Government concession on EU import checks another kick in the teeth for pig sector - NPA
14th Sep 2021 / By Alistair Driver
The Government’s announcement that full checks on food imports from the EU will be delayed until the middle of 2022 is another kick in the teeth for the pig sector, according to the NPA.
The EU imposed stringent new requirements on British food exports to the EU from day one of Brexit, January 1, 2021, causing chaos in the early months and adding significant new costs and burdens, resulting in a big reduction in food export volumes, including pork to the EU.
The Government initially delayed the equivalent requirements for GB health certificates on equivalent EU imports until this October. Just days before the checks were due to come into place, a further delay has today been announced until July 2022.
NPA chief executive Zoe Davies said: "This is yet another kick in the teeth for the pig industry, which is under massive pressure at the moment from staff shortages, growing backlogs of pigs on farm, falling prices and record costs of production.
"It means that while pork exports to Europe have been more costly and burdensome since start of this year, resulting in a big reduction in volumes shipped, EU imports will be free to enter the UK unchecked and unburdened until July 2022, that is, if the Government is ready then.
"This is handing a massive advantage to our EU competitors at a time when lots of very cheap pork is available in Europe and our industry needs all the help it can get in the midst of the biggest crisis we have faced in two decades."
The Government is blaming COVID-19, which it claims has prevented businesses from preparing properly. “Rather than introduce these controls at this time, the government has listened to those who have called for a new approach to give businesses more time to adjust,” it said.
The changes announced to the timing of Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) checks on animal products, plants and plant products imported to GB from the EU include:
- The requirements for pre-notification of Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) goods will now be introduced on 1 January 2022.
- The new requirements for GB Export Health Certificates from EU exporters, which were due to be introduced on 1 October 2021, will now be introduced on 1 July 2022.
- Phytosanitary Certificates and physical checks on SPS goods at Border Control Posts, due to be introduced on 1 January 2022 and March 2022, will now be introduced on 1 July 2022.
- Safety and Security declarations on imports will be required as of 1 July 2022 as opposed to 1 January 2022.
- Full customs declarations and controls will be introduced on 1 January 2022 as previously announced.