Brexit update: Food and Drink Exporters

June 07, 2023

An update on a number of Brexit related issues:

  • DEFRA publishes risk categories for EU SPS imports
  • DEFRA publish model health certificates

DEFRA publishes risk categories for EU SPS imports: Defra has published the initial Target Operating Model (TOM) risk-categorisation for the imports of animals; animal products; plants and plant products of EU origin. The risk categorisation determines the controls that will apply to these goods when they are imported into GB from 31st October, as set out in the draft TOM. The TOM describes broad categories of high, medium and low risk, and this categorisation gives the details of how the new Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) regime, as set out in the draft TOM, will be applied. Please see the table on Page 30 of the draft TOM (see here) which sets out the controls and indicative checks for each risk category.

For animals and animal products, the categorisation is derived from a scientific assessment of the biosecurity and food safety risk that each commodity poses, weighted against the disease and pest risk of the country of origin. For plants and plant products, an equivalent process is in place to categorise commodities according to biosecurity risk. The categorisation is designed to be dynamic to respond to changing risks. There are some specific commodity groups (some dairy, composites and fruit and veg) where further risk assessment is ongoing. These have been placed in the 'low’ TOM risk category from October 2023, pending further risk assessments. Any changes to these TOM risk categories will not take place before April 2024 and DEFRA will communicate with traders well in advance of any changes to commodity categorisation. The EU will be treated as a single epidemiological entity, therefore all imports from the EU countries, will have SPS controls applied consistently.

If you export to GB, you need to check the TOM risk-level of your commodity now to be ready for upcoming changes to border processes.

  • To view the Plants and Plant Product TOM Risk Categories click here.
  • To view the Animals and Animal Products TOM Risk Categories click here.

Ibec will be running briefing sessions in due course but welcome any questions in the meantime on risk categorisation.

DEFRA publish model health certificates: Model health certificates (templates) have been published for competent authorities and exporters in EU and non-EU countries that show import requirements for Great Britain, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man. The model health certificates cover all of the import requirements for animals and animal products in Great Britain, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man and are available here.

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