Dear colleague

We hope you have found these newsletters for Importers and Exporters useful over the past few months to receive updates from Defra on EU Exit. As you will know the Government’s Withdrawal Agreement Bill has been agreed by Parliament and received Royal Assent, therefore the UK will leave the European Union on 31st January 2020 and enter a transition period until 31st December 2020.

Below we have a number of updates for you regarding the transition period and various sectors, which we encourage you to read carefully and pass on to anyone else you feel should see this information.

Please note this newsletter has come from our new email address: DefraImportsandExportsCommunications@defra.gov.uk

Please contact this email address if you have any queries at all going forward. We will be in touch with further updates in the coming months as they develop.

Kind regards,

The Defra Imports and Exports Communications Team

Exports of Animals and POAO:

“As the Government’s Withdrawal Agreement Bill has been agreed by Parliament and received Royal Assent, the UK will leave the European Union on 31st January 2020 and enter a transition period until 31St December 2020.

“During the transition period, to export animals or products of animal origin to the EU until the end of December 2020, you continue to export as you do now – there are no immediate changes to the process of exporting to the EU. More information is available here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/moving-live-animals-or-animal-products-as-part-of-eu-trade.

“We will be writing to you again later in the year with any information about any changes that you may need to be ready for the end of the transition period.”

Imports of Animals and POAO:

“As the Government’s Withdrawal Agreement Bill has been agreed by Parliament and received Royal Assent, the UK will leave the European Union on 31st January 2020 and enter a transition period until 31St December 2020.

“During the transition period, to import animals or products of animal origin to the EU until the end of December 2020, you can continue to import as you do now – there are no immediate changes to the process. More information is available here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/moving-live-animals-or-animal-products-as-part-of-eu-trade.

“We will be writing to you again later in the year with any information about any changes that you may need to be ready for the end of the transition period.”

SRSF changes for importers of animal and POAO: While you will continue to import as now during the transition period, you should also be aware that EU are making changes to the pre-notification system. We contacted you recently to inform you that TRACES Classic will shortly be switched off and asked you to register and be ready to use TRACES NT – the new EU pre-notification system – to pre-notify of relevant goods, when the switchover happens. If you haven’t registered yet, you should do so now. Importers of High Risk Food and Feed Not of Animal Origin should also continue to pre-notify using a CED on TRACES Classic, until we tell you otherwise. More information is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-animal-and-plant-health-safety-rules-coming-into-force-in-december.”

Smarter Rules for Safer Food

Importers and exporters should ensure that they meet all plant health biosecurity requirements prior to trading any plants or plant products between the UK and the EU. This includes the new Smarter Rules for Safer Foods (SRSF) requirements. The Plant Health Regulation and Official Controls Regulation were put in place on 14 December 2019. These regulations apply across all EU member states and are being applied by the UK in-line with our commitment to maintaining high standards of biosecurity. Further information on SRSF can be found on GOV.UK and the Plant Health Portal.

Plants import / export

The Government’s Withdrawal Agreement Bill has now been agreed by Parliament and received Royal Assent, so we will now enter a transition period until 31st December 2020. During the transition period, you should continue to use the current process to trade in plants and plant products with other EU countries as you do now up until the end of 2020 – there are no immediate changes to the process.

“This also means that the rules on importing and exporting plants and plant products will not change during the transition period.

“Further details on the requirements for importing and exporting plants and plant products after the transition period will be made available in the coming months. For any queries, please visit GOV.UK, speak to your local Plant Health inspector, or contact APHA at: Apha_srsfmailbox@apha.gov.uk.”

Plant verity and seeds

“The Government’s Withdrawal Agreement Bill has now been agreed by Parliament and received Royal Assent, so we will now enter a transition period until 31st December 2020. During the transition period, you should continue to use the current process to trade in seeds with other EU countries as you do now up until the end of 2020 – there are no immediate changes to the process.

“However, please note that UK DUS reports will not be accepted by the EU during the transition period. The UK will accept EU DUS reports during the transition period for the agricultural, amenity and vegetable species tested by NIAB, AFBI and SASA so long as that testing was initiated by 31st January 2020. For other species, the UK will continue to accept EU DUS reports provided it is of comparable quality to UK testing.

“After 31 December 2020, CPVO (Community Plant Variety Office) will require all applicants and holders of Community Plant Variety Rights have a contact address (a designated procedural representative) in the EU.

“The UK National List will remain part of the EU Common Catalogue during the transition period. It will be removed after 31st December 2020, unless the UK has an arrangement in place with the EU to maintain access to the common catalogue.

“We will continue to communicate with you throughout the year about any actions you need to take after the transition period.

“Further details on the requirements for seed marketing, plant variety rights and DUS testing after the transition period will be made available in the coming months. For any queries, please visit GOV.UK, speak to your local Plant Health Inspector, or contact APHA at: pvs.helpdesk@apha.gov.uk.”

Pet travel:

As the Government’s Withdrawal Agreement Bill has been agreed by Parliament and received Royal Assent, the UK will leave the European Union on 31st January 2020 and enter a transition period until 31StDecember 2020.

“During the transition period, to travel with your pet to the EU until the end of December, you can continue to use your Pet Passport. If you don’t have a current UK –issued EU Pet Passport, you will need to speak to your vet. More information is available here – www.gov.uk/take-pet-abroad.”

“We will be writing to you again later in the year with any information about any changes that you may need to be ready for the end of the transition period.”

Equine movement

The Government’s Withdrawal Agreement Bill has now been agreed by Parliament and received Royal Assent, so we will now enter a transition period until 31st December 2020.

“During the transition period, you should continue to move equines in the same way as you do now (using all the current processes and systems in place) until the end of 2020 – there are no immediate changes to the process. More information can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/export-horses-and-ponies-special-rules

“The arrangements after that date will depend on the outcome of our negotiations with the EU which will take place in the interim.

“All of the relevant guidance will be available on GOV.UK throughout, and we will continue to engage with you at regular intervals to keep you informed of what you need to know and the actions that you will need to take. We are extremely grateful for your engagement so far.”