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Government launches no deal live import notification system

19th Mar 2019 / By Alistair Driver

The Government has launched a new ‘no deal’ notification system for businesses that import live animals from outside the EU.

However, such is the pace of Brexit developments at the moment that no sooner had Defra launched the Import of Products, Animals, Food and Feed System (IPAFFS) that the chances of a delay to Brexit increased dramatically, potentially rendering the system unnecessary - for now at least.

Following Speaker John Bercow's intervention yesterday, Prime Minister Theresa May is reportedly writing to the EU to ask for Brexit to be postponed until 30 June with the option of a longer delay. The developments further diminish the prospect of the UK leaving the EU without a deal on March 29, although a no deal Brexit remains a medium or long-term prospect.

In this context, Defra is continuing with its no deal planning, including the launch of IPAFFS, which would replace the EU’s TRACES system in this scenario. This service is for imports of live animals, animal products and high-risk food and feed from countries from non-European Economic Area (EEA) countries. The EEA includes EU countries and also Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.

You can access the system here

Defra said importers should submit notification as early as possible, even if you do not have all the details.

  • For animal products, notifications must be submitted before the consignment is unloaded.
  • For animals, high-risk food and animal feed of non-animal origin, the notification must be submitted one working day before the consignment is due to arrive.

But NPA senior policy advisor Ed Barker said the chief concern was over imports from the EU in the event of a no deal.

“From March 29, IPAFFS will not be available to those planning to import live animals and animal products from the EU, and importers will initially need to send information electronically to the competent authorities though a different route,” he said.

“Importers will need to access a Government notification form and submit this to APHA, providing details of the consignment. Given the frequency of EU imports of genetics and live animals, it is concerning that we still have a large question mark over the process of this trade, without further details yet.

"Looking at the bigger picture, it does look more and more likely that there will be a delay in our departure from the EU. But as long as a no deal remains a possibility, at the end of March or further into the future, it is important that businesses continue to make themselves aware of how they could be affected and what they need to do to prepare."