Government to spend £14m on new port staff to check EU meat imports

£14 million in funding has been given to local authorities across England to help them check imported animal products, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has confirmed.

Over 500 new port health roles are being created to facilitate the new checks on imports of animal products from the EU from April 2021, with £8.8 million invested in Ashford Borough Council and Dover District Council.

A further £5.2 million is being spent on recruiting staff, equipment and new systems in 19 other local authorities around England, including East Suffolk District Council, Manchester City Council, North East Lincolnshire Council, Portsmouth City Council and the City of London.

Since the UK left the EU, new paperwork and checks of animal products has been required, and many companies have experienced problems meeting the requirements. Lorry loads of British poultrymeat have been destroyed following errors on paperwork, while consignments of liquid egg products have also been turned away at the border. From April, the UK will begin applying the same checks on EU imports.

Farming, Fisheries and Food Minister Victoria Prentis said: “This funding will allow local authorities to play their part in maintaining standards and efficiency at our borders, while also providing investment in new jobs and infrastructure.”

The new checks will be introduced in a phased way, with documentary checks on animal products for human consumption starting from April 2021, followed by additional identity and physical checks at Border Control Posts from July 2021. T

Ashford Borough Council, which is receiving the greatest share of the investment to support the upgraded Sevington Inland Border Facility (IBF) built alongside Junction 10A of the M20, will carry out an estimated 124,000 checks on imports a year.

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