IFA President Tim Cullinan has welcomed the six-month extension by the UK in the introduction of new import controls on agri-food and other products from Ireland and other EU countries, saying “the announcement provides a major breathing space for Irish agri-food exporters who are preparing for the new requirements”.
Tim Cullinan said “This six-month extension provides much-needed market stability over the coming months and will be welcomed by farmers and processors alike”.
In the absence of this extension, exporters were facing from 1st April a substantial ramping up of the regulatory burden on trade with new SPS controls on virtually all food exports to GB involving the Irish Department of Agriculture issuing of an additional 5,000 health certificates per week, which represents a ten-fold increase.
These controls will not now apply until 1st October which gives exporters six months extra time to meet the new requirements.
The IFA President welcomed the news, which came as he addressed the Northern Ireland Committee of the House of Commons today. At the meeting, MPs recognised the high quality of Irish food on the British market, particularly Irish beef, and the need to maintain the highest food standards on the UK market.
In his address, Tim Cullinan emphasised that the Northern Ireland Protocol was regarded as extremely important by Irish farmers in maintaining the free flow of live animals and agricultural products across the Ireland/Northern Ireland border.
“It’s vitally important in maintaining the all-island economy in the agri-food sector, which is particularly integrated in the border counties across all farming sectors,” he said.