The Trade and Cooperation Agreement outlines few provisions to ease cooperation on regulating products placed on both the EU and UK markets.
Most businesses will therefore need to address EU and UK product compliance separately.
Product regulations define what criteria a good must meet and what production process it must follow, in order to be sold on a market.
Product regulations fall under two sub-headings:
- Technical Barriers to Trade (TBTs)
- Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS)
SANITARY AND PSYTO-SANITARY STANDARDS
The TCA allows for the UK and EU to operate fully independent SPS regimes, to protect human, animal and plant health. No mutual recognition arrangements were agreed in the TCA.
- SPS measures will apply to animal, plants and their originating goods when traveling between the EU and UK.
- These measures will be implemented in phases for most animal or plant products imported into the UK from the EU.
- Businesses must be prepared for notifications, certifications (Export Health Certificates) and physical product inspections to get customs clearance at specific border inspection posts.
- Despite the absence of mutual recognition, the TCA does provide for cooperation and dialogue between the UK and EU on SPS measures.
- A ‘Trade Specialised Committee on Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures’ has been established to enable cooperation between the EU and UK if any issues on implementing SPS measures arise.
NEW PROCESSES FOR SPS GOODS
New processes will be applied to the following imports:
- Animal products (including fishery products and live bivalve molluscs)
- High-risk food and feed not of animal origin
- Live animals (including live aquatic animals for aquaculture and ornamental purposes and equines)
- Plants and plant products
- Import Pre-Notifications
- As an importer, you will need to submit details of your consignment in a standardised import notification form in advance to the relevant regulatory body for your good.
- Details of the consignment should include:
- Country of origin, destination point, details of the specific species or product for the importer, exporter and transporter.
- IPAFFS (Import of Products Animals Food and Feed System) will be used by importers to pre-notify SPS imports.
- Health certification (e.g Export Health Certificate or Phytosanitary Certificate)
- This document should confirm that your product complies with the health requirements of your destination country.
- The exporter must obtain this document from the country of origin’s relevant authority.
- Live animals will require inspection from an official veterinarian.
- Various details must be given from the exporter about the consignment, including; country of origin, destination point, transport and a health evidence of the consignment.
- For live animals and products of animal origin, an inspection by an Official Veterinarian is required to confirm that they comply with the UK health requirements.
- Individual health certificates are needed for each species, type of product and destination. This means that one import may be comprised of multiple consignment, all with different health certificates.
- EHCO (Export Health Certificate Online) service will enable exporters to complete export health certificate (EHC) and phytosanitary certificate (PC) forms online (replacing the RoW EHC process).
- Documentary, identity and physical checks at the border or inland.
- Official certifications, evidence and commercial documents will be examined at the border or inland and must accompany the consignment at all times.
- Identify checks will ensure the content and labelling complies with the information stated in accompanying documentation.
- A physical check will ensure your goods comply with the UK import SPS requirements, a physical check will be conducted. E.g temperature sampling, laboratory testing, animal health checks, labelling and packaging.
- Entering through a ‘Point of Entry’ with a ‘Border Control Post’ (BCP)
- Certain goods must enter the UK at a certain entry point to conduct necessary checks on animals, plants and their originating products.
- A BCP is an inspection post where imports are checked against regulations and their accompanying documentation. Each BCP is set-up to process different goods.
- As an importer or exporter, you must ensure that your goods travel through the entry point with the correct BCP for your goods.
- Importers should inform the correct BCP of the arriving consignments prior to their arrival using the pre-notification procedure.
- Additional import requirements will apply to:
- Animal By-Products (ABP) not intended for human consumption.
- Products of Animal Origin (POAO).
- Fishery products and live bivalve molluscs.
- Live aquatic animals for acquaculture and ornamental purposes.
- High-Risk Food and Feed Not of Animal Origin (HRFNAO)
- Live Animals and Germinal Products
- Plants and Plant Products.
Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT)
TBT’s involve imposing technical regulations and assessment processes to ensure goods conform to standards
- The UK and EU can now regulate goods to best suit their own markets, with consideration of the WTO (World Trade Organisation) Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade.
- Both the UK and EU plan to use international standards to form the basis of technical regulations.
- Businesses selling goods in the UK and EU must now comply with the legal and regulatory regimes separately in the UK and EU, as there was no general provision for mutual recognition of conformity assessment processes outlined in the FTA.
- Suppliers must provide this declaration of conformity.
- Businesses must meet the compliance requirements in the UK and EU and undertake conformity assessment procedures by getting approval from third-party bodies in both the UK and EU.
- A ‘Trade Specialised Committee’ has been established to continue building cooperation and mutual interest on Technical Barriers to Trade between the UK and EU.
- Product labelling should include information relevant to consumers or product users and prove that the product complies with mandatory technical regulations.
- Products being placed on both the UK and EU markets must display the UKCA mark as well as the CE mark.
UK FOOD LABELLING
- Businesses must implement the UK Conformity Assessed (UKCA) mark on products sold in the UK. This will replace the CE marking.
- The CE marketing will still be accepted for goods sold in the UK until 1 January 2022, to give businesses time to implement this.
- Note that the CE marking will only valid, provided the UK and EU rules stay the same. If the EU changes their rules, and your product is marked based on those new rules, you cannot use the CE marking to sell your goods in the UK.
- Products sold on UK and EU markets must display the UKCA mark as well as the CE mark.
- Authorised representatives and responsible persons of products placed on the UK market must now be based in the UK.
- Organic Goods: The UK has granted EU equivalence for the trading and labelling organic goods until 31 December 2021.
- Meat, fish or seafood products: must be labelled with the country or place of origin, when sold to the end consumer or caterers.
EU FOOD LABELLING
- The UKCA marking will not be recognised for goods sold in the EU market. Products sold in the EU need a CE marking.
To help facilitate trade, specific measures have been agreed by the UK and EU for chemicals, medicines, automotive vehicles, and parts, as well as organic products and wine. See more below.
Goods must have a valid ‘UN-type approval certification’ which is compliant with domestic technical regulations, markings and conformity assessment procedures in order for goods to be sold on UK and EU markets.
No additional testing or marking to show compliance with a regulation covered under the UN-type approval certificate is needed.
The Trade and Cooperation Agreement enables simplified certification, documentation, labelling and packaging regulations when importing wine produced in the EU or UK into the other market.
Mutual recognition of Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) has been established for inspections and certificates in relation to medicinal products used for human and veterinary purposes.
Manufacturers will not require separate inspections from UK and EU regulatory bodies.
The UK and EU will use the ‘United Nations Globally Harmonized Classification System’ and Labelling of Chemicals. There is also an agreement to continue sharing information in the field of chemicals.
There is an equivalence agreement for organic goods in the TCA, where products certified as organic in the EU or UK will automatically be recognized as organic in the other. Organic products can therefore contain either the EU or UK (or both) organic logos.
Both the EU and UK markets have agreed on a set list of products which meet the regulations and have the relevant certificate of inspection from a recognised UK body.
The information provided on this page does not constitute legal advice and is subject to change in line with government rules and laws. While BritCham will endeavour to keep the information on these pages as current as possible, we advise you to seek expert independent legal advice an any matters relevant to your situation.