GLCC Statement on Veternary Health Certificates for Internationl Trade in Hides, Skins and Leather
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The GLCC believes animal product and byproduct export or import requirements promulgated by national governments, including hide, skin and leather health certificates, should be produced in accordance with the recommendations of the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) and supported by sound science. According to the OIE, hides and skins that have undergone a tanning process, including wet blue, wet white, crust and finished leather, do not require health certificates for export or import.
Veterinary health certificates are typically required to export some animal products and byproducts from one country to another. This usually includes animal hides and skins internationally traded for the production of leather (though not all).
Health certificates are used by the exporting country’s government to certify to the importing country’s government that the animal product or byproduct being traded does not likely contain transmissible animal diseases that may be detrimental to human or domestic livestock populations. The importing country’s government typically notifies the exporting country’s government of its animal health certifying requirements in advance of product shipments and publicly lists those requirements.
It is important to note that not all animal hides and skins used in leather production require health certificates in order to be traded internationally. Generally, raw or minimally processed animal hides or skins, such as fresh, salted or cured items, will require a certificate in order to be internationally traded, whereas hides and skins that have undergone tanning or further processing into leather will not. The threat of animal disease transmission via the hide or skin is significantly reduced or eliminated as the product is tanned or further processed into wet blue, wet white, crust or finished leather.
Animal health certificate trading requirements are promulgated by national governments in each individual country. General information related to transmissible animal diseases, health certificate recommendations, and mitigation efforts are available by consulting the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) at www.oie.int