The UK has secured approval to continue exporting animals and animal products to the EU if the UK leaves without a deal on 31 October – providing certainty for a market worth more than £5 billion a year.
Environment Secretary Theresa Villiers confirmed today that EU member states have granted the UK ‘national listed status’, which ensures exports of live animals and products of animal origin, such as meat, fish and dairy, can continue.
Villiers, said: “This is good news for UK businesses. It demonstrates our very high standards of biosecurity and animal health which we will continue to maintain and improve after we leave the EU.
“If you or your business import or export animal and animal products, we want to make sure you are ready for Brexit. Our guidance sets out what you need to do to continue to trade after we leave the EU.
“Our top priority remains delivering Brexit by the end of October, and our preference is to do that with a negotiated deal, but it is the job of a responsible Government to ensure we are ready to leave without a deal and without any further pointless delay.”
The EU’s Standing Committee on Plants, Animals, Food and Feed confirmed the acceptance of the UK’s listed status on Friday 11 October after it met the health and biosecurity assurances required for a third country.
With listed status now confirmed, if the UK leaves without a deal, businesses exporting animals and animal products to the EU will still need to meet new requirements, such as going through the correct EU Border Inspection Post.
Businesses will also require an Export Health Certificate, which will need to be signed by a certifier such as an Official Veterinarian.
Guidance for animal importers and exporters is available on GOV.UK. End to end journey maps, clearly set out all the steps exporters will need to take. The exports guidance has been updated to clarify that EHCs will be required for all different product types within a consignment. Specific guidance for equine exporters is available.
The government said if the UK’s leaves the EU without a deal, the UK will not need to be listed during the implementation period. To give certainty to businesses and citizens, common rules will remain in place until the end of the implementation period meaning businesses will be able to trade on the same terms as now up until the end of 2020.