Agricultural Products: UK Trade with EU

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 27th May 2022.

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Photo of Michael Fabricant Michael Fabricant Conservative, Lichfield

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what (a) inspections and (b) other steps his Department is taking to ensure that (i) pests and (ii) diseases are not imported into the UK from (A) agricultural, (B) horticultural, (C) meat products and (D) other goods originating from the EU.

Photo of Victoria Prentis Victoria Prentis The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Biosecurity is a top priority for the Government, not only to protect consumers, but also to ensure that trading partners and industry have strong assurance of the UK's standards of food safety, animal and plant health.

Since 1 January 2021, the UK has put in place strict biosecurity controls on the highest risk imports of animals, animal products, plants and plant products from the EU. These controls on the highest risk goods will remain in place. We constantly review whether further safeguards are needed and have a scientific process to assess and respond to changing biosecurity threats.

Existing pre-notification requirements and the four-hour derogation for pre-notification will continue for all products of animal origin. Traders must continue to pre-notify to maintain traceability of imports and to allow UK authorities to collect essential data to inform design decisions. Traceability is vital for identifying consignments posing potential risk and allows us to properly manage any biosecurity incidents.

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