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UK Trade with EU: Import Controls

Question for Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

UIN 50078, tabled on 15 September 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment his Department has made of the potential effect of extending the delay on EU trade import controls beyond October 2021 on the level of risk posed to the (a) biosecurity and (b) health and hygiene reputation for future UK trade; and whether he has plans to publish any such assessment.

Answered on

20 September 2021

Risk posed to Biosecurity

The Government has set out a new timetable for introducing full import controls for Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) goods being imported from the EU to the UK. The new timetable considers the challenges businesses have faced due to the global pandemic, as well as its impact on supply chains across the UK and Europe.

These temporary practical arrangements recognise the need to ensure biosecurity across the UK whilst balancing the need to remove barriers to trade. We already have SPS controls in place on high-risk goods, such as live animals and high-priority plants and plant products, and checks on these goods will continue to be carried out at destination.

Pre-notification is also being introduced from January 2022 and increases our biosecurity status. It allows the Food Standards Agency to know what high-risk food and feed is crossing our borders, as well as trace products back to the established premises, helping us to manage any food incidents that may occur.

The Government continually assesses risks to biosecurity and has a range of measures it can take should the need arise.

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