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Meat: Imports

Question for Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

UIN 272189, tabled on 2 July 2019

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether the Government has plans to strengthen biosecurity arrangements on imported meat products after the UK leaves the EU.

Answered on

10 July 2019

Our high biosecurity standards are of critical importance to the UK and we are committed to ensure those standards are maintained when we leave the UK.

As a member of the European Union we share standards of biosecurity with other Member States. This has facilitated the free movement of these goods between member states.

In the short term those standards will not change. Therefore, to ensure minimum disruption at the borders, we will not introduce new import controls on these goods imported from the EU.

To ensure we remain vigilant, we will require advance notification of imports of high-risk food and feed from the EU. This includes products of animal origin and high-risk food and feed not of animal origin. The Food Standards Agency will be in a position to monitor those notifications so that in the event of a food incident occurring involving imported food or feed, it will be able to respond effectively to safeguard public health by swiftly identifying the point of entry to the UK and the spread of a problem. We will also be reviewing our imports regime once we leave the EU.

For imports from countries outside the EU we will maintain the current controls and consignments of animal products will continue to be required to enter at Border Inspection Posts for veterinary checks. Notification will be required using the UK Import of Products, Animals and Food and Feed System. These controls will also apply to products of animal origin that come from outside the EU but travel through the EU before arriving in the UK.