EU delays Export Health Certificate implementation date
The EU has voted to delay the implementation date for the new Export Health Certificates (EHCs) required for moves from GB to the EU/NI under the EU Animal Health Law.
With this vote, the EU decided to extend the period within which the current certificates can be signed off until 15th January 2022 (rather than 21st August 2021 as had previously been the case).
Defra has reviewed options regarding the use of current and new EHCs between 21st August 2021 and 15th January 2022, and can confirm that equines being moved from GB to the EU/NI can use either the current or new certificate.
Whichever certificate you choose to use to export an equine, the corresponding requirements set out in that certificate must be fulfilled.
From 15th January 2022, all equines will need to use the new certificates.
Delay on date for using AHR EHCs – further information
The EU has confirmed a delay to when traders must start to use the new Export Health Certificates (EHCs).
The new Animal Health Regulation (AHR) EHCs were due to be used from 21 August 2021 for goods moved to Northern Ireland or exported to the EU. However, the EU has confirmed a delay to the date the new EHCs must be signed until 15 January 2022. This includes EHCs for all products of animal origin, live animals, germinal products and composite products.
We know that businesses have been working hard to get ready for the new EHCs on 21 August 2021. Both the existing and the new AHR EHCs are available on EHC online and traders can decide which EHCs they wish to use. The EU will be amending some of the new AHR EHCs and a small number of these, where changes are significant, will be removed from EHC Online until the certificate is updated. We will inform you shortly about which EHCs this will include.
The EU’s proposal will mean that current EHCs signed before 15 January 2022 can be used until 15 March 2022 for goods on route to the EU. Changes to the rules for the certification of composite products which took effect in April 2021 continue to apply.
Why has the date for using the new EHCs been pushed back?
The decision to delay was made by the EU. We understand that the request came from EU member states and other third countries. The UK did not make a formal request to delay the implementation of the new regulations. In GB we were ready for the 21 August 2021 and we know that businesses have been working hard to ensure they were prepared to use the new EHCs.
Which EHCs should I use?
Existing EHCs and the new AHR EHCs are both available for you to use on EHC online. We would encourage you to begin the process of moving towards using the new EHCs in a manner and time suitable to your business but in readiness for full switchover from 15 Jan 2022.
The EU will be amending some of the new AHR EHCs and a small number of these, where the changes are significant, will be removed from EHC Online until the certificate is updated with new information to be provided by the EU. We will inform you shortly about which EHCs this will include.
I’ve already started using the new AHR EHCs, are they still valid?
Yes, the new AHR EHC you are using is still valid. Both the existing EHCs and the new AHR EHCs are available to use on EHC online. A small number of the new certificates will be removed from EHC Online until the amended versions are available from the EU. We will advise you which certificates will be removed and provide notice of their removal.
Will this cause any problems at Border Control Posts?
Border Control Posts (BCPs) are aware that exporters may use either the existing or new AHR EHCs so there should not be problems at BCPs. However, we will be monitoring the situation and working with the EU and BCPs to ensure that there is a continued smooth export of goods at BCPs using both the existing and new AHR EHCs.
Does this include the new composite EHCs?
Changes to the rules for the certification of composite products which took effect in April 2021 continue to apply. Traders should continue to use the new AHR composite EHCs if they have been doing so since April. If your composite product used an EHC prior to 21 April 2021, you can now continue to use that EHC until 15 January 2022.
What does this mean for Authorised Traders sending goods to Northern Ireland
There is no change from August for Authorised Traders sending goods to Northern Ireland. We have proposed to the Commission a ‘standstill’ to freeze the current situation on implementing the Protocol in order to create space for a constructive negotiation between us and the EU. Under it we would continue to operate the Protocol as now; the grace periods would remain in being beyond current expiry dates; and existing legal actions would be paused. We aim to begin negotiations with the EU as soon as we can, i.e. later in August.
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