Animal Products: Imports

Department for International Trade written question – answered on 4th December 2020.

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Photo of Emily Thornberry Emily Thornberry Shadow Secretary of State for International Trade

To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what plans she (a) has and (b) is putting in place overseas to assess the equivalence of production and welfare standards of products of animal origin intended for export to the UK.

Photo of Ranil Jayawardena Ranil Jayawardena Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)

A number of the trade agreements we have signed, or agreed in principle – including the United Kingdom-Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement – contain commitments to enter into consultations with the aim of achieving agreements on recognition of the equivalence of specified sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) measures. We shall be free to pursue those and other opportunities arising from future agreements and our membership of the World Trade Organisation, following the end of the Transition Period.

HM Government remains committed to promoting robust food safety standards nationally and internationally, to protect consumers by making sure they can have confidence in the food they buy. From 1st January 2021, the United Kingdom will assess and inspect trading partners who apply to import live animals and their products, to make sure that our import conditions for products of animal origin are properly met.

Assessments will be coordinated by the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA) and will be based on the risk associated with a specific import. This will secure the United Kingdom’s high level of protections for its citizens and businesses.

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