News in Brief – Coronavirus Crisis
- DAFM: The Department of Agriculture issued a statement on 13th March providing a commitment to prioritise the delivery of essential services to farmers and the processing sector through the duration of the COVID-19 restrictions. ICOS understands that these necessary regulatory and certification roles have continued to function as normal to date.
- Trade: On 16th March, the European Commission issued guidelines on border management in the context of the COVID-19 emergency. EU Member States are closing their borders to prevent the spread of COVID-19. In this context, the guidelines call on EU member states to ensure the unobstructed transport of goods, in particular essential goods such as food supplies including livestock, vital medical and protective equipment and supplies.
- Food Safety: The European Commission guidelines issued on 16th March categorically states that the European Food Safety Authority has found no evidence that food is a source or a transmission source of COVID-19. As a result, no additional certificates should be added to goods traded within the EU single market.
- SDAS: Bord Bia have made the decision to postpone SDAS audits for two months and extend the validity of current certificates where applicable for an initial period of 60 days. Bord Bia will conduct audits under strict protocols for new applicants or re-applicants to the SBLAS and the SDAS where requested to by farmers.
- RSA: The Road Safety Authority and the Department of Transport have agreed to allow a derogation for HGV drivers from EU driving and resting time rules until April 16th. The proposed derogation will apply to all operators and drivers engaged in the carriage of goods.
Eamonn Farrell – Agri Food Policy Executive