Current Affairs

OATA urges government to resolve animal importation issues

Chief executive of the OATA Dominic Whitmee said issues surrounding ‘certification and automated IT systems’ are among some of the problems members have faced

The Ornamental Aquatic Trade Association (OATA) has urged the government to resolve problems surrounding the importation of livestock animal by-products and plants, into the UK, Europe and the rest of the world. 

In a letter penned by the chief executive of the OATA Dominic Whitmee he stated that businesses throughout the UK continue to be impacted by the Covid-19 and are now “experiencing reduced trade and increased administrative and financial burdens arising from EU exit”.

Whitmee highlighted that issues surrounding “certification and automated IT systems” are among some of the problems members have faced. Suggesting that an recurring problem relates to the Automatic Licence Verification System (ALVS) which enables an inspectors’ decisions to be shared electronically with HMRC for customs clearance. 

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However, he said links “between the different IT systems used at the border repeatedly fail requiring importers to revert to manual, paper-based clearances process, adding up to three hours to clearance times, a concern when dealing with live animals”. 

Going on to state that “no-one seems to be able to identify and correct the source of the problem when it arises. If this could be sorted out it would alleviate much stress for importers, your staff and for the animals in transit.”

Whitmee said: “For the sake of businesses, their staff, your staff and for the betterment of animal welfare I urge you to resolve the issues faced by businesses in our sector. “

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