The new UK border controls for importing food from the EU came into force on 31st January, requiring full export health certification for most poao and phyto-sanitary certificates for some fruit and veg. Below is a summary of current UK Government activity and industry reaction. Overall, there hasn’t been significant disruption but there are still problems for EU suppliers trying to adapt to the new processes.

  1. Government Approach
  • Taking pragmatic approach to facilitate imports not disrupt
  • Using this period until 30/4 (when physical checks at the border begin) to monitor and feedback to importers on compliance with new certification
  • Feedback on compliance and common errors will be shared with industry shortly
  • Guidance is available online to help importers, also Animal Health offices can address queries (best approach email)
2   Industry Feedback
  • EU suppliers still getting to grips with new processes – some guidance issued very late
  • Continuing confusion over detailed completion of EHCs and registration on IPAFFS
  • Some concern over detailed list designating areas affected by animal disease in EU – this affects permission to export to UK
  • Support in MSs has been inconsistent. Some MSs requiring additional information for certification, not all animal health offices supportive, continuing pressure on vets
  • Big concern raised over need for 24 hour notice of certificates before exports
  • Concerns about re-exporting poao which was imported into the EU
3   Defra Reaction
  • Continuing to work with MSs to try and ‘educate’ what is required for UK imports
  • Recognise 24 hour notice is unworkable and plan solution (4 hours) ahead of April checks
  • Publishing new guidance on how to export RoW good previously imported into the EU to the UK including how to complete EHCs
4   BRC Action
  • We will continue to share information on issues and guidance as well as feedback on EU suppliers performance in meeting new certification requirements
  • We are due to meet Baroness Neville-Rolfe, Cabinet Office Minister overseeing border controls, on the 29th February, so if you have comments on the impact on your supply chain of the new controls please let me know