Orr Litchfield

Solicitors and Business Lawyers

No deal Brexit & the law: Importing animals & animal products & your contracts

According to UK Government statistics relating to the first 6 months of 2018, the biggest single meat imports from European countries were Ireland (beef - £425,701,163, being 67% of all beef imports), Denmark (Pork - £171,542,708, being over 25% of all pork imports) and the Netherlands (Chicken - £168,738,807, being 43% of all chicken imports). The UK also imports a significant amount of meat from Germany (particularly pork) and Poland (particularly chicken).

A total of £817,433,785 worth of cheese was imported into the UK in the first half of 2018. Perhaps surprisingly, the UK also imports more cheese from Ireland (£196,074,497, being 24% of all cheese imports) than any other European country, with France and Italy in 2nd and 3rd place respectively.

The UK is currently scheduled to leave the EU at 11:00pm GMT (midnight CET) on 31st October 2019. In a series of articles, we will be exploring what will happen or is likely to happen in the event of a “No Deal Brexit”.

The UK Government has prepared a series of Guidance notes on a range of matters in order to assist UK and other businesses and individuals. The Guidance notes on “Importing animals, animal products, high-risk food and feed not of animal origin if there’s a no-deal Brexit” have just been updated. They state what importers need to do to prepare for the rules and processes if there is a no deal Brexit. They provide information on matters such as imports and control requirements, import ckecklists, new notification processes, documents for transporters and checks at the UK border. The Guidance notes also contain links to various related matters. The full text of the Guidance notes can be found here - https://www.gov.uk/guidance/importing-animals-animal-products-and-high-risk-food-and-feed-not-of-animal-origin-if-the-UK-leaves-the-EU-with-no-deal

If you are affected by the Guidance Notes, you may wish to review and/or renegotiate your existing trading and supply chain agreements, distribution agreements, agency agreements and related matters.

Need to talk?

Whatever stage of the Brexit assessment process you have reached, we can help you to understand the different legal and related commercial issues relating to Brexit, to choose the option that is right for you and to help you develop or minimise risks for your business.

Contact us

If you would like more information about the effects of Brexit or would like to discuss its effect on you, please contact us by telephone on +44 (0)20 3126 4520 or +45 38 88 16 00 or by email at enquiries@orrlitchfield.com

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