97/78/EC (2007/275/EC). Within this Annex, Chapter 41 – Raw hides and skin (other than furskins) and leather, states ‘Veterinary checks only apply to fresh, chilled or treated hides: Includes hides dried, dry salted, wet salted, or preserved by a process other than by tanning’.
Wet blue hides have been preserved by tanning and, as such, are excluded from Annex 1 of 2007/275/EC and therefore do not meet the definition of animal product for the Trade in Animals and Related Products Regulations, 2011, Consequently, they would be excluded from the requirements of that regulation and would not require a veterinary certificate to be imported into the UK. As such, only section A of the Importer Information Notes would apply:
A. Treated hides and skins which have undergone certain treatments
As stated in Annex XIV, Chapter II, Section 4 point 2 of Regulation (EU) No 142/2011 and Annex XIII, Chapter V, point C.2 of Regulation (EU) No 142/2011, treated hides and skins of ungulates which have undergone the following treatments may be imported without any restrictions:
i. hides and skins having undergone the complete process of tanning;
ii. “wet blue”
For exports of raw hides and skins from UK veterinary certificates need to be agreed on a country by country basis. Some countries require certificates for the export of leather – import conditions can only be ascertained for certain from the authorities of the importing country. DEFRA has a list of all the export certificates that have been agreed to date.