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Vets react as government shifts timetable for import checks

12 Mar 2021

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We have responded following the UK Government’s announcement that it is making changes to some of the requirements for imports from the EU into Great Britain and postponing the dates at which some checks will come into force in order to minimise industry disruption.

Vets react as government shifts timetable for import checks Image

Under the changes, export health certificate (EHC) requirements for Products of Animal Origin (POAO) coming into the UK will be moved from 1 April to 1 October 2021.  And Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) checks on POAO will now not be required until January 2022, at which point they will take place at Border Control Posts.

Commenting, BVA President James Russell said:

“While these changes may provide some welcome breathing space for industry, they are being introduced at a late stage when vets have been working hard to make preparations for a new raft of requirements being introduced in only three weeks’ time. 

“At a time when there are ongoing concerns about veterinary capacity, the sector really needs as much notice as possible to adjust to new demands and shifting timetables. It’s essential that we now use this additional time to put clear plans in place.

“We are also seeking reassurances that delays to import checks will not impact on our ability to protect the UK from disease incursion. These checks form a line of defence to help protect against diseases not currently present in the UK, such as African Swine Fever. This is particularly important as the UK currently does not have access to the range of EU disease surveillance and cooperation systems.”

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