The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) is planning to launch new digital system for processing export health certificates for animal products before the end of the year.
Minister of State for Defra George Eustice provided details on the progress of the plan in an answer to a parliamentary question from Labour MP Chris Ruane earlier in the week.
He said the technology build of the Export Health Certificate (EHC) Online service – which will enable exporters of animals to submit online applications – is well developed and that the Defra team is now testing it with users.
It is scheduled to be fully operational by the end of this year and will be rolled out to different sectors in the livestock industry in early 2020.
Spending on the projects has so far amounted to £11.4 million.
The service will be available on GOV.UK.
Currently the application process involves downloading the certificate and nominating an official vet or local authority inspector to sign it.
Preparations for Brexit are throwing the spotlight on the importance of the EHCs, which will become necessary for exports to EU countries in a no deal scenario.
Image by Sam Wise - Brize Norton Cows, CC BY-SA 2.0