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Defra shares no deal advice

Following on from our previous instalment of News Bites with the news that Brexit is being delayed yet further, DEFRA has published guidelines to prepare companies for a no deal departure, which remains a possibility since the stalemate between Theresa May and the European Union continues and shows no signs of changing.

The latest report from the government published at the start of the month covers a few key areas to including importing organic produce, nutrition and health claims, vitamins and minerals in foods and problems arising from the Irish border. This could have serious implications for anyone working in or around the food sector in the UK, as it could lead to food standards/requirements changing and increased time and cost to import foods because of potential border checks.

If the UK does not reach a deal with the EU, then we will lose access to the Trade Control and Expert System, which provides certifications of inspection for organic and other imported goods. DEFRA warns import and export of these goods could change unless the UK maintains regulatory alignment with EU standards.

The nutrition and health claims register contains all approved or rejected nutrition and/or health claims of products entering the country. If a no deal Brexit occurs, only products on the UK register will have clearance to enter the country and some products may no longer be licensed for sale. If in doubt we would advise to check with the department for health and social care about precautions to take. There will also be a UK register and guidelines released for vitamins and minerals allowed in foods if a no deal Brexit scenario occurs.

Problems may also arise from importing goods across the Irish border, both because of the import VAT that may become a possibility and the chance of a hard border. Whilst only applicable to companies moving goods between the two parts of Ireland, this could have wider repercussions for the food industry in Ireland and the UK as a whole.

This article was written by Prestige Purchasing, a Foodservice and Hospitality procurement consultancy. We run bespoke, client-funded supply chain reviews and procurement projects for leading out-of-home eating businesses. No aggregation or supplier income. No share of savings. Food purchasing without the funny business.

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