Mandatory Procedures for Domestic Honey Exported to the European Union

The European Union has listed the United States (U.S.) as a country eligible to export honey to the European Union provided honey producers meet their program requirements.  Under the program, domestic U.S. companies must adhere to specific requirements for each shipment destined to a European Union member country. In general, these requirements include:

A. USDA Plant Survey (pdf) at an acceptable level.

B. Honey producers must have a Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) Plan in place and pass a USDA HACCP Plan Verification Survey (pdf).

C. Honey producers must follow record keeping requirements and, at a minimum, maintain the following records for review:

  • Completed Producer Certification (updated at a minimum each crop year or for each contract). See attached example of contract certificate (pdf) and crop year certificate (pdf).
  • Dated weigh ticket for each lot/load delivered.
  • Crop year and floral variety description for each lot/drum/pail noted on each weigh ticket.

D. Honey producers must clearly identify each drum/pail of raw honey with the producers’ name, crop year, and floral variety receipt date.

E. Honey producers must retain files for three years beyond the crop year or contract year.

F. Honey producers and handlers must control and separate honey destined for the European Union from Honey being delivered elsewhere. As the Honey travels to the port of departure it must be kept separate from other Honey and tracked. See attached example of Batch Lot Control Form (pdf).

G. Honey producers must follow the sampling and testing protocol with respect to the frequency of testing and the compounds that must be monitored as follows:

Under the proposal accepted by the European Union, handlers must follow a certain testing and sampling protocol with respect to the frequency of testing and the compounds that must be monitored. Each sample drawn must be tested for the compounds listed below at one of the two certified labs.

Sampling Frequency

  • Raw Product/Bulk:  One sample* drawn from each 10 drums including at least one sample from each producer represented in the load.
  • Finished Goods:  One sample* per container load of finished goods including, at minimum, at least one sample from each producer or variety represented in the container load.  *Sample size: 250 grams or as specified by test laboratory used

Compound Testing Requirements**



Trade analysis
HMFAll Per Codex
MoistureStan 12-1981
DiastaseRev.1 (1987)
PhRev.2 (2001)

**Individual customers may require further testing

Each sample must be tested at one of two certified labs:

H. Honey must be certified by the USDA on a Health Certificate modeled after the EU Health Certificate. 

For More Information

Certification of Honey Exports and related inspection services are available on a fee basis from USDA’s Specialty Crops inspection Division.  For more information about Honey, please visit the National Honey Board’s web site.