Source: Global Ag Media/The Pig Site, 18 October 2021, photo credit: smallbusiness.co.uk
The latest opinion piece from the British Meat Processors Association (BMPA) notes postponing import checks from the EU leaves UK meat exporters at a significant disadvantage.
The inter-war Times headline often quoted as “Fog in Channel: Continent cut off” has special significance when it comes to EU/GB supply chains.
The recent decision by Government to further postpone import controls on goods moving from the EU and products of animal origin in particular highlights the risk to GB supply chains that interrupting these would cause. To summarize, the original plan to introduce import checks on movements from the EU were first postponed from April 1 (with a phasing in to 1 July 2021) were first postponed to 1 October 2021 and 1 January 2022.
In effect, the October deadline was intended to be a “dress rehearsal” with prenotification and export health certificates “required” but only for qualitative checks intended to be used to advise EU exporters and GB importers where errors or inconsistencies arose. The “real” deadline, from which full documentary checks and full compliance was to be 1 January 2022. But this has now been even further postponed with only prenotification required from 1 January 2022 and again, this is not a “stop-go” requirement. Full certification and checks have been put back to 1 July 2022.
The reasoning given for this is that the “revised timetable will give businesses more time to adjust to new processes” as well as recognizing that official infrastructure in some exporting Member States, such as the availability of vets, would be under pressure if certification were added to the burden.