Prepare for 1 January 2021
The UK left the EU in January 2020 and entered into a transition period, which will end on the 31 December 2020. In preparation for 1 January 2021, your Great Britain approved food businesses will need to be listed with the EU:
- to export POAO to the EU or move such products to NI
- supply others that use your POAO in commodities that are exported to the EU or move such products to NI
This is a requirement of the European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Act, whereby UK authorities will apply EU customs rules to goods entering NI from 1 January 2021.
Current EU regulations (Articles 126 and 127 of the Official Controls Regulation (EU) 2017/625 require third countries to be approved to export POAO to the EU. Individual establishments that dispatch, prepare or produce such products need to be listed with the European Commission. Only Great Britain approved businesses involved in producing, handling and storing POAO are affected, so businesses involved in producing food not of animal origin do not need to be listed.
Does my business need to be listed from 1 January 2021?
If your business operates from a Great Britain approved establishment e.g. those establishments involved in slaughtering animals or birds, cutting red or white meat, preparing fish and fish products, or preparing dairy and egg products and you export these products to the EU, or move such products to NI, then you need to be listed. Regulation (EC) 853/2004 Annex III lays down requirements for those activities that need to be approved.
Which businesses do not need to be listed?
The regulations set out those establishments that are not subject to the listing requirement, these are:
- establishments handling POAO not listed in Annex III of the regulations
- primary production, farming, and sea fishing if the vessel is not a factory or freezer vessel
- establishments carrying out transport operations only, i.e. distribution
- establishments that only store POAO where no temperature control storage conditions are required
Retail premises are exempt from the regulations except for when operations are carried out with a view to the supply of POAO to another establishment.
Do UK approved establishments need to be listed even if they don’t export POAO to the EU?
If you are a UK approved establishment that does not export POAO to the EU, or move such products to NI, you don’t have to be listed. However, if you produce fresh meat, minced meat, meat preparations, meat products or mechanically separated meat at a slaughterhouse or cutting plant, you will need to be listed if you supply others that export your product to the EU, or move such products to NI.
What if my business produces composite products?
If your business manufactures composite products that have a POAO as an ingredient such as pizzas or sandwiches, you do not need to be listed to export such products to the EU, or move such products to NI, if you operate from registered premises. However, you will need an Export Health Certificate (EHC) to demonstrate that the POAO you used in your product originated from an approved establishment listed with the EU.
What does my business need to do now?
If you are an approved establishment in England or Wales that exports POAO to either the EU, or moves such products to NI, or supply others that move your products in other commodities to the EU including NI, you need to be listed with the European Commission. The FSA will automatically put you forward all approved establishments for listing with the European Commission.
You must contact the FSA at firstname.lastname@example.org and ask for your business to be removed from the EU list, if you:
- don’t export POAO to the EU
- don’t move POAO to NI
- don’t supply others that use your products in commodities that are exported to the EU
- don’t supply others that use your products in commodities that are moved to NI
Scottish food businesses should contact Food Standards Scotland at email@example.com
What happens if my business changes its mind after it has indicated that it does not want to be on the EU list?
You must notify the FSA now at firstname.lastname@example.org and your business will be added to the European Commission list. You must make contact by the beginning of December 2020 at the latest.
If you notify the FSA after the 1 January 2021, you will have to make an application to the European Commission for your establishment to be listed under the Official Controls regulation (EU) 2017/1793. You can make this application via the Animal Plant Health Agency (APHA). The Commission will then review your application, which can take up to 20 working days before making a decision. You will not be able to export POAO to the EU, or move such products to NI, until the EU has come to a decision to accept your application.
Registered cold stores that form part of single supply chain
In addition to listing Great Britain approved establishments that export POAO to the EU, or move such products to NI, the FSA also needs to include certain local authority registered storage and distribution centres.
This applies to you if your centre:
- operates temperature-controlled storage and distribution centres as part of a single supply chain
- exports POAO to either the EU or move such products to NI
Specifically, this applies to your centre if you operate storage and distribution facilities for a single supplier, such as a major UK food retailer, and operate from establishments that are:
- exempt from the need to be approved under Article 4 of Regulation (EC) 853/2004
- but are designated as registered establishments under Article 6 of Regulation (EC) 852/2004
If you operate such a registered storage and distribution centre and want to be added to the list to export POAO to the EU, or move such products to NI, contact email@example.com by Monday 30 November 2020 with the following information about your centre:
- business name
- contact details: name, telephone number, email address
- postal address
- confirmation that your centre is part of a single supply chain (please specify which supply chain)
- type of POAO exported to the EU, or moved to NI (chilled or frozen)
- local authority contact details
When we have received the above information, we will seek confirmation from your local authority that your business is:
- subject to risk-based audits
- part of a single supply chain
On receipt of a response from the local authority, we will:
- add your business to the list and issue a unique number – this number will be required for any export health certificate that may be issued for POAO despatched from your premises to the EU or moved to NI
- email your business and its local authority details of the unique number
The proposed process is not an approval process, as defined under Regulation (EC) 853/2004, but an administrative process that confirms registered distribution centres that are part of a single supply chain are registered with the local authority and subject to risk based audits under Regulation (EC) 852/2004.
The unique number provided to the establishment is not a health or identification mark, as defined in Regulations 853/2004 or 2017/625, (a mark which is applied to POAO at approved establishments for traceability purposes), but a number that readily identifies to the FSA, local authorities and the EU that the premises is subject to hygiene requirements as defined in Regulation (EC) 852/2004.
In 2018 and 2019, we wrote to all UK approved food businesses setting out the need to be listed with the EU to continue exporting products of animal origin to the EU, once the UK ceased to be a member state.
The FSA is supporting Defra to identify establishments that need to be listed.
Should you require any further information please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
For additional information on the process of exporting animal products to the EU from 1 January 2021, see GOV.UK.