New export health certificates, don’t get caught out

Friday, 3 September 2021

By Chris Gooderham

In early August, the EU announced a delay to the introduction of new export health certificates. The new certificates were due to be introduced from 21 August, but the delay has now pushed this back until 15 January 2022.

The new certificates are needed after the EU adopted the Animal Health Law back in 2016, bringing new regulations into EU law including “Product of Animal Origin” exports from the UK. That means dairy exports are subject to a new requirement that milk must be from an animal that has been in the country for a minimum of 3 months. This has implications for farmers selling milk from imported cows. After 15 January 2022, if a farmer imports a dairy cow, they cannot use milk from that cow in any product that is going to be exported to the EU for three months.

According to BCMS data, there has been a drop off in the number of 2+ year old dairy cows being imported. In the six months from Jan to Jun 2021, an average of 607 dairy cows were imported per month, down 22% on the same period last year. However, much of that drop comes from the initial Brexit shock in January, where imports were just 354 head.

chart, bar chart, histogram

Despite the delay in the EU introducing the new certificates, farmers looking to import in-milk dairy cows need to be wary of the three-month milking restriction. We would strongly recommend talking to your milk buyer to ascertain whether your milk is destined for the EU. If so, the risk is milk from an imported cow will need to be held back once the new certificates come into play.

Image of staff member Chris Gooderham

Chris Gooderham

Head of Market Specialists - Dairy & Livestock

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