North East Lincolnshire Council is recruiting staff to deal with food imports and exports at the ports of Grimsby and Immingham.
New trading rules between the UK and EU mean imports and exports of food must be inspected and relevant documents checked before it can move in or out of the country.
The Council’s Port Health team has taken on new staff to mostly focus on food import and export controls. Once the initial phases of staff recruitment are completed, the total number of staff working in Port Health will be more than 50.
As part of their duties, the team inspects consignments of fish and other food products to make sure they meet the relevant legislation and import or export requirements.
They also check all paperwork is in order, undertake traceability and storage checks as well as inspecting consignments to make sure they meet relevant hygiene and safety standards.
Doing business with Europe has changed. Businesses need to follow new rules on imports and exports. Visit www.gov.uk/transition for the latest information and to check how your business will be affected.
Cllr Ron Shepherd, portfolio holder for safer and stronger communities at North East Lincolnshire Council, said:
“We’re preparing ourselves for the new rules on imports and exports coming into force on 1 October 2021 and 1 January 2022.
“Businesses who trade with the EU also need to be ready. Familiarise yourself with the changes coming in, there is an abundance of material available to help.
“We want to make the process as simple as possible for those that move food products through our area.
“If you’re not sure and need help or advice, please contact our team by email at [email protected].”
Cllr Shepherd added:
“Our Port Health Team’s ultimate role is to protect public, animal and environmental health on a local, national and international level by regulating imports and exports of food and feed.
“They play an essential role in the fish trade, the industry that Great Grimsby is internationally known for, making sure that we do all we can to keep businesses importing and exporting food and other products safely through our ports.”
New trading rules
North East Lincolnshire is a local, national and international food manufacturing and distribution hub with a substantial proportion of the UK’s seafood being produced and handled in the area.
New import controls are being introduced in stages from January to July 2021. From 1 October 2021, there will be a further set of changes coming into effect on imports of products of animal origin (POAO) for human consumption. These changes affect imports of food and drink containing animal products.
Importers must use the UK’s import control system (IPAFFS) to pre-notify authorities of the arrival of products of animal origin and ensure consignments are accompanied by health certification.
From 1 January 2022, full import controls will be applied on products from the EU and they must arrive in the UK at approved Border Control Posts (BCPs) at various ports and airports, including Grimsby & Immingham ports.
From 1 January 2021, anyone who exports fish and animal products to the EU must be registered with APHA, the Animal and Plant Health Agency for Export Health Certificate Online (EHCO).
Each load of fish and animal products that leaves the UK must also have an Export Health Certificate (EHC) to accompany every load. These Certificates are already required for export to the rest of the world, but since the New Year, they have been required for loads being delivered to EU countries as well.
The EHCs for fishery products can be signed by qualified environmental health staff. North East Lincolnshire Council has taken on additional staff to support the certification process and to help local businesses that want to export to the EU.
The current cost for certificates issued by the Council is £108 each. Certificates can also be issued by registered vets.
For exports to the EU, the certificates must be applied for through EHCO and applicants should also inform NELC’s Commercial Regulatory Team about the export via [email protected], so that local officers can verify the information relating to the export and issue the Certificate.