In the event of a no deal, agri-food retail and distribution sector in Northern Ireland could require Export Health Certificates (EHCs) to trade with the EU, which it currently does not.
The Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) has today (3 October) announced its plan to manage the EHCs needs of the agri-food sector if the UK leaves the EU without a deal.
The agri-food retail and distribution sector reportedly accounts for approximately 75% of new certification requirements.
The potential demand for EHCs is likely to exceed the capacity to supply from vets and support staff, the group said in a statement.
DAERA has said that the number of certificates required per annum could increase from the current 18,000 to 1.9 million or more.
"We have scaled up as much as possible but still, demand may exceed capacity," said Chief Veterinary Officer, Dr Robert Huey.
The actual demand will depend on the ability of businesses to maintain existing patterns of trade, given the broad range of third country requirements they will need to meet if they wish to continue to trade with the EU.
“DAERA will continue to work with our stakeholders to help them navigate the changes that a no deal Brexit will bring with regard to EHCs and will do our best to find solutions and keep trade flowing.”
© 2019 Checkout – your source for the latest Irish retail news. Article by Donna Ahern. Click sign-up to subscribe to Checkout.