The Department of Agriculture has suggested it expects the pattern of trade to change following Brexit and warned that ‘not all exports can comply with new post-Brexit rules’.
Businesses exporting agri-food products into the EU which are not member states will require an Export Health Certificate – an official document which carries an authorised signature such as from a vet which proves that food or animal exports meet quality and health requirements of the importing country.
Trade cannot happen without an EHC and it’s estimated nearly two million will be required to accompany every agri-food export into the EU.
The Department of Agriculture stated that: “The best thing agri-food businesses can do is to prepare for these changes – as not all businesses will be able to meet the new Export Health Certificate requirements.”
However, some experts have warned that the resources don’t exist to deal with the extra paperwork – let alone enough vets to carry out the checks – and could severely disrupt Northern Irish trade in particular.
And it could see the competitiveness of local businesses in the EU market take a hit.
Peter Hardwick of the British Meat Processors’ Association told the BBC that: “I think you have to draw the obvious conclusion that you can’t do the business, that you will lose that business.
“There will be competitors in the EU who are no doubt chomping at the bit, who don’t have to jump through those hoops and they’ll be in a prime position to take it away from us.”