Defra has today (1 October 2020) launched a £300,000 fund for vets and local authority officials to access free training to support the UK preparedness for the end of the transition period.
From 1 January 2021 an Export Health Certificate (EHC) – a document that confirms an export of live animals or animal products meets health requirements – will be needed to export to the EU.
Under the Northern Ireland Protocol, movements of live animals and animal products from Great Britain to Northern Ireland will require the same level of certification. This also includes equines, which currently move without health certification between the UK, France and Ireland.
Health documentation is certified by either Official Veterinarians (OVs) or Food Competent Certifying Officers (FCCOs). The new fund aims to boost the number of vets that are qualified to certify products of animal origin and equines for export.
It will also aim to increase the number of Certification Support Officers (CSOs) who can support OVs and FCCOs through a range of preliminary tasks to prepare consignments for certification but cannot sign health documentation in their own right.
Once vets have completed their training, they need to register their business on EHC Online to ensure that exporting businesses can use them to certify their goods from 1 January 2021.
This support is part of the Government’s commitment to ensure that our exporters are ready to take advantage of new free trade agreements with the world’s fastest growing economies.