The government has warned Agri-food traders to make the most of the remaining time before the new sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) controls are introduced in the UK for EU goods entering Britain.
They have been introducing post-Brexit rules for imports in phases, with many SPS checks coming in from July this year, including requirements for EU suppliers to provide export health certificates for animal-origin products (including meats, eggs and dairy) and phytosanitary certificates for plants and plant-based products.
Traders are advised to use the remaining months to prepare their supply chain to ensure that all relevant paperwork is completed and that they understand the full requirements for their products before the deadline to ensure no delays/issues occur.
The new rules will mean that export health certificates for animal-origin goods entering Britain will now need to be authorised by approved veterinarians in the EU before departure. Failure to do so could result in penalties or shipments having to be destroyed. Phytosanitary certificates will also need to be approved by competent authorities, with samples requiring tests or inspection.
It is the responsibility of the EU supplier to obtain this information and ensure that the requirements are meant, however the British importer will need a copy of the approved documentation to ensure that they comply with customs obligations and to pre-notify the relevant border authorities of the goods movements by declaring on the Import of Products, Animals, Food and Feed System (IPAFFS).
Traders will also need to be aware and understand that from July, border physical checks will be completed for all goods they are importing and need to understand where these checks will take place.
Animal-origin goods will be checked at Border Control Posts, located at certain ports. Similarly, plants will be inspected at Control Points.
For more information please review the government guidance.