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This publication is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/importing-high-risk-food-and-animal-feed-if-theres-no-brexit-deal--2/importing-high-risk-food-and-animal-feed-if-theres-no-brexit-deal
Delivering the deal negotiated with the EU remains the government’s top priority. This has not changed.
However, the government must prepare for every eventuality, including a no deal scenario. For 2 years, the government has been implementing a significant programme of work to ensure that the UK is prepared to leave the EU on 29 March 2019.
It has always been the case that as we get nearer to that date, preparations for a no deal scenario would have to be accelerated. We must ensure plans are in place should they need to be relied upon.
In the summer, the government published a series of 106 technical notices setting out information to allow businesses and citizens to understand what they would need to do in a no deal scenario so they can make informed plans and preparations.
This technical notice offers guidance for continued planning in the event of no deal.
Also included is an overarching framing notice explaining the government’s approach to preparing the UK for this outcome in order to minimise disruption and ensure a smooth and orderly exit.
We are working with the devolved administrations on technical notices and we will continue to do so as plans develop.
This notice provides information what UK businesses that import high-risk food and animal feed both from EU and rest of the world need to do to prepare for the rules and processes that will apply if we leave the EU with no deal.
In this guidance ‘high-risk’ means:
- all products of animal origin (POAO)
- specified food and feed not of animal origin (FNAO)
Rules from 29 March 2019 if there’s no deal
The UK will determine what FNAO, imported to the UK from the EU and third countries, is to be considered high-risk. Import controls will be risk-based and no new controls are planned for imports from the EU of food and feed currently categorised as high-risk. This is because the risk is not expected to change on day one. The following guidance explains what will be different.
Pre-notification for TRACES users
Anyone currently using the EU’s TRACES system to pre-notify the UK about high-risk food and feed product imports from the rest of the world will need to start using the UK’s new Import Notification System (INS).
When guidance on the new system is available, it will be linked to from here.
Imports from the EU
The UK may lose access to the systems for exchanging intelligence about food incidents between EU countries. All importers of high risk food and feed from the EU will need to pre-notify the Food Standards Agency (FSA) using the INS. This will allow the FSA to continue to respond effectively to food safety incidents.
This requirement is not expected to have direct impact at the border or for port health authorities. Pre-notifications would be made electronically, in advance, by those introducing high-risk foods and feed into the UK. Currently no EU FNAO is designated as high risk.
Import controls – consignments transiting the EU
The requirements to transit high-risk food and feed through the EU to the UK differ depending on whether these are POAO or FNAO. EU food law provides a clear provision for POAO. For this purpose, POAO would need to transit the EU under seal and land in the UK at a location with a Border Inspection Point (BIP) so that UK officials can perform the necessary import controls on these products.
There is not an equivalent transit provision within EU food law for high-risk FNAO. Existing European Commission guidance states that high-risk food and feed consignments not of animal origin which transit through the EU en route to a non-EU country cannot be classified as imports and are consequently not subject to the EU’s legislative import controls.
Therefore, high-risk FNAO must enter the UK via a Designated Point of Entry (DPE) having first been pre-notified using the INS, the UK’s new import notification system, so that UK officials can perform the necessary import controls on these products.
How the UK government is working with interested parties
Updates will be issued to the industry between now and March 2019 to assist users of INS, the new import notification system, to prepare for this change and ensure their own businesses are ready for imports on the day the UK leaves the EU. Representatives from key user groups are involved in the design, testing and preparation of the system.
The FSA is working closely with Defra to establish when the requirement for importers of high-risk food and feed to pre-notify the FSA could be satisfactorily introduced. There would be no change on the day the UK leaves the EU to current import controls or requirements for notifications of imports of live animals and animal products for imports direct from the EU.
For more information, please read Importing animals and animal products if there’s no Brexit deal. The FSA will continue to engage with stakeholders as we develop processes in the lead up to March 2019.
This notice is meant for guidance only. You should consider whether you need separate professional advice before making specific preparations.
It is part of the government’s ongoing programme of planning for all possible outcomes. We expect to negotiate a successful deal with the EU.
The UK government is clear that in this scenario we must respect our unique relationship with Ireland, with whom we share a land border and who are co-signatories of the Belfast Agreement. The UK government has consistently placed upholding the Agreement and its successors at the heart of our approach. It enshrines the consent principle on which Northern Ireland’s constitutional status rests. We recognise the basis it has provided for the deep economic and social cooperation on the island of Ireland. This includes North-South cooperation between Northern Ireland and Ireland, which we’re committed to protecting in line with the letter and spirit of Strand two of the Agreement.
The Irish government have indicated they would need to discuss arrangements in the event of no deal with the European Commission and EU Member States. The UK would stand ready in this scenario to engage constructively to meet our commitments and act in the best interests of the people of Northern Ireland, recognising the very significant challenges that the lack of a UK-EU legal agreement would pose in this unique and highly sensitive context.
It remains, though, the responsibility of the UK government, as the sovereign government in Northern Ireland, to continue preparations for the full range of potential outcomes, including no deal. As we do, and as decisions are made, we’ll take full account of the unique circumstances of Northern Ireland.
Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein are party to the Agreement on the European Economic Area and participate in other EU arrangements. As such, in many areas, these countries adopt EU rules. Where this is the case, these technical notices may also apply to them, and EEA businesses and citizens should consider whether they need to take any steps to prepare for a ‘no deal’ scenario.