Agrifood traders have been warned to make the most of the remaining period of time before new sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) controls are introduced for EU goods entering Britain.
The government has been introducing post-Brexit rules for imports in phases, with many SPS checks coming in from July.
This includes a requirement 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.
Use time wisely
Rob Booth, a trade and customs specialist at the IOE&IT Academy, told traders attending the International Food and Drink Event (IFE) in London to use the next three months “wisely” to ensure they understand their new requirements.
“There is a window of time available to traders now to gain an understanding of their certification requirements, whether that’s export health or phytosanitary certificates,” he said.
“Traders need to understand also that there is a significant sequence of actions you need to take,” he added, referring to the requirement for certification to be approved by health authorities in the EU.
Under the new rules, export health certificates for animal-origin goods entering Britain will need to be authorised by approved veterinarians in the EU.
Phytosanitary certificates will also need to be approved by competent authorities, with samples requiring tests or inspection.
Although these certificates are usually obtained by the EU supplier, the British importer will need a copy of the approved documentation to comply with customs obligations and to pre-notify border authorities of the goods movement on the government’s Import of Products, Animals, Food and Feed System (IPAFFS).
Booth also warned traders that they need to understand where border physical checks will be done for the goods they are importing.
Animal-origin goods will be checked at Border Control Posts, located at certain ports. Similarly, plants will be inspected at Control Points.
He advised traders to review government guidance on where these check posts are located.
If you are attending IFE, make sure to meet the IOE&IT team at stand 2189m to hear more about how we can support your business to prepare for new SPS controls and other post-Brexit rules for trade with the EU.