Purpose

The purpose of this guide is to provide general guidance for importers who wish to import beef, pork and mutton from the UK to Hong Kong.

Background

UK was not an European Union (EU) Member State and the transition period of the Brexit ended on 31.12.2020.  However, UK will continue to apply the standards and controls of the European Union (EU) for meat production within the whole of UK after the end of the transition period and the Northern Ireland will continue to apply the EU sanitary and phytosanitary legislation.  As regards the movements of livestock and meat products between the Island of Ireland and Great Britain, UK ascertained that the current EU traceability system for animals and animal products will be maintained.  UK proposed a dual purpose export document arrangement between UK and RoI.  The arrangement was confined to UK and RoI to allow meat (beef, pork and mutton) derived from animals born and raised in RoI or UK, be it slaughtered in RoI or UK, to be exported through UK, but not vice versa.

Dual Purpose EU document, i.e. Export Declaration/Health Certificate

Centre for Food Safety (CFS) of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department (FEHD) accepted the proposed dual purpose export document arrangement between UK and RoI, i.e. EXPORT DECLARATION/HEALTH CERTIFICATE for the export of beef, pork and mutton derived from animals born and raised in the RoI or the UK, slaughtered in the RoI or the UK, packed in the UK and exported from the UK.  This arrangement shall be automatically terminated should there be any non-alignment of the food safety standards and controls for meat production between UK and EU.

Statutory Requirements

Under Regulation 4(1) of the Imported Game, Meat, Poultry and Eggs Regulations, Cap. 132AK, no person shall import meat without a health certificate issued by an issuing entity of place of origin recognized by the Authority and according to Regulation 4(2), Cap. 132AK, meat may be imported without a health certificate subject to the permission in writing of a health officer and to such conditions as he may impose.  That means, a health certificate can only be issued by UK where the animal was slaughtered.  If the animal was born and raised in RoI or UK, slaughtered in the RoI, packed in UK and exported from UK, UK must issue an Export Declaration and the importer in Hong Kong must obtain permission in writing from CFS of FEHD of Hong Kong before importing the consignment into Hong Kong.

Application for Permission in writing and Application Procedure

If importers wish to import beef, pork and mutton derived from animals born and raised in the RoI or the UK, slaughtered in the RoI, packed in the UK and exported from the UK, they may download the application form FEHB 286 from website of FEHD or CFS to apply for the permission in writing or submit online application through the Food Trader Portal (www.ftp.cfs.gov.hk).

The permission in writing is valid for 12 months from the date of issue and can be used for more than one shipment. No application fee is required and FEHD pledges to process applications within five working days.

Import Licence

Under the Import and Export Ordinance, Cap. 60, import of frozen or chilled beef, mutton, pork and poultry is subject to import licensing control.  FEHD is responsible for issuing import licences for these foods.  Thus, importers are also required to apply for an import licence from FEHD for each consignment of imported beef, pork or mutton from the UK under the said arrangement.

Imported Consignment

Each imported consignment, when arrives in Hong Kong, must be accompanied by an/a EXPORT DECLARATION/HEALTH CERTIFICATE issued by the issuing entity of UK to certify that the meat is fit for human consumption.

Time Table of the New Arrangement

The new arrangement was rolled out on 1 January 2021.

As at 1 January 2021, Hong Kong importers can make use of the dual purpose UK document, i.e. EXPORT DECLARATION/HEALTH CERTIFICATE, for importing beef, pork and mutton derived from animals born and raised in the RoI or the UK, slaughtered in the RoI or the UK, packed in the UK and exported from the UK to Hong Kong.

The use of previously agreed dual purpose EU document i.e. EXPORT DECLARATION/HEALTH CERTIFICATE  issued by an eligible EU Member State for meat derived from animals born and raised/slaughtered/ packed and export in the UK had been ceased with effect from 1 January 2021.

Where to make applications or enquiries?

Applications related to the import of beef, pork and mutton from the UK under the said new arrangement should be addressed to CFS at 43/F, Queensway Government Offices, 66 Queensway, Hong Kong.  For enquiries, please contact the Food Import and Export Section (Tel: 2867 5577) or 1823 Government Hotline.  Enquiries may also be sent to the e-mail address: fsc@fehd.gov.hk or by fax at 2521 4784.

Centre for Food Safety
Food and Environmental Hygiene Department