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FOOD PRODUCTS AND AGRICULTURE

What effect will Brexit have on the procedure for placing food products on the market?

With the Withdrawal Agreement

Measures shall not be established until the expiry of the transitional period and would depend on the specific agreements reached between the parties during that period.

Without the Withdrawal Agreement

The United Kingdom will henceforth employ its own rules on food security, production and quality in the preparation of its food products. However, it will become a third country and hence, as ruled by EU legislation designed to protect human and animal health, health controls will be applied at borders both for the entry and the exit of such products in both directions. And they will have to resort to Spanish companies or those of other EU Member States to market their products in Spain.

What effects will a no-deal Brexit have on the importation of food to the EU from the United Kingdom?

The United Kingdom will acquire the status of third country and hence all food products for human consumption from the United Kingdom will be subject to health controls by the inspection services prior to their entry or importation to EU territory.

Will tariffs be placed on products coming from the United Kingdom or on the products we export to the United Kingdom?

With a Withdrawal Agreement

They will not be established until the end of the transition period, and depending on the specific agreements reached between the parties during this period.

Without a Withdrawal Agreement

Since the United Kingdom will become a third country, the common customs duty will be applied according to the corresponding product. The fees for the official controls of products imported from non-EU countries will also be applied: fee 060 and fee 071.

https://sede.administracionespublicas.gob.es/tasasPDF/prepareProvincia?idModelo=790&idTasa=060

https://sede.mscbs.gob.es/en/tasas/tasa071.htm

How does Brexit affect sanitation controls for the import and export of food?

With the Withdrawal Agreement

The United Kingdom will continue to apply European legislation until the end of the transition period, meaning that goods will continue to move freely as they do now under the same legislative requirements and without the application of tariffs.

Without the Withdrawal Agreement

The United Kingdom would be considered as a third country and border controls will be conducted on all consignments imported from the United Kingdom. These controls may relate to sanitary, phytosanitary or commercial quality aspects.

Exports will need to comply with the legislation drawn up by the United Kingdom and certification may be necessary in some cases. For products of animal origin, businesses may need to be included on lists of authorised exporters.

Depending on the product in question, various sanitary, phytosanitary or commercial quality controls may be necessary, meaning that operators will need to address their inspection applications to the competent control services via the corresponding platforms (TRACES, CEXVEG, CEXGAN or ESTACICE).

Will European Union rules on products from the United Kingdom cease to apply in terms of food quality and safety? What controls will be applied to products from the United Kingdom?

With the Withdrawal Agreement

The United Kingdom will continue to apply EU regulations during any transition period that may be established.

Without the Withdrawal Agreement

The United Kingdom will have its own food quality and safety rules for the production and manufacture of its food products. Nonetheless, as laid down by EU regulations, UK goods will need to meet European Union requirements on the protection of human and animal health, the environment and consumer rights before arriving in Europe.

What is the precise scope of the contingency measures on veterinary and phytosanitary legislation, and when will they apply?

With the Withdrawal Agreement

The contingency measures will not be needed because European Union regulations will continue to apply.

Without the Withdrawal Agreement

The EU regulations on public and animal health will no longer be applicable to the UK. As a result, the entry of animals and animal products from the UK to the EU will only be authorised if the UK is included on the list of authorised countries in the sectors specified by EU law.

The contingency measures announced by the Commission's Communication of 13 November 2018 consider that the UK will be included on the lists for live animals and animal products, provided that there is a guarantee that all the conditions of applicable veterinary or public health legislation are met. In the case of a no-deal scenario, the UK will be included on these lists starting from the withdrawal date.

With respect to phytosanitary matters, the UK will be considered a third country, so all plant exports, plant products and other objects regulated by EU law must be subject to inspection at the point of entry into the EU.

What products will be exempt from health controls by EU health services?

The EU health service inspectorate will perform health and veterinary controls on the following products:

a. Meat and offal for human consumption.

b. Meat preparations for human consumption.

c. Meat products for human consumption.

d. Treated stomachs, bladders and intestines for human consumption.

e. Other viscera for human consumption.

f. Live fish and molluscs and their eggs and gametes, when destined for immediate human consumption or prior to complementary transformation, as well as those destined for treatment centres, dispatch centres and similar centres before human consumption.

g. Live crustaceans and their derivate products provided they are destined for human consumption.

h. Milk and dairy products destined for human consumption.

i. Eggs and egg products (except eggs for incubation) destined for human consumption.

j. Honey, royal jelly and other apiculture products destined for human consumption.

k. Refrigerated, frozen, peeled, cooked, prepared or conserved land snails destined for human consumption.

l. Frogs legs destined for human consumption.

m. Live insects and other products of animal origin destined directly or indirectly for human consumption.

n. Raw material of animal origin, including sub-products, destined for the pharmaceutical industry.

o. Products of non-animal origin destined for human use or consumption.

p. Biocides (except for clinical or personal use or for their use in livestock holdings) and phytosanitary products.

q. Intrusive material (human hair, old cloths, clothes and used footwear and others).

r. Products, both of animal and non-animal origin sent to individuals in small packages or ordered remotely (e.g. by post, phone or Internet) and that are sent to consumers.

The specific list of goods subject to controls can be consulted at the following link.

What requirements should be met to introduce or import different products for human use or consumption subject to control by the EU health services?

The specific health requirements to introduce or import different products subject to inspection by the EU health services to EU territory can be consulted at the following link.

If there is no agreement, will live animals and animal products be controlled at the border when brought into the European Union from the United Kingdom?

This only addresses the import of products of animal origin, although products of non-animal origin will also be subject to health controls, and hence an alternative wording is proposed. See following row

In the event of a no deal, can live animals or food products be introduced into the European Union from the United Kingdom through any customs post?

They may only be presented for health inspections at customs posts that have points of entry and border inspection facilities that are duly authorised, which, depending on the type of product, may be:

• Border Inspection Posts - BIP

• Designated Points of Import - DPI

• Designated Points of Entry - DPE

• Customs Areas and Facilities - Spanish acronym: RAH

  • Border Inspection Posts - BIP: These are authorised pursuant to Commission Decision 2009/821/CE, of 28 September 2009, for the veterinary control of products of animal origin from third countries destined for human consumption.
  • Designated Points of Import - DPI: Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) No. 884/2014 imposing special conditions governing the import from certain third countries of feed and food that may be contaminated by aflatoxins.
  • Designated Points of Entry - DPE: Commission Regulation (EC) No. 669/2009, Implementing Regulations (EU) 322/2014, (EU) 884/2014, (EU) 885/2014 and 2015/175 and Implementing Decision 2011/884 establish that items of non-animal products included within the scope of application of these provisions may only enter the EU through a Designated Point of Entry (DPE).
  • Customs Areas and Facilities - Spanish acronym: RAH: Spanish Order of 20 January 1994, establishing the forms of health control for products destined for human use or consumption and the Spanish Recognised Customs Areas to perform said controls, establishes the list of Spanish Recognised Customs Areas specifically authorised for the health control of other products of non-animal origin destined for human use or consumption.

The list of points of entry and border inspection facilities where health controls can be performed on the different goods for human use or consumption from the United Kingdom can be consulted at the following link.

Will any restrictions exist on the entry of packages or personal baggage from the United Kingdom that contain food products?

Personal items of products of animal origin sent to individuals in small packages or that form part of the personal baggage of travellers must comply with the requirements established in Regulation (EC) 206/2009 on the introduction of personal items of products of animal origin into the EC.

Specifically, and unless all the health requirements are fully met for their introduction into EU territory, all packages that exceed the minimum amounts established in Article 2 of the aforesaid Regulation will be confiscated and destroyed.

For more information on the requirements for the introduction or importation of non-commercial items into national territory of different food products for personal use, you are advised to consult the following link.

Is the European Commission ready to approve the necessary Border Inspection Posts for conducting sanitary and phytosanitary controls, and how fast will this approval take place?

European Union legislation includes certain flexibilities; e.g. accepting temporary installations for inspection facilities or the use of commercial installations for storing consignments. To be ready on 30 March 2019, any new or expanded border inspection posts should be proposed by Member States to the European Commission before 15 February 2019.

What will the plant health requirements be for plant products shipped to the UK from Spain if there is no agreement?

If there is no agreement, the UK will have to establish the plant health requirements for the entry of these products into its country. These requirements may include a plant health certificate or other type of specific requirements or pest control measures that must be checked at its points of entry.

In principle, all fruits and vegetables will be able to be shipped to the UK without the need for a plant health certificate. Only some products such as plantation material, citrus fruit with leaves and some wood will need a plant health certificate.

For more information:

Plant health requirements applicable to trade in products of plant origin between the UK and the EU if there is a no-deal exit.

Will it be possible to continue using and marketing plant varieties from the UK catalogue?

Once the United Kingdom becomes a third country, any plant varieties only registered at the behest of the UK will be removed from the Common Catalogues of the European Union. As a result, these varieties may no longer be marketed in the rest of the European Union.

The 27 Member States and the European Commission have established simplified procedures to enable breeders to easily register varieties in at least one of the 27 Member States so that the plant varieties in question remain in the Common Catalogues, thereby allowing them to be marketed in the European Union after Brexit.

PRODUCTS OF OUTSTANDING QUALITY

Will it be possible to continue selling Spanish foodstuffs with protected designations of origin (PDO) or protected geographical indications (PGI) in the United Kingdom? Will their names be protected?

In principle, the United Kingdom will subject the import of products protected by a PDO or PGI to the same rules as similar products without a geographic indication.

The protection of their names will depend on whether a withdrawal agreement is approved or not.

If so, it is established that European Union PDOs and PGIs registered before the end of the transition period will enjoy at least the same level of protection as provided under current European Union legislation.

If not, it will be up to the United Kingdom to establish a system of protection for foreign geographical indications within its territory as it deems fit and according to obligations accepted under any international treaties and agreements it may have ratified.

What protection will be afforded to protected designations of origin (PDOs) and protected geographical indications (PGIs) for foodstuffs recognised in the United Kingdom within the European market?

If a withdrawal agreement is approved, the principle of mutual recognition will be applied and UK PDOs and PGIs registered before the end of the transition period will enjoy at least the same level of protection in the European Union as provided under current European Union legislation.

If no agreement is approved, the European Union will decide on the system of protection for UK geographical indications (which will not necessarily need to be equivalent to PDOs and PGIs), bearing in mind any pertinent international treaties to which the European Union or the various Member States are party: Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) of the WTO; the Paris Convention; the Lisbon Agreement; in a hypothetical future scenario, the Geneva Act, etc.

CAP

Will British farmers and fishermen be subject to the same standards as those of the European Union?

If there is an agreement, the farmers and fishermen of the United Kingdom will continue participating in the Common Agricultural Policy and Common Fisheries Policy, and be subject to its standards and obligations, until the end of the transition period (in principle on 31 December 2020).

In the agreement that will govern future relations, EU and Spanish negotiators will ensure that no situations of unfair competition arise concerning the regulations that the United Kingdom may establish for its agriculture, fisheries and food industries. If any such circumstance is observed, appropriate measures will be taken.

If there is no agreement, before the withdrawal date, the regulations could diverge, to a greater or lesser extent, depending on the decisions adopted by the UK authorities. In this situation, EU and Spanish institutions will address this issue and its consequences appropriately, seeking to safeguard the interests of those affected by the Common Policies, especially farmers, fishermen and the general public.

How will Brexit affect the funds obtained from the Common Agricultural Policy and the Common Fisheries Policy in Spain?

If there is an agreement, the United Kingdom will have to fulfil all its financial obligations derived from the current 2014-2020 Multiannual Financial Framework, which includes the First Pillar support of the CAP until 2020, the content of the rural development programmes within the current framework committed until 2023 and the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund. Therefore, Brexit should not affect the assistance received by Spain during this period.

Subsequently, the assistance received by Spain under these two EU policies will depend on what is agreed among the 27 remaining Member States for the future 2021-2027 Multiannual Financial Framework.

If there is no agreement, before the withdrawal date, a significant budgetary dispute would arise between the European Union and the United Kingdom, which could affect the implementation of the last financial years of the current Financial Framework and the design of the future one (2021-2027). European Union and Spanish institutions should address this issue and its consequences, and take appropriate decisions in this regard, in order to safeguard the interests of beneficiaries of the Common Policies, especially the CAP, as far as possible.

More information on the website of the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food.

Non official translation