Briefing Note 02/2021 – Guidance updates for certification of POAO exports to the EU and movement to Northern Ireland.

GB Export Health Certificates (EHCs) for EU and Northern Ireland

The new EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement was not finalised until Christmas Eve, two months after the original deadline for an agreement. This resulted in only a week to implement new export / import processes with the EU.
Not having clearly defined export / import processes with the EU caused unnecessary documentation issues resulting in long delays at the ports and some vehicles being sent back to the UK. Exporters of food products from Great Britain (GB) were especially impacted due to their Export Health Certificates (EHCs) not being compliant with EU import regulations. Food exporters and their Official Veterinarians complete and issued these certificates in compliance with the directives of the Department for Environment Food & Rural Affairs.
EHCs are required for exports of live animals or animal products exported from GB to the EU. This ensures the consignment complies with the quality and health standards of the EU. EHCs are signed by an Official Veterinarian following inspection of the consignment and they are commodity and destination specific.
Exporters must apply for an EHC if they are exporting or moving live animals or animal products from GB (England, Scotland and Wales) to or through the following destinations:
  • The EU
  • Non-EU countries
  • Northern Ireland (NI)
Exporters will also need a Transit EHC to transit through an EU country.
On 19 January 2021, the Animal & Plant Health Agency (APHA) published Briefing Note 02/2021 called ‘Guidance updates for certification of POAO exports to the EU and movement to Northern Ireland.’ APHA is an Executive Agency of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. The APHA document provided amendments in relation to the certification of Products of Animal Origin (POAO) for export to the EU or movement to Northern Ireland. Therefore, enabling food exporters to comply with EU import requirements 19 days after Brexit!
The amendments include:
  • The agreed method for page numbering.
  • The replacement of UK fan stamping by the EU requirement to stamp and sign all pages.
  • The stamping and initialling of changes and deletions.
  • Permitted paragraphs and sections may be crossed out by applying a ‘Z’ across paragraphs and sections.
  • The use of 6-digit Commodity Codes rather than 8 or 10 digits.
  • The creation of schedules for multiple commodities.
  • There is no requirement to list the time of departure.
  • New guidance on composite products.
  • More than 5 commodities can be added in a schedule.

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