British sausage and mince meat makers will no longer be able to export their produce to the EU from this week, as part of the post-Brexit trade deal.
Updated Government guidance says UK producers will be banned from exporting ‘chilled meat preparations’ to the bloc from January 1.
The rules mean raw sausages, chilled minced meat, ungraded eggs and some dairy products made from unpasteurised milk can no longer be sent to the EU from Friday.
However, industry experts believe the produce can be exported in frozen form.
The rules apply to England, Scotland and Wales, while Northern Ireland will be exempt meaning it can continue exporting raw meat.
It comes as MPs today approved Britain and the EU’s Brexit deal in the House of Commons, after a historic agreement was reached in Brussels on Christmas Eve following more than four years of negotiations.
Restricted and prohibited goods:
According to the Government website, EU rules mean producers will not be able to export the following goods to the EU:
- chilled minced meat (red meat)
- chilled meat preparations (for example, raw sausages)
- minced meat (poultry)
- poultry and ratite or game bird mechanically separated meat
- raw milk from TB herds
- ungraded eggs
- composite products containing dairy products made from unpasteurised milk (for example, a ready meal topped with unpasteurised cheese)
Producers will also not be allowed to re-export certain animal and animal products including:
- fresh meat originally from the EU or non-EU countries
- milk not from the UK
- products using products of animal origin from non-EU countries that are not listed by the EU for the purpose of imports into the EU
Although many British business owners and workers were relieved the agreement allows the continuation of tariff-free trade from the new year, the 1,426-page deal does not come without its complications.
But businesses have been scrambling to work out what the deal means for them, after being given just three working days to make preparations before the transition period ends.
The British Meat Processors Association (BMPA) said the issue of raw exports was one of several areas of concern with the deal, which will come as a ‘significant blow’ for many UK producers.
Chief Executive Nick Allen said the industry had given up hope that the issue would be resolved by this week – but said businesses urgently need more clarity on how they can trade.
He told the Mirror: ‘What we hope, and what one or two people have said to us, is that in the coming months we can negotiate an export health certificate so this stuff can go to the Continent.
‘We are hopeful it’s not a ban forever and it will be solved.’
He added: ‘For some people it’s quite a significant blow. Some businesses will have developed a trade around it and they won’t be able to do it’.
From January 1, the UK and the EU will have their own sets of sanitary regulations.
After Brexit, UK exports must first pass EU customs checks, while imports will also have to adhere to UK rules.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson formally signed the post-Brexit trade deal with the EU at Downing Street this afternoon, describing it as a ‘new beginning’.
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