BMPA updates, as they happen, on developing issues in the meat industry.
Contains links to member only content.
1 day ago
Dutch authorities have just announced that from 19 January all hauliers and van drivers travelling by ferry from the UK to Dutch ports need to have a negative lateral flow test within 24 hours of departure. Free testing is already available at 35 Rapid Testing Sites across the country, where hauliers can also get support with documentation requirements.
Coming the other way, from mainland Europe to England only, the rules are different with hauliers and anyone who started their journey in Ireland, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales, the Isle of Man, Jersey or Guernsey currently exempt from having to take a test.
1 day ago
A BMPA member, described by BBC Business Editor Simon Jack as an “export-driven British success story”, has spoken out about the post-Brexit customs system saying: “for fresh quality product trading on a daily basis, this system is not fit for purpose and it needs to be looked at urgently”.
Mr Khalid’s description of the difficulties his company has been experiencing prompted a personal phone call from the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defra, Victoria Prentis. And, drawing on his first-hand experience of the new border issues, he has been able to offer some carefully considered and extremely constructive suggestions for how the system could be streamlined. We’ll be covering that in more detail over the coming days.
1 day ago
Defra will hold a stakeholder forum on Rules of Origin for meat and processed meat at 10am on 21st January. It will give a high level introduction and information and guidance. Any members wishing to attend, please get in contact with the BMPA office and we’ll send you an invite.
1 day ago
A haulier reported on 11 January that he has 6 trailers of product all waiting for customs clearance into the Republic of Ireland. One of these loads has had to be returned to the processing company after waiting 5 days for clearance. The drivers have been reporting long delays as they wait for HMRC to process the customs documents. Each day a lorry load of perishable produce sits waiting increases the chance of that order either being reduced in price, cancelled and returned or, in the most severe circumstances, having to be thrown away and ending up in landfill.
At present I have 6 trailers with drivers waiting for customs to be cleared by UK revenue and we are having little luck at getting clearance back
1 day ago
The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine in Ireland has produced a series of extremely helpful videos explaining the complexities of the new customs and certification system for products entering Ireland from Great Britain. They give practical step-by-step instruction on everything from pre-notification and Export Health Certificates through to rules of origin and how to use the various online systems like TRACES NT. They’re well worth a look.
1 day ago
BMPA has created a new document in the Members’ Portal that tracks on-going live issues that are being reported to us. It describes the particular problem and indicates who is responsible for resolving it (Operators/Vets, UK/EU Government, Hauliers, Importers).
We’re encouraging companies to keep forwarding their on-the-ground experiences to us so we can continue to share solution and push Government to fix the things they’re responsible for.
Part of the new customs system involves customers in the EU having to complete new paperwork and procedures that weren’t previously necessary. This member reported that the time it is taking for French import agents to process the required T1 clearance can be between 8 and 48 hours with hold ups also being caused by French customers still not appearing on the new database. They had 5 trucks each containing 23 tonnes of fresh chilled meat all stuck at Calais from Friday 8th January until Monday 11th January with no signs of being able to move. The upshot is that this and many other companies have simply stopped producing and sending product to the EU completely.
Our trucks are days and days behind schedule even with correct paperwork!
The Border and Delivery Protocol Group held a webinar yesterday: ‘Exporting goods from GB to the EU via the Short Straits’ which will be uploaded to the Gov.uk website shortly. We’ve now uploaded to the Portal the accompanying set of slides and useful links to guidance on moving goods between UK and EU from 1 January 2021
If you move products of animal origin from GB to NI one of the many new rules you must follow is to pre-notify the arrival of your consignment by completing a Common Health Entry Document (CHED) using the TRACES-NT online system 24 hours before your goods arrive in NI at your Point of Entry.
We’ve uploaded a communication from Defra which gives some background information on TRACES-NT, a brief overview of how to use it and some helpful links.
The Government has published a Statutory Instrument which makes an amendment to current regulations to clarify that the restrictions on “importation” of meat preparations into England apply only to imports from third countries. It will also temporarily remove the requirement for meat preparations imported from the European Economic Area into England between 1 January and 31 March 2021 to be deep frozen and is intended to allow businesses time to prepare for new import requirements applying to meat preparations imported from the EEA.
Nick Allen, CEO of BMPA spoke to the Radio 5 Live Drive team tonight about the border chaos that meat companies are experiencing and the flawed system that’s causing it. Much of the narrative coming out of Government is talking about simple ‘teething problems’ with the new export system to our long time EU customers. But that doesn’t account for all the problems members are experiencing.
In his interview Nick explains the more structural problems of an export system that is just not fit for purpose. Originally designed to send a much smaller number of large container loads abroad, the system is now having to cope with a much larger number of small, just-in-time consignments. Despite current export volumes being only a fraction (in some cases only 20%) of normal trade, the system is already creaking, and is only going to get worse once companies start ramping up their volumes again over the coming weeks. Listen from 1hr 26mins 55sec.
The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Ireland) are running a webinar on ‘SPS Certification and Health Checks for Products Entering Ireland from GB: What Documents you Need, and When’ on Thursday 14th January at 3pm. We would urge any member who is trading with the Republic of Ireland to join this.
We’ve uploaded the latest update on the ongoing transition to the new border system to the Members’ Portal. It has reminders of the process and paperwork needed, a list of Border Control Posts you need to go through to avoid consignments being refused, seized or destroyed, along with other useful reminders, check lists, webinars and guidance.
Testing: Mass lateral flow testing is ramping up in the food industry. It’s currently free until the end of January and, while this is likely to extend a little into February, food businesses can expect to pay around £5 per test from Govt. suppliers and up to £8 from private suppliers. We’re investigating how mass Govt. community testing will fit into this picture. More updates to come.
Webinars: Government are also running weekly webinars on Tuesdays and Thursdays (10am) as well as follow up Q&A sessions (Tuesdays and Thursdays at 1:30pm) until the end of January. To book, please contact Nina.Dorian [@] defra.gov.uk.
Information: Defra has produced a guidance document summarising some of the key challenges with adherence to Covid rules along with suggestions on improving compliance. It’s aimed at retail settings but has some useful applications for other food businesses. They also updated their ‘Early Outbreak Management’ resources which have useful ‘Action Cards’ for each sector.
With no end date in sight for the requirement for anyone entering France to have a negative test result, the UK Government has now set up over 40 testing sites where hauliers can get a FREE lateral flow test. We’d strongly recommend these tests are taken BEFORE you enter Kent where possible.
Defra are hosting a webinar to set out the end-to-end process required for exporting Products of Animal Origin from GB to the EU via the Short Straits. This is in response to the issues arising of non-compliance of goods moving into France and will be held Thursday 14 January at 10am.
This event will include detail of GB and EU requirements on certification, IT systems, customs processes and the procedures at GB and French ports / terminals. The webinar will also include case studies for moving goods.
In order to help UK food businesses comply with relevant nutrition legislation from 1 January 2021 onwards, the Government has published a nutrition legislation information website which hosts guidance on key issues, such as general food labelling on food and drinks; food supplements; fortified foods; nutrition and health claims; and food for specific groups.
We’ve been sounding the warning bell to Government because we can see worrying signs that the new coronavirus strain is causing increased staff absences amongst frontline food factory workers. If they rise much further, this could spell trouble for food supplies into supermarkets.
This issue has been identified and prioritised by the World Health Organisation, the US Centre for Disease Control and other countries around the world and is now being picked up in the media.
We can all get behind this brilliant idea. Campaign group WRAP have launched a simple tool to put food businesses in touch with re-distributors of surplus food. Whether you want to sell surplus food to an alternate market or redistribute it, the new Food and Drink Surplus Network helps you find and contact the right organisation quickly, easily and directly.
Many of you will be aware of the issue surrounding the new 40-day residency requirement for certain animal by-products being exported.
BMPA’s Trade Policy Advisor, Peter Hardwick has compiled a list of the key Animal By-Product Export Health Certificates that do and don’t have this requirement which is now on the members’ portal. However, it’s still essential to check with your signing vet to ensure you’re familiar with all the conditions.
The Department of Agriculture Environment and Rural Affairs hosted a webinar on 7 January to provide the most up-to-date information on what the EU/UK trade deal means for Sanitary & Phytosanitary (SPS) checks and other trading procedures. A recording is now available to view.
The Cabinet Office’s Border and Protocol Delivery Group is holding daily all stakeholder conference calls to answer questions on the new border arrangements. They’ll be holding them for another week or so after which they’ll be reviewed. Today we organised the first of our daily all stakeholder calls.
We have uploaded the latest update bulletin from the BPDG dated 4 Jan onto the members’ portal which contains Q&As plus links to further information, online forums and helpline numbers. If you’re interested in joining one of these daily calls, their updates also contain contact details for the BPDG.
AHDB has launched their new Eat Balanced campaign this week which will run throughout January. It highlights the benefits of a balanced diet that involves all the food groups for optimum nutrition. It’s long been understood that nutrition shouldn’t be an ‘all or nothing’ argument, but this is often how it’s portrayed in the media. This campaign, along with sites like British Meat, are intended to inject some balance back into the debate.
In light of the new lockdown restrictions, we understand that there may be increased stopping of vehicles by enforcement officers. To enable your workforce to commute to and from work, we have a downloadable car badge and letter template stating they are a key worker and which can be edited to your needs.
31 Dec, 2020
The Home Office has now published The Employers Guide to Right to Work Checks document including an update on the Grace Period (1 January – 30 June 2021).
The most significant updates relate to how to avoid unlawful discrimination when conducting right to work checks and checks for EEA and Swiss nationals during the Grace Period. It also includes an overview of the new routes under the points based system and the temporary adjusted right to work checking process during COVID-19. We have links and Q&As that explain this in more detail.
31 Dec, 2020
The FSA has stopped short of issuing its own Support Health Attestations (SHAs) and chosen instead to issue guidance. Given the need for Food Business Operators to provide these additional declarations after 31 December (read more about this here), BMPA has created a suite of SHAs and guidance notes to assist members in compiling the correct documentation. They may be used by an FBO to link to Commercial Documents accompanying products of animal origin.
While these are not official documents, they meet the requirements set out in the FSA guidance. We have one for each species and the intention is for one SHA per site, per species, per day to be produced where necessary. The FSA have said they can support this, but cooperation is needed from on-site Official Veterinarians.
31 Dec, 2020
The Government has published detailed Rules of Origin guidance for the goods moving between the UK and EU from 1 January.
We have also posted a new slide deck from Defra that explains the changes for businesses from day one, including flow charts and examples.
31 Dec, 2020
We’ve posted a new guidebook for food businesses on setting up a site to participate in asymptomatic lateral flow testing along with a new NHS resources pack for workplaces to help businesses communicate with workers and stakeholders.
There is currently no cost for the test kits for testing for hauliers, and we understand no cost has yet been determined for testing of site employees. The DHSC is also looking to roll out ‘serial’ testing – daily testing for close contacts of an individual that tests positive, which would be to replace self-isolation of those close contacts. We have Defra contacts on the Portal if you’re interested in finding out more about this.
31 Dec, 2020
From 1 Jan only companies that are on Defra’s Authorised Traders list will be eligible to move prohibited and restricted goods to Northern Ireland (these include products of animal origin and composite products). Authorised Traders are supermarkets and their trusted suppliers.
Defra has also published final version of the new compliance declarations and certificates that you’ll need to use to send goods to NI along with other useful information in their Trader Showcase
23 Dec, 2020
Defra’s Trader Readiness Team have compiled a pack of useful information regarding the export of animals and POAO from Great Britain to the European Union from 1 January 2021. It includes information on 3rd country listing, EHCs, prohibitions and restrictions, groupage and logistics hubs. We’ve also posted the latest trader readiness FAQs.
23 Dec, 2020
We’ve published a list of ‘Out of Hours’ contact details for FSA/Defra/APHA, which includes an email, phone number and hours available. We’ve also included all Defra’s EU Exit helpline numbers organised by subject matter.
23 Dec, 2020
We’ve just posted new documents onto the BMPA Members’ Portal covering compliance protocol and traders guidance issued by the Northern Ireland Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA).
There’s a letter from the European Commission to the UK’s Chief Veterinary Officer which follows up on the two declarations made by the UK to the Joint Committee in relation to SPS issues. There’s also information about DAERA’s Sanitary & Phytosanitary Controls and Point of Entry Marketing Standards Checks for goods moving from GB to NI. And DAERA’s guidance For Authorised Traders during the three month grace period.
22 Dec, 2020
A new report from the Environment Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee on the Government’s new immigration policy and how it impacts the food supply chain pulls no punches. It lays out in stark terms why our industry, along with other parts of the food supply chain desperately need Government to acknowledge (and do something about) the hole that Brexit will put in our workforce despite rising UK unemployment.
It’s not a simple equation but Conservative MP Neil Parish gets the crux of the message across when he says: “If British farmers and food producers can’t get the workers they need, we all risk higher food prices or more cheap imports produced to standards we wouldn’t tolerate here”.
22 Dec, 2020
Read BMPA’s Trade Policy Advisor, Peter Hardwick’s last article of 2020 on why time has run out to get a comprehensive free trade agreement with the EU. He explains that even if we get a “deal” in the next few days it will be thin and still mean some forms of trade will be either difficult or impossible. Whatever happens we are guaranteed to suffer disruption and economic damage.
21 Dec, 2020
The Government has published a whole host of resources covering moving goods from GB to NI. The new Trader Showcase website has been developed to be a one-stop-shop depository of key information, documents and assets that are available for you to download and share.
It includes webinars, FAQs and information on EHCs, process maps, trader support schemes and links to relevant guidance.