The UK’s listed status application has been agreed by European Union (EU) member states after it met the animal health and biosecurity assurances required for a third country to export live animals and animal products.
This confirmation is part of the EU’s published no deal contingency planning – without it, exports of animal products and most live animals to the EU could not take place in the event of a no-deal exit from the EU on April 12.
It also means the movement of equines between the UK and the EU will also now continue in a no deal scenario, offering welcome reassurance to this sector.
Food and Animal Welfare Minister David Rutley 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 after we leave the EU.
“If you or your business import or export animal and animal products or imports high risk food then I urge you to visit our guidance pages on gov.uk for what you need to do to be ready to continue to trade post-Brexit.
“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.”
The EU’s Standing Committee on Plants, Animals, Food and Feed (SCoPAFF) confirmed the acceptance of the UK’s listed status application yesterday [9 April]. National listed status is the EU’s classification for non-Member states and the UK’s application, submitted in November 2018, has passed the high criteria on biosecurity measures for animal health and food hygiene.
UK exports of animals and their products to the EU will need to go through an EU Border Inspection Post and businesses will still require an Export Health Certificate (EHC) and meet its requirements. Our guidance remains to send an EHC with the export consignment, and to send a copy of the EHC to the EU importer.
With listed status now confirmed, exporters will need to follow the EU rules for exports from third countries to the EU. The guidance for importers and exporters is available on GOV.UK.
In a deal scenario, 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.
Disruption for those businesses which import live animals, germinal products and certain animal products will also be minimised as they will now continue to have access to the TRACES (TRAde Control and Expert System) after the UK leaves the European Union until later this year. TRACES is the system used by importers to notify authorities of such imports from non-EU countries.
As originally planned, imports from non-EU countries will need to go through the UK’s new IPAFFS system from day one.
Meanwhile, The British Veterinary Association (BVA) has welcomed the announcement that EU member states have agreed the UK’s listed status application after it met the animal health and biosecurity assurances required for a third country to export live animals and animal products.
Securing listed status will mean that the UK will be able to export animal products and most live animals to the EU in the event of a no-deal Brexit from day one. Vets and businesses which import live animals and animal products will also continue to have access to the TRACES (Trade Control and Expert System) system, a web-based veterinarian certification tool, until later in the year.
Under third country listed status, veterinary certification will still be required for all exports and imports and, under a no-deal Brexit, the UK would see a significant increase in the volume of certification. BVA has previously raised concerns about the impact that this would have at a time when the workforce is already experiencing shortfalls in capacity.
The announcement does not cover pet travel. Under a no-deal Brexit pet owners will need to meet the additional testing and certification requirements to travel with their cats, dogs and ferrets to the EU. BVA continues to advise owners to speak to their own veterinary surgeon as early as possible before travelling.
BVA president Simon Doherty said: “Amidst all of the uncertainty surrounding Brexit, the listed status application approval is a very welcome piece of news. BVA made an early call for the government to ensure the UK achieved listed third country status in order to avoid the nightmare scenario that no animals or animal products could be exported in a no-deal Brexit. “It is testament to the incredibly hard work of government vets across the UK making sure that the UK meets the stringent health and biosecurity requirements to trade with EU countries. “This announcement will bring some relief to vets and farmers who have been worried about the significant welfare and economic implications of not being able to move animals under a no-deal Brexit.”