European Union Health Certification Program

November 22, 2011
  • Effective January 1, 2012, the U.S. dairy industry must begin the transition to the farm level milk sampling program to verify somatic cell count (SCC) and standard plate count (SPC) compliance with EU regulations No. 853/2004 Annex III, Section IX, Chapter 1.III.
  • AMS, Dairy Grading Branch will continue to accept Certificates of Conformance based on milk sampled at the plant and processed prior to April 1, 2012.
  • After March 31, 2012, all shipments of dairy products requiring an EU health certificate must comply with the updated certification program and must be accompanied by an update Certificate of Conformance.
  • The program only applies to companies that are manufacturing products for export to the EU and the producers whose milk they are receiving. Dairy farmers, milk processors and other manufacturers that do not export or facilitate in marketing of products to the EU are not impacted by this change.
  • The program instructions provide for a level of flexibility (derogation) for farms that exceed EU SCC or SPC requirements, but work toward compliance to ensure that US dairy farmers are not negatively harmed.
  • All farms will be given three months to establish an initial rolling three-month means for SCC. Non- Grade A farms will be given two months to establish an initial rolling two-month means for SPC.
  • Only milk suppliers, dairy processors, and applicants for EU Health Certificates are responsible for maintaining records to trace their products back one step in the supply chain (toward the raw milk production) for all dairy products/ingredients intended for export to the EU.

If questions arise regarding this modified program, please contact Ken Vorgert at 630-437-5037; email or Carrie Sayasithsena at 202-720-3171; email

For more information about AMS, Dairy Programs, Export Certification Issues, please contact Diane Lewis, Director of Grading and Standards Division at 202-690-0530;