EU-UK relations: Commission extends arrangements for veterinary medicines to 2025

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This article is brought to you in association with the European Commission.


The European Commission has today adopted a notice which extends to 31 December 2025 the current arrangements for the movement of veterinary medicines from Great Britain to Cyprus, Ireland, Malta and Northern Ireland. This will ensure the continuity of supplies of veterinary medicinal products, in particular to Northern Ireland.

The Commission recognises the key importance of veterinary medicines for food safety, animal health and welfare, and public health. It has been listening carefully to the concerns expressed by relevant authorities and stakeholders – particularly those from Northern Ireland – in the area of veterinary medicines. The Commission has therefore acted today to provide additional time to businesses to adapt their supply chains.

Today’s notice includes an Action Plan, with clear milestones, that requires authorities to identify the precise veterinary medicinal products at risk, and to provide information about the measures they, or the relevant operators, are taking to comply with EU rules on veterinary medicinal products.

Background

The UK’s decision to leave the EU means that EU pharmaceutical rules no longer apply in the UK. Under the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland, these rules apply in Northern Ireland. This has created difficulties for many EU or Northern Ireland established operators which relied on the supply of veterinary medicinal products from or through parts of the UK, other than Northern Ireland.

To ensure the continuity of supply of veterinary medicinal products and allow operators sufficient time to adapt their supply chains, the Commission adopted on 25 January 2021 a notice providing for flexibility in the application of EU rules until 31 December 2021. At the end of 2021, it was clear that the situation remained challenging for market operators. Therefore, on 29 December 2021, a further extension was granted until 31 December 2022. 

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