A long line of checks for meat can disrupt the trade between the UK and the EU
Meat trade between the UK and the EU will be disrupted, regardless of the deal signed between the two parts, due to mandatory veterinary checks believes Margaret Boanas, chairman of International Meat Trade Association.
Since 1997, all the food products of animal origin that enters the EU single market must face three mandatory checks: documentary, identity and physical checks. "It's a long line of checks, rather than just at the border when it enters the EU", explained Margaret Boanas.
That means that any meat exported by British producers into the EU must pass these steps, with a 20% ratio of physical checks for beef, lamb and pork and a 50% for chicken.
"Once is gone through all the official progress we shouldn't forget is that the customer, the wholesaler, the retailer, the manufacturer, will carry out further checks to make sure that it complies with their very specific requirements.
Besides that, the routes of transportation are possible to change as some European ports do not have a Border Inspection Point (BIP) to clear the meat that enters the EU. It's the case for Calais or the crossing points on the Ireland-Northern Irish border.
To plan and construct a new BIP takes several years and involves many steps including identifying an appropriate location within a port/ on a border, securing funding, obtaining planning permission, construction and sourcing veterinarians with the appropriate qualifications.
Instead of Calais, the meat can be sent to Le Havre but in the end, any disruption of existing trade routes will increase costs for business and ultimately consumers.
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