Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Bill

Written evidence submitted by the Suffolk Coastal Port Health Authority (SCPHA) (REULB19)

Call for written evidence: Retained EU law (Revocation and Reform) Bill

Suffolk Coastal Port Health Authority (SCPHA) is based at the Port of Felixstowe, the UK’s largest container port. SCPHA serves business and the public by providing essential border checks on controlled imports:

· Imports controls for animal origin food and products

· Food Standards, food safety and water quality

· Certification for legally imported organic food and feed and wild caught fishery products

· Ship sanitation control and certification

· Infectious disease control

SCPHA comments on the Retained EU law (Revocation and Reform) Bill:

It is accepted that changes and updates are required to UK domestic law to assimilate "retained EU law" to ensure the continued high standards that the UK has campaigned for and successfully implemented for many years. With this in mind we would like to raise the following for consideration:

· The majority of the work of Port Health Authorities is based on a large number of "retained EU regulations, directives and decisions". These will need to be reviewed and assessed by DEFRA and the FSA (Food Standards Agency) in order to ascertain whether each one is suitable for the UK and should remain on the statute book.

· DEFRA are currently developing a new Target Operating Model (TOM) for the border which is planned to be delivered by 2025.

Given the large amount of legislation involved, the short timeframe for "sunsetting" and the fact that DEFRA are already significantly involved in other work on Border controls it would seem prudent that "sunsetting" of legislation enforced by Port Health Authorities should be postponed until 23 June 2026. We are suggesting the above as a means of ensuring that:

ü Regulatory powers remain in force at the border in order to protect public and animal health (biosecurity) while Port Health Authorities transition through the new target operating model for import checks (mid 2025).

ü Disruption at the border is minimized for both regulatory authorities and traders.

ü Regulatory authorities have the opportunity to be trained on regulatory changes, to update their procedures and to issue advice to trade.

ü Businesses have the opportunity to be trained on regulatory changes.

If you have any questions on the above please contact Pete Coley (Compliance Manager).

November 2022


Prepared 9th November 2022