Export Health Certificates (NI Brexit)

Exit day is 31st October (this date is set out in a statutory instrument)

An Export Health Certificate (EHC) is an official document that confirms a food or animal export meets the health and quality requirements of the importing country.

The EHC has to be signed by a vet or other qualified person in the exporting country after they have inspected the goods.

Food products being imported into the EU from a non-member state require EHCs.

They’re signed by vets to assure the importing country that produce is safe and without them trade can’t happen.

Around 18,000 of them a year are currently produced in Northern Ireland mostly to cover the trade in live animals to Britain.

This Blog does not cover animal or food trade, but many have asked me questions on this matter, and so here is my Blog post.

Various persons raise the issue of scarcity of vets and EHC costs, in Northern Ireland. It is possible the UK could cut a deal that would see it follow the EU’s rules for a period after Brexit, allowing trade to continue while a permanent arrangement was worked out. But this would not get around the need for a huge number of trade certificates, in any event.

DAERA (the relevant NI agency) says it is recruiting new staff and retraining existing ones to cope with the new trading arrangements.

“While we anticipate that current trade will adjust, it is difficult to gauge demand for certification as businesses may not make decisions until post Brexit. We are currently assessing the resources available and how we will prioritise based on the potential scale of the demands.”

It is encouraging businesses to sign up to advice workshops it’s beginning to run from next week.

Food Safety (Ireland Brexit)

Exit day is 31st October

(a separate post will notify if/when this date changes, and it is unlikely a future exit day will be later than 31st January 2020)

The Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) has a Brexit section online (last reviewed 6th August 2019) that presents relevant information for persons who trade with the UK (this includes Northern Ireland) as part of a food business.

There is a huge amount of information on this online site.

A Q&A document consolidates much of it – here (dated 2 April 2019)

A key component is the Border Inspection Posts (BIPs). As the reader is aware, there is an International Land Border between Ireland and Northern Ireland (a part of the UK). This is known as the Irish Border.

The Irish Government is working with the EU to establish additional BIPs to serve trade across the Irish Border. The location of these additional BIPs is not yet announced, other than statements made by the Irish Government that they will be located away from the actual Irish Border physical position.

The BIPs at Dublin and Shannon (page 9 of the Q&A) are already set up.

National Food Strategy – call for evidence (UK England)

Exit day is 31st October.

Today HMG announced a call for evidence to help build a new National Food Strategy for England. Closing date is 25th October 2019.

On 27 June, Defra’s Secretary of State commissioned Henry Dimbleby to conduct an independent review to help HMG create a new National Food Strategy for England (the last one dates 75 years ago).

The purpose of the review is to address the environmental and health problems caused by the food system, to ensure the security of food supply, and to maximise the benefits of emerging agricultural technology.

The terms of reference for the Review is here.

A separate National Food Strategy onsite site has been created and this is the page on that site about the engagement – here.

The online address of the National Food Strategy site is here.

The Review will be published Summer 2020.

The Call for Evidence Closing Date is 25th October 2019 and see the Programme of Engagement on the National Food Strategy site here.

HMG stated it will publish a summary of responses 12 weeks after the consultation closes.

The Call for Evidence is accessed here (and from the National Food Strategy site).

This is a wide ranging exercise, covering obesity, food security, land management, fishing, animal welfare.

The National Food Strategy will examine activity across several departments of state, and build on the Brexit Agriculture and Fisheries Bills, the Industrial Strategy, the Childhood Obesity Plan and the proposed Environment Bill.

Statement about the UK Political Situation (this Blog does not post about Politics, this Statement is now added to Posts where the political situation could alter the content, timing or otherwise affect, the Post itself).

(1) HMG has a majority of one.

(2) Steps are being discussed by Opposition Parties and some backbenchers to prevent a No Deal, in September.

Instructions to Local Governments (UK Brexit)

Exit day is 31st October 2019.

HMG issued today a compilation of Instructions applicable to Local Authorities.

Here.

Local authorities have relevant (to this Blog) functions, and the Instructions sign post to other Instructions issued –

* UK Product Safety and Metrology Guidance in a ‘no deal’ scenario – here (dated 25th March – a Blog post exists already about this)

* Food labelling changes if there’s a no-deal Brexit – here (dated 25th February)

* Health marks on meat, fish and dairy products here (accessed from online compilation dated 7th August – focus on the No Deal instructions)

* Importing high-risk food and animal feedhere (dated 10th April)

* Exporting GM food and animal feed products if there’s no Brexit Deal – here (dated 11th April)

* Importing, exporting and transporting products or goods after Brexithere (dated 22nd February)

* Find a professional to certify export health certificateshere (dated 11th June)

* Importing and exporting waste if there’s no Brexit dealhere (dated 3rd June)

[The UK government has secured an agreement that all UK consents for shipments of notifiable waste that go beyond 31 October 2019 will be rolled over.]

List of Brexit Law applicable to local authorities – here.

Some of these are listed in Cardinal Brexit Law List and are in the midst of being processed into the base law.

GM Food & Animal Feed Products Export (UK Exit)

The Exit day is 31st October 2019 (the UK Statutory Instrument is now laid)

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has updated its Notice aimed specifically at UK businesses:

* holding or seeking authorisations for genetically modified (GM) food or feed

* holding or seeking authorisations for animal feed additives

* exporting animal feed products to the EU

* that have applications to update the list of feed for particular nutritional purposes (PARNUTS) pending at the time of EU exit

* that represent companies that are based in non-EU countries which rely on UK representation for EU trade

Rules from 31 October 2019

Businesses within the scope of this notice will need to be established in the EU or EEA, or have a representative that is established in the EU or EEA if they wish to trade in the EU. The EEA includes Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.

The role of the representative is to provide assurance that the non-EU establishment complies with EU legislation.

The Notice sets out what businesses need to do – here.

Information requests and questions may be emailed to the Food Standards Agency: euexit@food.gov.uk.

[the Exit day may change, in addition the Withdrawal Agreement may be ratified, please keep following this Blog]

Animals and Animal Products Update (UK Brexit)

The Exit day is 12th April (day after tomorrow) – the Exit time is 12.00 (midnight) CET

(1) The EU has now listed the UK as a ‘third country’. This means the EU has accepted that the UK meets the health requirements for trade with the EU. It ensures that exports of animals and animal products can continue from the UK to the EU if the UK leaves the EU without a deal. This is following a meeting yesterday.

(2) The European Commission has confirmed that the current list of UK animal byproduct-registered or approved premises will be accepted. These premises will continue to be listed with the EU for the purpose of exporting animal byproducts to the EU.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) is preparing to confirm the list of these establishments with the EU.

(3) Defra is preparing to submit a list of establishments that want to export commodities other than animal byproducts to the EU.

Establishments can provide information and ask to be listed by emailing eulistings@food.gov.uk.

(4) The government will seek to bring into force UK-third country agreements from Exit day, or as soon as possible afterwards. But few are currently in force.

These new agreements will replicate existing EU agreements as far as possible. Where replacement trade agreements are not agreed, trade would take place on World Trade Organisation (WTO) terms with that country. Details of each agreement will be shared with parliament and the public when they have been agreed.

(5) At the moment there is no Border Inspection Post (BIP) in Calais. BIPs are under construction that had the intention of the French authorities to be operational by the end of March.

(6) UK access to TRACES after Exit day is not confirmed.

[the Exit day may change, please continue to follow this Blog]

Products, Animals, Food & Feed Imports (UK Brexit)

Registration is now open for the UK’s new Import of Products, Animals, Food & Feed System (IPAFFS). In a no-deal, Brexit importers from non-EU countries must use IPAFFS from Day 1.

The (already issued no-deal) Guidance and Instructions were updated today (18th March 2019) – here.

Checklist for animals, animal products, high-risk food and feed to the UK (see the guidance)

• make sure you know the import notification process for importing from non-EU and EU countries

• speak to your exporters from non-EU and EU countries to make sure they’re aware of the changes

• for live animals and germplasm coming from the EU, notify the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) or the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) in Northern Ireland; if they’re coming from outside the EU, notify the UK border inspection post (BIP) that your consignment is arriving at least 24 hours in advance

• for POAO and ABP from the EU that travel on official documentation (an Intra Trade Animal Health Certificate (ITAHC) or commercial documents like DOCOMs), notify APHA at least 24 hours before arrival

• for germplasm, products of animal origin (POAO) and animal by-products (ABP) subject to vet checks, notify the UK BIP (for non-EU trade) that your consignment is arriving in advance

• import non-EU high-risk food or feed of non-animal origin into the UK through a designated point of entry (DPE)

Summary

If the UK leaves the EU without a deal on 29 March, there will no longer be access to the EU’s import system TRACES (Trade Control and Expert System) for importing into the UK.

To ensure imports of live animals, products of animal origin, animal by-products, germplasm and high-risk food and feed not of animal origin can continue after exit, the UK is launching a new system called the Import of products, animals, food and feed system (IPAFFS).

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) is releasing IPAFFS in phases.

From 29 March, you can use IPAFFS if you’re importing live animals, animal products and high-risk food and feed not of animal origin from non-EU countries.

You can register for IPAFFS now, and create notifications for consignments arriving after 29 March.