UK – new flexibility on import certifications

In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, the UK’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has announced the following measures to ease trade flows.

  • Certificate of Organic Inspection (COI): Defra has agreed to accept electronic certificates of inspection produced in the online management tool TRACES NT for organic products, in line with EU provisions. Original documents need to be shown to Port Health Authorities once available.
  • Phytosanitary certificates: The UK is aligned with the European Union in terms of acceptance of digital copies.
  • Other customs certification: HM Revenue & Customs has confirmed flexibility regarding customs documentation.
  • Marketing Standards – Horticultural Marketing Inspectorate (HMI) checks: Temporary measures have been introduced for border inspections of consignments from countries with Approved Inspection Service (AIS) agreements, including Senegal and Kenya. Consignments from these countries will continue to clear Customs without delay with regard to marketing standards requirements, and the small percentage of post-clearance checks have been temporarily suspended. Note that requirements for border checks from non-AIS countries are unchanged.