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Importing composite food products from the UK into the EU

Since April 21, 2021, the rules to export or move composite food products from Great Britain to mainland Europe have changed. To cross borders without any problems, you need, in most cases, an export health certificate (EHC). It is of importance to know all guidelines regarding importing or moving composite food products into the EU and the EHC.

In this blog, we will give you more information about exporting those products from the United Kingdom. We will help you to make clear what composite food products exactly are (and are not) and the global rules that you need to know to follow up by exporting and moving those products from the UK to the EU.

What counts as composite food products, and what does not?

A composite food product is a product of animal origin (POAO), or a product with as main ingredient plants. To be clear, when plants are just used for flavoring or processing the products, it is not a composite food product. Composite food products are always produced for human consumption.

To clarify what composite food products are, we would like to give you some examples:

  • Lasagne
  • Ham Pizza
  • Cream liqueurs
  • Chicken pies

Composite products that contain dairy made of unpasteurized milk cannot be imported into the European Union.

There are also a lot of products that may like composite food products but are not. Such as cheese with added herbs, sausages with garlic, and yoghurts with added fruits, not composite food products. Those food products are origin from unprocessed POAO (products of animal origin) or are plant-based food products with no POAO content. These will be classified as dairy, meat, or plant products. Also, food that is not for human consumption is a non-composite food product.

What do you need if you want to export composite food from the UK?

If you want to export composite food products from the United Kingdom to the European Union or transit those products through the European Union, you need more documents from April 21, 2021. The export health certificate (EHC), is needed for food that contains any processed meat or is chilled/frozen. The EHC is also mentioned Private Attestation (PA).

An export health certificate is an official document that confirms your export meets the health requirements of the destination country. The transition arrangement of this certificate is that if you use an existing EHC to export your composite food products, you can continue using this EHC till August 2021. 

Apart from the certificate, there are more arrangements you need to do. The products must meet the EU standards and must be checked at the EU Border Control Post (unless your product is exempt). EU Border Control Posts (BCP) usually can be found on EU ports and airports. Not all Border Control Posts can carry out all types of products. Those checks are made to protect animal and public health.

What if it is not in order?

If you arrive at the border without the correct documentation (the EHC), or you arrive at a port in the EU where it is not possible to carry out the check, the consequences can be severe. It is possible that your goods get refused, seized, destroyed, or returned to the United Kingdom. Please make sure that your documentation is in order.

For goods that got rejected at a European Union Border Control Post, it may be possible to re-enter the goods to Great Britain through any point of entry. A risk assessment has to be done to get approval for a re-enter. This is possible in the period of January 1, 2021, till December 31, 2021.
More information about documents you need to return a consignment you find here.

The rules around composite food products are changing from October 1, 2021. Please read the updates in our news release: Exporting composite products to the UK from the EU from the 1st of October.

How can we, as a freight carrier, assist you between the United Kingdom and Europe mainland?

When you import composite food products from the UK to European mainland, the multi-customer double deck network of 2WIN Cargo can be a perfect fit. You are moving more volume per trip, pay less per pallet and optimize your carbon footprint. And the best part? In the case of moving composite food products, our Brexit specialists can assist you in guiding and complying with all legal regulations.  

Are you not sure if you are transporting composite food, or if you have all the documentation that you needed? We think along with you, feel free to contact us!

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