Vets have been extremely vocal about their displeasure at the introduction of AHCs… however there is a much larger, lesser known, Brexit bureaucracy ball ache that is EHCs: Export Health Certificates.
Having to produce EHCs to export animals and animal products to Europe is another requirement that has sprung up following Brexit, and while vets completed around 22,000 AHCs in 2021, the number for EHCs was almost 300,000. Without sufficient capacity to produce these documents, it becomes harder for businesses to export their goods which over time could weaken our trading relationships and economy.
According to the British Veterinary Association (BVA), “Data from the UK’s Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) suggest that applications for food-related export health certificates (products of animal origin and livestock) spiralled by 1,255 per cent from 2020 (22,990 in total) to the end of 2021 (288,558).”
If you do use EHCs, how much time are they taking up for you and your team every day? How about every week, or every month when you add up all those hours?
How much could a simple error on one of those certificates cost you and your client?
On top of the extra workload, the BVA recently highlighted the staff shortages that the industry is now facing. It’s well-known that the livestock and animal-related industries lost large parts of their workforce following Brexit as so many migrant workers returned to the EU – and it’s now estimated that the past two years have seen a drop of 2/3 in registered EU workers coming into the UK. For OVs and clients, this means that there’s a lot more work to do, but far fewer people to do it.
Regarding the 1,255% increase in EHCs quoted above, the BVA warns that this is probably an underestimate of the real impact because it excludes orders of equine and pet certificates, and germplasm. It also leaves out movements to Northern Ireland, and requests that require more than one EHC – and there are many that need more than one, e.g. when transporting large numbers of livestock, different animals, different products and items, and when there are different transport routes or destinations.
Do you need a certification support officer, or simply some new software?
The role of certification support officer has been created in an attempt to manage the extra work required by EHCs, but this is yet another job to allocate when the workforce needs all the help it can get.
We and our OVForm customers continue to be impressed by the amount of time a simple, automated certificate can save with AHCs and we’re confident this can be exponentially more effective with the scale of EHCs that are now needed.
If you work with EHCs and want to talk about a simple, automated form that can save you and your team endless time and energy, we’d love to talk to you about making it happen!
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