Import and Export of Embryos

Import and Export of Embryos

Fertility treatment and the storage of embryos and gametes in the United Kingdom is strictly regulated by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (“the HFEA”).  All fertility clinics in the UK are licensed by the HFEA and must comply with the HFEA’s regulations. 

People will often create and store embryos or gametes in the UK, but then wish to “export” them overseas if they wish to access fertility treatment or surrogacy overseas.  Equally people may have embryos stored overseas that they wish to “import” into the UK for the same purpose.  

The import and export of gametes and embryos is an area that is regulated by the HFEA.  

It is possible that the clinic where your gametes/embryos are stored may not have an import/export license from the HFEA. Where this is the case, you may have to transport the embryos to another clinic with such a license, or to use a company who specialises in the transport of embryos and gametes.

Whenever you are considering exporting or importing embryos or gametes, you will have to comply with the relevant laws and regulations of both countries involved.  

Occasionally it may be necessary to challenge decisions by the HFEA not to allow the export or import of embryos.  

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