Meat and Seafood: UK Trade with EU

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 3rd June 2021.

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Photo of Lord Taylor of Warwick Lord Taylor of Warwick Non-affiliated

To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to decrease the paperwork burden for the meat and seafood industry as a result of the UK–EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement.

Photo of Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)

The Government continues to consider means by which the burdens on traders can be minimised. Our longer term 2025 Border Strategy is aimed at modernising the customs and wider system.

Defra has launched EHC Online, the new IT system that exporters of animals and products of animal origin will need to use to submit their export health certificates (EHCs) to ensure that their goods can successfully enter the EU. This has simplified the export health certification process and reduced the amount of paperwork that trade need to produce.

Technical work is underway on the production of electronic EHCs and ePhytos. This work is being conducted in parallel with technical and policy discussions with the EU Commission to ensure the delivery is technically acceptable to the EU and does not necessitate further dialogue. This work has been accelerated as part of the GB-NI Digital Assistance Scheme but will be equally of benefit to GB-EU exporters certifying via EHC Online or Plant Health Export System. We are expecting this to be delivered this winter which should automate the transfer of export and import data between GB and EU systems, improve data quality, reduce re-keying of information, and enable the removal of some paper-based certificates.

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