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Additional port health checks due in October and January are delayed

Revised 14th September following an update from the minister of state.

The Brexit grace period for port health checks on products of animal origin (POAO) was set to  end on 30th September 2021, with some POAOs being prohibited, and all permissible imports requiring port health certification from 1st October 2021. This change in legislation has now been delayed, with the new checks coming into effect from 1st January 2022.

These additional checks are the third instalment for the phased rollout of food import inspections following Brexit, with POAOs under safeguarding measures already requiring full declarations since 1st January 2021, and composite food products (containing both animal and plant origin) needing the same since 21st April 2021.

If your business has not yet needed to declare POAOs to the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA), we recommend getting in touch with one of our experts to discuss your requirements going forwards so that there are no delays or rejections of your goods at the border. 

What POAOs will be banned from 1st January?

The following products of animal origin will not be allowed to be imported in from the EU, even with the relevant health certificates:
– chilled minced meat (beef, mutton, goat, pork, lamb).
– chilled or frozen minced poultry.
– meat that has been mechanically separated from poultry, game or ratite birds. 

– raw milk from cattle herds with bovine tuberculosis (TB).
– ungraded eggs.
– chilled meat preparations. 

(A meat preparation is fresh meat that has been altered, but still retains the properties of fresh meat. Examples are raw meat patties, meatballs, seasoned cuts, or breaded chicken.)

Arrival of any of these products of animal origin at the GB border will result in rejection by Port Health, meaning return to origin (which may be passed your “Use by” date) or destruction. 

How to prepare for more port health checks

In order to import your products of animal origin from 1st January 2022, you will need to pre-notify APHA by using the Import of Products, Animals, Food and Feed System (IPAFFS). This will give you a unique notification number (UNN) for your shipment to be declared by your customs broker on the clearance, and as reference for all port health checks relating to the shipment.

(As part of your IPAFFS application, you will need to know the authorisation number of your EU exporter. We recommend that you request this information from them as soon as possible, to ensure that they are approved for exporting products of animal origin to Great Britain.)

From 1st July 2022, the commercial documents and a valid health certificate must accompany your shipment. The health certificate must be an original, not a photocopy, and state the UNN from APHA/IPAFFS. Once the UNN has been added to the health certificate, an electric copy of this must also be uploaded to your IPAFFS declaration. 

How will Northern Ireland be affected?

The grace period for port health checks on goods moving from Northern Ireland to Great Britain is also due to end; however, the practicality and legality of the Northern Ireland Protocol continue to be called into question by Ireland and Great Britain.
It has been indicated that the NI protocol grace period, for transporting goods both ways, will be extended but this has yet to be officially applied for by Great Britain, or confirmed by the EU, so you should prepare for the full port health checks to be applied from 1st October for goods going from GB to NI, and from 1st January 2022 for goods going from NI to GB. 

Will more port health checks be rolled out on other products – not POAO?

Port Health checks will also be required for the following types of goods, with regulations coming into effect between 1st January 2022 and 1st July 2022:

Animal By-Products (ABP) 

Animal by-products require original health certificates to travel with the consignment, and IPAFFS pre-notification, from 1st January 2022.

From 1st July 2022, all consignments of ABP will need to pass a Border Control Post (BCP) for inspection on arrival in Great Britain. 

High Risk Food and Feed Not of Animal Origin (HRFNAO)

All consignments of HRFNAO will require pre-notification on IPAFFS from 1st January 2022, and a valid health certificate and inspection at a BCP from 1st July 2022.
If you require more information on how your business will be affected by additional port health checks, need help with preparing your documents, or any other customs services, please contact one of our customs clearance agents today.

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