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Changes to animal export identification and other export rules

17th Sep 2020 / By Alistair Driver

Businesses involved in the export of live animals to the EU are reminded that the way the animals are identified will change next year, with 'GB' replacing 'UK' on tags.

Companies can continue to mark your pigs in the same way, but for exports to the EU from January 1, 2021, a tag or ear tattoo will be required containing all of the following:

  • GB or 826 (instead of ‘UK’)
  • the animal’s herd mark
  • an individual number.

In guidance published on its website, Defra says regular ear tag suppliers will be able to provide any new GB or 826 ear tags. The new tagging needs to be recorded in holding register pigs.

Defra has also published a summary of the other rules that will change around exporting animals or products of animal origin from the UK to the EU from January 1, 2021.

You will need:

  • an export health certificate, which you need to apply for in advance
  • to get your goods checked at a border control post (BCP) that can accept your type of goods, in the first EU country you enter
  • to make sure your EU-based import agent has notified the BCP that your consignment is arriving - check with the BCP for how much notice needs to be given
  • to comply with wider HMRC guidance on customs requirements for exporting to the EU

If you’re exporting live animals, meat or dairy, you can view flowcharts with the steps you need to take.

You should read additional rules if you:

  • export composite food products to the EU
  • want to check if your product counts as a composite food product. 

Export concerns 

The NPA has expressed serious concerns that exports of live breeding pigs could be prevented by the requirement for checks at BCPs on entering the EU.  

At present, there are no registered BCPs at ports in France, the Netherlands or Belgium – the nearest is Spain. If the French ports do not register as a BCP for live animals, the trade would effectively cease as there are few alternative options. 

You can read more HERE

Meanwhile, the British Meat Processors Association (BMPA) has this week reiterared its calls for the Government to provide some clarity on Brexit trading arrangements amid concerns over the UK's listing as a Third Country by the EU. 

BMPA chief executive Nick Allen said: “While a request has been submitted by the UK, there is currently no firm indication as to when the EU will consider and vote on formal country approval, let alone when and if plant inspections will be done.

“It’s highly unlikely that the EU will refuse us Third Country status. The bigger question is when it will be granted and how much damage to our food businesses and supply chains will be done in the process.”

Read more HERE

And you can read a round up of industry concerns over Brexit trading arrangements HERE