A FREIGHT logistics company has warned businesses to be ready for changes to the law on importing animal products from the European Union.

Southampton-based Meachers Global Logistics is preparing its customers for legal changes on importing animal products from the European Union into Great Britain.

New rules covering animal-origin products – including meat and dairy goods – will be introduced in January.

All UK importers and their EU suppliers will need to comply to avoid shipments being refused entry to the UK or goods being destroyed.

Requirements include notifying authorities in advance on consignments entering Great Britain and uploading a certified Export Health Certificate (EHC) using the Import of Products, Animals, Food and Feed System (IPAFFS).

Meachers’ operations director Rob Lewis said UK businesses should plan ahead to comply with the changes and avoid delays in the delivery of products.

He said: “This past year has seen challenges impacting the transport logistics industry, mainly due to the coronavirus pandemic and Brexit.

“These have affected food deliveries to Britain’s supermarkets and food outlets.

“As a leading provider of high-quality transport logistics, freight forwarding, supply chain management, UK warehousing, distribution and logistics transport, Meachers is flagging up the forthcoming changes to support our customers.

“It’s important that all businesses have the correct documentation for importing goods to ensure they comply with the requirements in the new year,” he added.

Britain’s supply chains are already affected by an international shortage of HGV drivers.

The problems have prompted warnings of delays in the run-up to Christmas, with fears that meat supplies could be affected, as well as other groceries and gifts.

The UK is estimated to have a shortfall of around 100,000 lorry drivers, with soaring energy costs adding to the cost of food production and logistics.

The government has sought to tempt thousands of EU lorry drivers to return to the UK.

It has offered 5,000 three-month visas to drivers from the continent willing to work in Britain.