The Government has today (14 September) set out a pragmatic new timetable for introducing full import controls for goods being imported from the EU to the UK. Please see gov.uk for further details.
Businesses have faced a range of challenges over recent months as they recover from the global pandemic which has impacted supply chains across Europe. This is being felt particularly by the agri-food sector, where new requirements on importing products of animal origin were due to be introduced from next month. 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.
This includes changes to the timing of Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) checks on imports of live animals, products of animal origin, plants and plant products imported to GB from the EU, with some of the controls and requirements due to be introduced from 1 January 2022 & March 2022, now delayed to 1 July 2022.
We are therefore, announcing today a revised timetable for the introduction of plant health controls, as follows:
- Since 1 January 2021, phytosanitary certificates and pre-notification have been required to accompany EU imports of high-priority plants and plant products. Documentary, identity and physical checks of these goods have been carried out at Places of Destination.
- From 1 January 2022, the requirement for pre-notification will be extended to all regulated plants and plant products (i.e. not just those which are ‘high-priority’). This is not a change on the previous timetable.
- From 1 July 2022, physical and identity checks of high-priority plants and plant products will move from Places of Destination to Border Control Posts (BCPs).
- From 1 July 2022, the requirement for phytosanitary certificates will be extended to all regulated plants and plant products (i.e. not just those which are ‘high-priority’), and they will be subject to physical and ID checks at BCPs.
The government will work closely with the Devolved Administrations on the implementation of this new timetable, given their devolved responsibilities for agri-food controls.
We will continue to engage with businesses to support them, as they prepare for these new requirements.