Brexit just around the corner, updates from the Ministry of Health


Brexit is just around the corner and an agreement could intervene ad horas between Boris Johnson and Ursula Von der Leyen. After Michel Barnier, chief negotiator for the EU, told the European Parliament on 12/22/30 that he had done all he could to unblock the knots on fisheries and competitiveness.

Meanwhile, the Italian Ministry of Health has updated its guidance on procedures to be followed for the purpose of import – export of agricultural and food commodities to and from the UK.

Brexit just around the corner, pressure skyrocketing

The pressure on the UK is unhappily expressed by MEP Guy Verhofstadt (ALDE Group, Belgium), according to whom the British ‘are beginning to understand what it really means to leave the EU‘ after 1,500 lorries were stranded in Kent on the occasion of the Covid-19 variant.

The conditions are certainly not optimal for reaching an understanding on an issue, such as fishing rights, of great impact to communities on both sides of the Channel and beyond. Be that as it may, the pressure is on all those who will have to start implementing new rules for shipping goods to a neighboring country in a week’s time.

Ministry of Health, latest circular

The Ministry of Health – DGISAN, Office 2 – has updated its Circular 28.10.20 on operational instructions for UK export of plants and animals, food and feed.

At present, ‘any sanitary measure imposed by the United Kingdom (UK) on goods destined for GB is to be considered as a unilateral request from a Third Country with which there are no defined Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) agreements. Therefore, based on these assumptions, the principles contained in the current Operational Guidelines for Certification Activities for the Export of Animals and Products by Competent Authorities remain valid.’

Health certificates also for composite products

Health certificates required by England to import animals and animal products are subject to frequent updates. Regarding terms and conditions to be applied to various product categories for export to the UK. Therefore, it is recommended to consult thepage dedicated to this on the British government website.

As of 1.1.21, health certification is required only for animal products subject to safeguard measures. (1) As of 1.4.21, health certification is extended to all Products of Animal Origin, which in the English novelty includes, it should be noted, so-called composite products. (2) That is, those made from plant-based ingredients with the addition of processed ingredients of animal origin. From frozen pizza to milk chocolate, tortellini and egg liqueur.

Health Status and Border Operating Model

The health status of individual EU member countries-in relation to the various types of products intended for import into the UK (e.g., meat and meat products, milk and dairy products, etc.)-is established in line with the standards that apply in the European Union. Also taking into account the restrictions set at the regional levels. Updates on the British government website.

In some cases the health certificate must include a Unique Notification Number (UNN), which the UK importer has the burden of providing to the EU exporter. More details in the Border Operating Model area of the UK government website. For further news please refer to our first article devoted to Brexit, at

Dario Dongo

Cover design by Deligne,


(1) Safeguard measures on POAO are established in UK under conditions mirroring those in EU (reg. EU 206/2010, Decisions 2000/572/EC, 2007/777/EC). Refers to:

– Safeguard measures on imports, transit and storage of products arriving from third countries,

– Regionalization of restriction measures imposed as a result of animal infectious diseases

(2) England has thus erased one of the cornerstones of the simplifications introduced in the Hygiene Package (EC reg. 852, 853/04 et seq.). For further study see theebook ‘Food Safety, Mandatory Rules and Voluntary Standards,’ at