BIFAlink February 2023

Policy & Compliance


Safe to eat – news from Suffolk Coastal Port Health Authority

importers to submit certain documentation when bringing them into Britain. New legislation ( updates/legislation-changes-what-food-and- feed-are-considered-high-risk/) changed what NAO foods and feeds are classed as high risk and therefore require health checks when being imported into Britain. Importers and agents should familiarise themselves with the changes and ensure they submit accurate documentation. SCPHA fights spread of African swine fever in joint operation with Border Force A joint operation between Border Force and SCPHA is cracking down on smuggled meats at the ports of Felixstowe and Harwich to reduce the chances of an African Swine Fever (ASF) outbreak in Britain. Team members from SCPHA have used their expertise to identify, inspect and seize more than 300 kg of illegal meats which have been found by Border Force in traffic arriving from EU countries. ASF is a highly contagious viral disease of pigs with potentially devastating effects on pig populations and the farming economy. Following a risk assessment by the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) on the threat of ASF, the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA) announced new controls restricting the movement of pork and pork products into Britain to help safeguard the island’s pig population.

A round-up of the latest developments concerning food imports at two of the UK’s major ports

Operation OPSON XI During 2022, Suffolk Coastal Port Health Authority (SCPHA) took part in the global Operation OPSON XI ( goods/Food-crime-operations) alongside the Food Standard Agency’s National Food Crime Unit (FSA NFCU). Operation OPSON – which means ‘food’ in ancient Greek – is an annual law enforcement operation that aims to remove counterfeit and sub-standard food and drinks from the market and dismantle the organised crime groups involved. Between December 2021 and May 2022, Interpol coordinated the global activities of 21 participating countries in the latest operation against illicit food and drink. In the UK, the focus was placed on imported seafoods with over 400 checks being made on fish, seafood and alcoholic drinks. Following concerns raised by the FSA NFCU, SCPHA took samples of tuna, prawn and squid products to look for traces of nitrates and nitrites, irradiation and undeclared species.

Digital import documents now accepted Importers and agents are now able to electronically submit Common Health Entry Documents (CHEDs) to SCPHA at the ports of Felixstowe and Harwich. The notification raised on IPAFFs for a consignment will serve as its legal notification when a CHED-P or CHED-D is emailed to SCPHA. However, original health certificates and IUU catch certificates required for certain consignments must still be sent as hard copies to SCPHA by post or courier, or with the drivers of driver-accompanied trailers. Further information is available at: documents-now-accepted-by-suffolk-coastal-po rt-health-authority/ Changes to non-animal origin imports requiring health checks from January 2023 The current list of products requiring a CHED- D has been amended with this update. SCPHA has published a list of products of non-animal origin (NAO) that need to undergo health checks from 17 January 2023, requiring

February 2023


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