Defra publishes no deal guidance for importers and exporters

Defra has published new guidance to ensure the import and export trade in animals and animal products can continue in the event of a Brexit no deal.

The guidance is intended help to minimise disruption for users and allow the continued movement of goods, while helping to maintain our biosecurity, food safety and high standards of animal welfare.

In the event of a no-deal, to continue to export to the EU the UK will need to be listed by the EU as a third country. Negotiations are under way to secure this listing and Defra said it was confident it will be in place before we leave the EU.

In a no-deal exit the process for exporting and importing animals and animal products will change in the following ways:

  • Businesses exporting all animals, animal products and fish to the EU will now need to apply for an Export Health Certificate (EHC) before they export. This will make them the same as businesses who export these goods to the rest of the world who already have to apply for EHCs. They will also need to make sure their trade route passes through a Border Inspection Posts when entering Europe as well as being aware of wider customs requirements. The guidance and certificates are available for download from today ahead of use on exit day.
  • For those businesses importing to the UK, there will not be any new checks or requirements but importers will need to notify authorities using a new process. Businesses will need to use a new system called the Import of Products, Animals, Food and Feed System’ (IPAFFS). This will help to minimise disruption for users, allow the continued movement of goods and help to maintain our biosecurity and food safety.
  • Businesses importing animals and animal products from within the EU will need to use a separate interim system until the summer.

Food and Animal Welfare Minister David Rutley said: “Our top priority remains delivering a negotiated deal, but it is the job of a responsible Government to ensure we are prepared for all scenarios, including no deal.

“If you or your business export or import animals and animal products or imports high risk food and feed you will need to prepare for a number of changes in the event of a no-deal Brexit. Our new guidance pages on make clear what you need to do to be ready to continue to trade after we leave the EU.”

To summarise, those who export animals, animal products, fish, should:

  • Download EHC certificates;
  • Arrange inspections by an authorised signatory for the EHC, such as an Official Veterinarian (OV), in advance of exports;
  • Familiarise themselves with a new helpful tool to find authorised signatories in England, Scotland and Wales
  • Review the current list of EU Border Inspection Posts on GOV.UK to help plan their journeys.

Those who import animals, animal products, fish, food and feed should:

  • Read the guidance about how to import when the UK leaves the EU;
  • If importing high-risk food and feed not of animal origin, ensure that those consignments enter the UK at a Designated Point of Entry (DPE) which are available on the Food Standards Agency’s website;
  • If importing from the rest of the world via the EU, make sure that those consignments enter the UK at a Border Inspection Post (BIP) or a Designated Point of Entry (DPE).

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About The Author

Editor of LBM titles Pig World and Farm Business and group editor of Agronomist and Arable Farmer. National Pig Association's webmaster. Previously political editor at Farmers Guardian for many years and also worked Farmers Weekly. Occasional farming media pundit. Brought up on a Leicestershire farm, now work from a shed in the garden in Oxfordshire. Big fan of Leicester City and Leicester Tigers. Occasional cricketer.