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10 weeks until you’re restricted on importing food from Europe

Only 10 weeks remain until the next phase of restrictions on importing food from Europe are brought into effect on January 1st, 2021. This is the penultimate phase of the staged rollout of port health checks on European food after Brexit, with the final step expected 1st July, 2022.

All of your shipments of Products Of Animal Origin (POAO), Animal By-Products (ABP), and High Risk Food and Feed Not of Animal Origin (HRFNAO) will require pre-notification on the Import of Products, Animals, Food and Feed System (IPAFFS) in order for your customs clearance to be processed. 

If you have not had to process a pre-notification with IPAFFS before, or need advice on importing food from Europe, contact one of our customs experts today to prepare.

Will any food imports be banned?

Importing Food from Europe - Banned mince


From 1st January, 2022, you will no longer be able to import certain products of animal origin.

Even if you have the correct health certificates from the supplier, the following POAOs will be banned imports and your shipment will be rejected by the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) at the UK border: 


– chilled minced meat (beef, mutton, goat, pork, lamb).
– meat that has been mechanically separated from poultry, game or ratite birds. 
– chilled meat preparations.*
– raw milk from cattle herds with bovine tuberculosis (TB).
– chilled or frozen minced poultry.
– ungraded eggs.

*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.

Beware that any attempt on importing food that is banned will mean return to origin, which may be passed your “Use by” date, or destruction, which will cost your business.

How to prepare for checks on importing food

In order to process your customs clearance, your customs broker will need a Unique Notification Number (UNN) from IPAFFS to match up the declaration to their pre-notification. Other than this additional code, there will be no difference to your normal C88 clearance as the supplementary information required will be declared on the IPAFFS declaration.
For your IPAFFS notification, you will need the commercial documents usually required for clearance, as well as the health certificate from the exporter. Please note that your supplier must be approved by IPAFFS and that their authorisation number is required for the declaration. If you do not know this already, we recommend contacting them ASAP to ascertain that they are an approved supplier when importing food from Europe.
Note that, from 1st July 2022, the IPAFFS UNN will need to be on the exporters health certificate, and that a set of original documents will need to travel with the shipment. We recommend getting into the practice of doing this as early as possible to avoid any complications when this becomes mandatory.

What other restrictions on importing food come into effect on 1st July, 2022?

From 1st July, 2022, all shipments will need to be physically presented to a Border Control Post  (BCP) for inspection on arrival to the UK. 
Any consignments that do not arrive with the correct paperwork will be delayed or rejected at the border, which will affect the freshness of your cargo on arrival or return to supplier.
If you need any advice on importing food from Europe, contact one of our customs experts today for further information.

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