Government encourages food exporters to get ready for animal health regulations

Importers and exporters of animals and animal products are being urged to prepare for Brexit on 31 October, as these will be subject to new requirements if the UK leaves the EU without a deal.
calendar icon 23 September 2019
clock icon 5 minute read

This would include foodstuffs ranging from cuts of meat to cheese, as well as fish and fishery products.

The rules would also apply to the import and export of live animals and other consignments such as germplasm and animal by-products.

Guidance, published on GOV.UK, sets out the steps businesses will need to take to import or export these goods, and the government is communicating directly with these businesses and individuals to help make sure they are Brexit ready.

Minister of State for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, George Eustice, said:

“While the Government is seeking a deal with energy and determination, we have stepped up our preparations and we will be fully ready to leave the EU on 31 October, whatever the circumstances.

“If you or your business import or export animals or animal products such as meat eggs or dairy, we want to help make sure you are ready for Brexit. Our guidance is designed to clearly set out the steps you need to take to ensure you are ready to trade after we leave the EU.”

For exports:

Guidance for exporters can be found here.

If the UK is granted listed status for third country exports of animals and animal products, food exporters, in addition to meeting customs requirements, will need to ensure:

  • All consignments are accompanied by Export Health Certificate (EHC) signed by a certifier such as an Official Veterinarian or a Local Authority Environmental Health Officer. EHCs can be downloaded here
  • All consignments travel via a Border Inspection Post (BIP). A list of current BIPs is found here.
  • All consignments comply with food labelling requirements which are detailed here
  • Additional paperwork is required for exporters of fishery products to ensure fish has been caught legally. Further guidance for fish exporters can be found at here

End to end journey maps, available to read here, clearly set out the all the steps exporters will need to take.

The Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) has, today, also issued technical guidance to local government Certifying Officers for a new risk based approach for EHC inspections for fish. This will help reduce the amount of time involved per EHC application for fish exports.

For imports:

While imports of animals and animal products can continue after Brexit, the way that notifications are raised is also changing. Businesses importing certain goods from outside the EU will need to use a new system called IPAFFS to notify authorities of their imports.

This will be instead of the EU’s TRACES system currently used by businesses. 977 registered users have already signed up for IPAFFS which have undergone a series of improvements during 2019. Users are encouraged to register for IPAFFS from the 30th September, when guidance and user support will be available.

The UK has asked the EU for continued access to TRACES for imports from the EU for a limited time, but importers would still need to notify APHA. However, should that not be granted, businesses importing these consignments from the EU will need to notify authorities using a different process. Details on the import process are available here on GOV.UK.

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