Reports dating from 27 October that the UK would require quality certification on imports of fresh produce from the European Union caught European growers and UK importers on the back foot.
It had been stated that as part of post-Brexit requirements, a European Union (EU) Certificate of Conformity, or inspection certificate – would be needed to accompany all consignments as of 1 January 2021.
The Dutch Quality Control Bureau (KCB) said in a statement, “We’re doing everything we can to rapidly get an overview of the situation. The KCB is considering three different scenarios (in the case of a no-deal Brexit). It’s now making the corresponding preparations [and will] give further details via this website.”
However, since then the UK Government has clarified its stance saying such certificates will not be required. A statement on Gov.uk on 11th November says, ‘If you import fruit and vegetables from the EU into Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales), marketing standards processes at UK borders will change from 1 January 2021.
‘A small sample of imports from the EU will be selected for checks to ensure they’re complying with GB marketing standards. An EU-issued certificate of conformity will not be required for release into free circulation in GB.’
The government added, ‘The process for EU Member States to request GB Approved Inspection Services (AIS) status will be published before 1 January 2023, and stressed that, ‘There will be no change to the marketing standards requirements for importing fruit and vegetables to Northern Ireland (NI) from the EU.’