The 30th of April saw the implementation of the first checks of medium risk goods at BCP, continuing with the government’s Border Targeting Operating Model plan. These import control checks have a significant impact on the work of Official Veterinarians, with the introduction of new restrictions for importing POAO (products of animal origin) and ABP (animal by-products) into Great Britain.

Following this second stage of restrictions, we asked our National Technical Lead for Imports, Patricia Gonzalez, to reflect on these changes and the impact they’ve had:

“Nearly one month into the new regime for the import of consignments originated in the EU has passed and although we can agree it has been very challenging, it was imperative to finally start.

We have encountered a variety of obstacles, some more expected than others, and of very different natures, from IT issues to documentation problems.

The frontline staff, including Official Veterinarians, have done an amazing job considering the pressure they have been put under, especially when this is a new line of work for a reasonable proportion of them.

Going back to the time when our goods started to be subject to border controls when entering the EU, we can point out that the members states were very strict with our exports, and we were given little room for adapting into the new requirements.

We’ve experienced some issues with documentation issued by the authorities in the EU, but in order to avoid a serious impact on the availability of products for the UK market, we have been instructed to have a pragmatic approach for a determined period of time.

We recognise the standards of products originated in the EU or those imported initially in the EU from third countries before ending on our shelves are very good, but it is important we maintain full control of our borders, robust and independent from the EU.”

You can read the full plans for a new approach to importing goods into Great Britain at the GOV.UK website: The Border Target Operating Model


About Patricia Gonzalez

Patricia is the National Technical Lead for Imports at E&J, supporting a team of Technical Managers to deliver the highest technical standards of service delivery. Graduating in Veterinary Medicine at the University de Las Palmas, Gran Canaria, Patricia has worked as a Portal OV for over 20 years.