17 Jul 2019
Vets warn of ‘surge in demand’ for certification services after Michael Gove confirms requirement for post-Brexit import checks
BVA has responded today to Michael Gove’s suggestion that border checks will be required for imported goods coming into the UK from the end of 2020.
The British Veterinary Association has responded today to Michael Gove’s suggestion that border checks will be required for imported goods coming into the UK from the end of 2020.
Speaking at the Border Delivery Group yesterday (10 February), the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster told businesses that they need to prepare for “significant change” with “inevitable” border checks for “almost everybody” who imports from the EU after the post-Brexit transition period ends.
Under these requirements, vets would be required to carry out certification checks for all animal products being imported into the UK, with multiple certificates required for consignments with a range of different products. The success of the new requirements also hinges on making sure that levels are sufficient in terms of resource and geographic spread for certification checks to be carried out whenever and wherever they’re needed. Questions also remain around where border inspection posts will be sited, and how the necessary infrastructure will be put in place to make these fully operational by the end of 2020.
Commenting, BVA President Daniella Dos Santos said:
“Today’s announcement could spark a surge in demand on our members’ capacity, and means that the race is on to have all the necessary structures and systems required in place by the end of the year. We had been given assurances that imports from the EU would not be subject to checks, and this change means that despite the mitigation the veterinary profession has put in place to meet the increase in certification needed for export checks, it is unlikely as it currently stands that we would have sufficient capacity to meet those for imports as well."
“We would be interested in seeing how the government plans to increase veterinary capacity to meet this increase in certification demand before the end of the year. We are concerned that they could end up being spread too thin and having to take on extra certification responsibilities on top of existing heavy workloads and shortages in the workforce.
“It is critical that the government fully engages with the veterinary profession on matters which may have a bearing on their vital work supporting animal welfare, public health and future trade.”
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