What is externat health?

You should know that any import operation containing goods of animal or non-animal origin destined for human consumption is required to pass the Foreign Health Service examination.

Likewise, the Foreign Health Service will check goods of animal origin destined for the pharmaceutical sector.

This is therefore a Border Inspection Service (BIS) process at Customs.

The activities of the Foreign Health Service are subject to the approval of the Ministry of Health, as it is responsible for matters relating to the sanitation and cleanliness of goods intended for human use and consumption.

The Foreign Health Service reports to the General Directorate of Public Health, Quality and Innovation, which is responsible for functions related to health, disease prevention and international health.

For its part, the General Directorate of Public Health, Quality, and Innovation of the General Secretariat of Health of the Ministry is responsible for epidemiological data, health promotion and disease prevention, international health, occupational health, environmental health, and hygienic-sanitary requirements for products for human use and consumption.

All the Government Delegations in the Autonomous Communities of Spain have Functional Health Areas that oversee carrying out Foreign Health inspections.


Which goods are responsible for inspecting foreign health?

As indicated above, external health monitors and documents the sanitary and hygienic conditions in the international trade of products of animal and non-animal origin intended for human consumption, as well as other raw materials of animal origin, including by-products, intended for the pharmaceutical industry.

Therefore, before imported products are shipped, external health must conduct an examination to verify that they meet all applicable sanitary and hygienic requirements prior to their entry into Spanish territory.

External health inspects products of animal origin destined for human consumption, products of non-animal origin destined for human consumption and products of animal origin destined for the pharmaceutical sector.

In this way, Sanidad Exterior will exercise control over products of any provenance and origin from third countries that are intended for human consumption within the territory of the European Union.

These are the products:

  • Products of Animal Origin (POA) for Human Consumption (POACH).
  • Products of non-animal origin (PONA) intended for human consumption (PONACH).
  • Products of Animal Origin Destined for Non-Human Consumption for the Pharmaceutical Industry (POANCH).

The list of goods subject to sanitary or veterinary border controls can be consulted  here.

On the other hand, importers wishing to introduce goods for human consumption must register in the General Sanitary Register of Food and Food Companies of the Spanish Agency for Food Safety and Nutrition.


Where are international sanitary controls carried out?

Generally, goods imported from a foreign country enter Spain by sea or air through ports and airports.

For this reason, these infrastructures are prepared to carry out Foreign Health customs controls.

In Spain, the ports, and airports with the greatest traffic of goods have the so-called Border Inspection Posts (BIP).

Accordingly, BIPs are facilities authorized by the European Union for the documentation and physical examination of all goods subject to Foreign Health inspection.

For example, the most significant BIPs are located at the airports of Madrid-Barajas and Barcelona-El Prat, as well as in the BIP regions of the Ports of Barcelona, Algeciras, Valencia, and Bilbao.


Do we handle your health insurance application abroad?

At Connecta we are specialists in customs processes, and we can help you with all the necessary procedures for the importation of goods for human consumption, whether you are a company or an individual.

Consequently, whether you import animal or non-animal articles intended for human consumption, your goods must be examined at customs by Foreign Health.

You must inform and request the inspection of your products at Customs.

At Connecta we can take care of this, as we have access to the TRACES (Trade Control and Expert System) of the European Union.

Our team of experts can assist you in every step of the Foreign Health inspection procedure of your products.


Any doubt you may have or event that may occur, we will solve it for you, saving you time and money in the process.



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