UK updates to the TCA (Britain)

A little while ago, the Government announced (unilateral) new dates for the grace periods applying to GB goods movement to Northern Ireland under the IRl/NI Protocol. The Brexit Guidance was then updated.

The Government has now announced (unilateral) new dates for the grace periods applying to EU imports into Britain under the TCA (the UK-EU FTA). The Brexit Guidance will be updated.

We are announcing today a clear revised timetable for the introduction of controls, as follows:

• Pre-notification requirements for Products of Animal Origin (POAO), certain animal by-products (ABP), and High Risk Food Not Of Animal Origin (HRFNAO) will not be required until 1 October 2021. Export Health Certificate requirements for POAO and certain ABP will come into force on the same date.

• Customs import declarations will still be required, but the option to use the deferred declaration scheme, including submitting supplementary declarations up to six months after the goods have been imported, has been extended to 1 January 2022.

• Safety and Security Declarations for imports will not be required until 1 January 2022.

• Physical SPS checks for POAO, certain ABP, and HRFNAO will not be required until 1 January 2022. At that point they will take place at Border Control Posts.

• Physical SPS checks on high risk plants will take place at Border Control Posts, rather than at the place of destination as now, from 1 January 2022.

• Pre-notification requirements and documentary checks, including phytosanitary certificates will be required for low risk plants and plant products, and will be introduced from 1 January 2022.

• From March 2022, checks at Border Control Posts will take place on live animals and low risk plants and plant products.

Traders moving controlled goods into Great Britain will continue to be ineligible for the deferred customs declaration approach. They will therefore be required to complete a full customs declaration when the goods enter Great Britain.

Controls and checks on Sanitary and Phytosanitary goods are of course a devolved matter and we continue to work closely with the Devolved Administrations on their implementation, in particular with the Welsh Government on their timetable for completing supporting Border Control Post infrastructure in Wales.

The written statement is here.

GB goods movement to the EU is unaffected, i.e. the TCA applies in full.

Plants and Plant Products (UK from 1st Jan 2021)

‘Plant’ means a living plant (including a fungus or tree) or a living part of a plant (including a living part of a fungus or shrub), at any stage of growth.

‘Plant product’ means products of plant origin, unprocessed or having undergone simple preparation, in so far as these are not plants, including wood and bark.

Instructions are issued by DEFRA and APHA for Great Britain (England, Wales and Scotland) – here.

We await the instructions for Northern Ireland.

Importing plants and plant products from the EU from 1 January 2021

High-priority plants and plant products from the EU must have:

• a phytosanitary certificate (PC)

• a pre-notification submitted by the importer in England, Scotland or Wales

• documentary and identity checks

• a physical inspection

The importer will pay for these services.

High-priority plants and plant products from the EU that will need a PC from 1 January 2021 include:

• all plants for planting

• ware potatoes

• some seed and timber

• used agricultural or forestry machinery

The importer must pre-notify for imports of solid fuel wood that aren’t regulated. A PC is not required for these imports.

Importing plants and plant products from 1 April 2021

The importer must use the Import of products, animals, food and feed system (IPAFFS) to notify the Animal Plant Health Agency (APHA) or the Forestry Commission that regulated plants and plant products will be imported.

All regulated plants and plant products imported to England, Scotland or Wales from the EU must have phytosanitary certificates (PCs).

APHA will inspect the PCs in England and Wales. The Scottish Government will inspect PCs in Scotland.

Regulated plants and plant products include:

• all plants for planting

• root and tubercle vegetables

• some common fruits other than fruit preserves by deep freezing

• some cut flowers

• some seeds and grains

• leafy vegetables other than vegetables preserved by deep freezing

• potatoes from some countries

• machinery or vehicles which have been operated for agricultural or forestry purposes

Importing plants and plant products from 1 July 2021

Regulated plants and plant products will have extra documentary checks and physical inspections.

The importer must use IPAFFS to notify APHA or the Forestry Commission of the import of regulated plants and plant products.

Movement of wood packaging material

Wood packaging material (WPM) moving between the UK and the rest of the EU can currently move freely without checks or controls.

WPM includes:

• pallets

• crates

• boxes

• cable drums

• spools

• dunnage

From 1 January 2021 all WPM moving between the UK and the EU must meet ISPM15 international standards by undergoing heat treatment and marking. All WPM may be subject to official checks either upon or after entry to the EU.

Checks on WPM will continue to be carried out in the UK on a risk-targeted basis only. The plant health risk from WPM imported from the EU is not expected to change from 1 January 2021.

The above is not a full list, please read the entire webpage with its links – here.

Plant Passports & Pest-Free Areas (UK Brexit)

DEFRA issued guidance on this matter in December 2018, and updated it in March 2019. Here

Exit day is 12th April 2019.

After the UK leaves the EU, any plants and plant products currently managed under the EU plant passport scheme will be subject to UK import controls and become ‘regulated commodities’. This will replace the EU plant passport’s assurance and traceability, and maintain biosecurity in the UK.

Importers must :

• register as an importer using the Procedure for Electronic Application for Certificates from the Horticultural Marketing Inspectorate (PEACH) website for regulated plants and plant products entering the UK via England and Wales

• make sure a regulated consignment enters the UK with a phytosanitary certificate (PC) issued in the country of export (or re-export)

• provide pre-arrival notification using the PEACH website – uploaded scanned copies of the PC and other relevant documents (for example bill of lading, cargo movement request, or delivery company invoice) are required to the PEACH website

• supply the original copy of the PC by post within 3 days of the consignment arriving in the UK

• if entering goods directly into Scotland or Northern Ireland, refer to the relevant plant health authority for further information.

Regulated plants and plant products originating in the EU will not be stopped at the border.

The relevant UK plant health authority will carry out their documentary and identity checks remotely. This will be a virtual check using the documents submitted as part of the pre-notification and will not require the goods to stop inland. These checks will be charged for by the plant health authority. Companies will also be charged for any Forestry Commission checks.

Plant health inspectors will continue to carry out follow-up surveillance and inspections inland in line with current policies. The government does not charge for such inspections.

Importing goods from third countries via the EU (such as The Netherlands)

After 12th April, the EU is no longer be obliged to carry out plant health checks on regulated third- country goods going to the UK.

Plants and plant products that come from third countries via the EU without plant health checks by an EU member state, will be treated as third-country imports.

Many plants and plant products entering the UK via the EU arrive at fast-moving roll-on roll-off (RoRo) ports where checks at the border would create significant disruptions to traffic. All third-country plant health regulated material arriving in the UK via RoRo ports requiring checks will have to go to a plant health approved facility for inspection.

These facilities include:

• Place of First Arrival (PoFA) – trade premises that have been authorised to host plant health controls on third country material entering the UK via the EU at RoRo ports

• other facilities that have been authorised for Plant Health control (‘alternative inspection posts’)

Importers must ensure that plant health checks are carried out on third-country material entering the UK via the EU by doing one of the following:

• registering a place of first arrival (PoFA)

• using a non-RoRo point of entry where checks can take place at the border

• using an ‘alternative inspection post’.

Checks on third country plant health material will be charged for by the relevant plant health authority.

[the exit day may change, please keep following this Blog]