While David Chamberlain said the arrangements for the movement of animals into the EU post-Brexit was unclear, and would continue to be so until the question of ‘deal or no-deal’ was settled, a hard Brexit would mean significant changes at the border.
‘If there is a deal covering these matters then it can be anticipated that movement will be relatively straightforward, with changes mainly affecting the types of certification that is needed,’ said Mr Chamberlain.
‘However, in a no-deal situation, Guernsey will, like the UK, be classified as a third country by the EU.
‘In that case, finding an approved equine point of entry [Border Inspection Post] will be the key issue for horse movements to the EU.
‘St Malo is not an equine BIP and there appear to be no plans for France to make it one in the future.’
Under a hard Brexit with no deal, horses resident in the Channel Islands could have to travel to Europe via the UK to enter Europe through a BIP, significantly increasing journey times.
The journey distance from Guernsey to St Malo is 70 miles but via Dover is 646 miles.
However, the UK is not planning to increase the number of BIPs that it operates after Brexit.
‘That said, it is likely that practical considerations will see an evolution of these sorts of matters in the future,’ added Mr Chamberlain.
The UK also intended to have all horses retrospectively microchipped by 2020, which could mean all Channel Island horses travelling to the UK must be microchipped and a 30-day ‘grace period’ would no longer apply.
‘The UK are also proposing, with the assistance of Ireland and France, the adoption of the OIE (World Organisation for Animal Health) a ‘High Performance Principle’ which is similar to the Tripartite Agreement.
‘This would allow horses which have high levels of veterinary supervision to be maintained on a database and have certain health requirements which mean that they can move much more quickly within a trade system.
‘The Channel Islands are currently included in the TPA but it is unclear if they will be included in the new proposals.’
Arrangements for other pet travel was also not known.
However, it was hoped there would be no significant changes.
‘The future of the PET Scheme that has allowed relatively easy movement to and from the EU for pets – cats and dogs predominantly – is uncertain, although it is hoped this will remain in a form that is either the same or is similar to that in operation at the present time,’ said Mr Chamberlain.
‘As pets are not classified as “goods in commercial trade”, there is more potential for them to enter at ports classified as Travellers’ Ports of Entry after a no-deal Brexit where they will be subject to documentary and animal health checks. St Malo is a TPE.’