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Exports By Vets set to alleviate post-Brexit export certification concerns

27th November 2020

The UK Government and businesses are currently reviewing and addressing concerns relating to exporting food and drink products from 2021 onwards, with challenges expected once the Brexit transition period comes to an end on 31st December, applying to exports destined for the EU or further afield.

At this time, the UK government is in the process of negotiating trade deals with nations across the globe, hoping for success such as the recent agreement for a continuity trade deal with Canada, which locks in certainty for UK businesses currently trading with Canada and paves the way to developing a tailored UK-Canada trade deal in 2021. It includes zero tariffs on many agricultural and seafood exports to Canada, which will benefit farmers and food businesses looking to enter the export market.

One of the specific challenges relating to exporting food products is that anything containing products of animal origin will require health certification signed by a suitably qualified Official Veterinarian (OV) prior to leaving the country.

Vet Jim Morris, from Exports By Vets, a specialist division within VetPartners, which was launched earlier this year to help meet the demand for OVs to carry out this work, shares insight on the challenges.

“Currently we have enough vets for our customer base, however the main concern is capacity challenges, as there are a lot of businesses already exporting products containing meat or milk, which from next year will require further health certification.

“Because of this, we are continuing to recruit OVs in advance of 31stDecember, to help reduce any shortfall.”

Mr Morris adds that his team is also working with DEFRA to streamline the current systems, with the aim to reduce the time required to certify products.

“By focusing on the details and maximising efficiencies we should be able to reduce how long certification takes on a ‘per load’ basis, to help alleviate capacity challenges.

“For businesses looking to export food and drink containing animal products from 2021, my advice is to line-up health certification now and speak with your certifier to fully understand what the requirements will be,” he says.

Contact us on 0330 111 9512 if you need export health certification.

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