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Case Study: No Need To Go Nuts As Business Secures Green Lane Of Their Food To Europe

Do you want to start shipping food and feed products to the EU? If so, you'd better get familiar with the requirements and complexities of importing food into the EU.

The EU is known for its strict import controls. In particular, some non-animal foods and feeds such as nuts, spices and many other ingredients used in non-animal food products must conform to the relevant requirements set out by import control regulations before they are allowed into the EU market. These EU import controls make it incredibly hard for non-animal food and feed importers to do business in the EU. These controls can be complex, costly, and time-consuming for businesses if you do not know what you are doing.

If you are an importer or exporter of non-animal food or feed products who wants to know how these controls work, this case study will help you understand what you need to do in order to comply with them.

EU veterinary import controls are nuts…

Our client is a UK food business with a wide range of non-animal origin products (nuts, herbs, spices) that were exported to the EU from the UK (but originating in India). The exporter had realised that they needed to be aware of the requirements for non-animal origin foods destined for the EU, but they did not know where to turn. They were looking for a comprehensive picture of the rules as they pertain to their business and recommend the best processes and procedures for them to follow in order to meet both legal requirements and the goal of 'least hassle' for customers, thereby preventing problems with future shipments.

They had tried to send their nut products to Europe before but failed. Border officials would not let the products into the EU citing a lack of proper documentation and certification and asked for them to be destroyed. To avoid this from repeating, the company asked the SPS experts at Customs Manager Ltd to help them understand what they had been missing and how they could avoid issues in future.

Fortress Europe: Why getting certain non-animal food in is difficult

EU food safety laws are complex. Certain high-risk non-animal goods (also known as "High-Risk Food of Non-Animal Origin - or HRFNAO in short) imported from outside Europe are subject to additional import requirements, prenotification, or certification by the exporting countries. Prior to Brexit, British companies enjoyed complete access to the EU Single Market and EU Customs Union and did not need to worry about these controls.

Now, exporters to the EU must verify a list of non-animal products that are subject to additional regulatory oversight due to their origin. Food and feed with heightened risks of salmonella, mycotoxins, and pesticides are high-risk substances are subject to interim restrictions or emergency measures. That includes certain nuts, spices, leaves, and herbs from certain countries. These lists are updated regularly.

What we did to help

Our Customs specialists conducted interviews with supply chain managers and procurement staff and researched import commodity codes and EU import restrictions. We also examined food law and EU veterinary control law to see whether importers were required to comply.

Customs Manager Limited's specialists in the SPS area analysed and evaluated the client's products and found them referenced in crucial annexes of Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2019/1793. This regulation restricts the entry of certain commodities from foreign countries into the European Union. As a result, agents at the border would conduct 100 % paperwork and physical inspections, including lab testing. No wonder there we hold-ups if the right procedure was not followed! Goods were also subject to emergency measures by the EU, which required them to pre-notify their entry in the EU's TRACES system using a Common Health Entry Document (CHED-D) and to attach an official certificate and a Certificate of analysis (CoA). Also necessary were commercial documents (invoices, packing lists, bills of lading).

We supplied a complete customs and SPS compliance report that included recommendations on free trade agreements, rules of origin, and cost-cutting measures. Our final report included suggestions for cost-saving methods and processes. The client was also instructed on how to converse with veterinary authorities at the first EU entry point efficiently with a view to speeding up goods’ clearance.

“Clearing the border was easy, and we saved money, too”

Thanks to the efforts of Customs Manager Ltd, the business was able to enhance the presentation of its products to EU Border Veterinary Officials and followed the correct processes and procedures. Customs Manager Ltd's counsel, which included instructions on how to apply for a CHED-D number and register in TRACES, has had a significant impact on their company. They no longer have to worry about delays at customs since they are certain that their food will reach the client quickly and easily.

Let us help you with your SPS, food and feed queries

We give experienced advice on streamlining your food and feed import supply chains and decreasing the time and expense required to prepare your proposal. We may also help you in guaranteeing legally compliant verification of your inputs of non-animal origin by taking all precautions against danger whenever they reach a new jurisdiction.

Customs Manager Ltd works with a variety of companies that export non-animal origin food and feed products to the EU as well as those that import them from the EU. We have supported hundreds of businesses in understanding the requirements of the Veterinary Food Law and in completing the necessary paperwork standards.

Contact us, so we can conduct a free, no-obligation, and confidential evaluation of your food and feed import supply chain; we will suggest solutions for you to decrease the amount of paperwork required to fulfil the criteria and save money, too! And join us for SPS training, too.

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