Nov 17th, 2021
7 mins

Since leaving the EU, several members have highlighted to us the problems they are now facing in sending samples to the EU. The BFFF have been liaising with Defra to gain clarity on the processes to be followed and whilst there is still much to be bottomed out, we can now bring you the latest update.

As you are probably aware the EU recently published a draft amending Regulation. This has been voted on by the EU ScoPAFF Committee but is not yet in force and is still to be published in the Official Journal. However, it sets out changes in the movement of trade samples from 3rd countries to the EU – amending article 4 of Regulation (EU) 2019/2122 and outlining what the EU are intending to do.

Essentially Defra’s interpretation is that it will be down to the EU Member State of destination to confirm the specific documentary requirements for trade samples once these rules come in. The legislation gives them a route by which they can exempt trade samples from BCP checks if they wish – indeed, they may consider there is a low public health risk posed by samples which aren’t entering the food chain. But what that exactly entails is a little more confusing and needs clarification.

There would be certain requirements placed on the member state:

  • They would have to grant authorisation to the operator doing the testing (i.e. the EU importer)
  • The samples would have to be accompanied by an official document outlining the authorisation.
  • The samples would have to be accompanied by the relevant document/certification drawn up in accordance with Regulation (EU) 2020/2235  – This is the main point which needs clarifying as this is the EU regulation which lays down rules for the application of export health certificates (EHC’s). – At this stage, Defra are unsure of what the EU are intending to do here. For example, they may require samples to travel with the same EHC as it would need now but be exempt from official controls at BCP’s OR another possibility is that they could be intending to update Regulation (EU) 2020/2235 to include something specifically for this type of movement. Defra will be trying to clarify this.
  • The samples would have to be accompanied by any document under national rules.
  • There are also specific requirements for authorisation that the member state will have to issue to the operator.

In summary, Defra think it is likely going to be down to each member state to determine if they use this flexibility available to them and also for them to determine just how to put it into operation. This means that each member state would issue their own authorisations.

Defra will be seeking clarity from the Commission around what is intended by the way the draft regulation is worded but have said that it is up to industry to really understand what the process will look like. They have said that industry should liaise with the individual member states/competent authorities/importers in the EU if they want to benefit from this derogation allowing the movement of trade samples through BCP’s without needing official controls.

We will keep you updated as and when we have further updates but, in the meantime, Defra are keen to understand the experiences that traders have had in sending samples to the EU. Please contact if there is detail you wish us to pass back to them on your behalf.

Similarly, if you are having dialogue with any EU contacts it would be good to know what their understanding is of how things are going to work.




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