EFPRA, which represents companies supplying processed animal proteins (PAPs) for use in various industries including farmed fish feed and pet food, contacted the European Commission on Friday last week to alert it to the fact that, in a hard Brexit, shipping MBM to the UK would no longer be possible, and that would, undoubtedly, constitute a serious problem for the rendering industry in Ireland and mainland Europe as the EU-27 states do not have enough incineration capacity for the safe disposal of Category I MBM.
The organization is, therefore, urging the Commission to draft a Regulation that, in case of a hard Brexit, the shipping of Category I material to the UK can continue.
The production of Category I MBM in the EU-27 is close to 1m tons per year, according to EFPRA data.
Since the early nineties, unlike other EU-countries, the UK developed significant infrastructure to incinerate specifically Category I MBM. Hence, for many years, several rendering companies based in the EU-27 have been shipping that by-product to the UK for safe disposal and incineration in that country.
EPFRA said it already raised this issue with EU Commission. During a short bilateral meeting at the end of January 2018 between EFPRA’s technical director, Dr Martin Alm, and the relevant staff dealing with animal by-products at Unit G2, the intra-community trade of those products destined for incineration was raised in the light of a possible hard Brexit.
House of Commons vote
However, commentators say it is now increasingly unlikely the UK will leave the EU without a deal in place at the end of March.
UK Prime Minister, Theresa May, has promised MPs two votes if they reject her withdrawal agreement when it goes to another meaningful vote by March 12. The first would be on whether to leave the EU without a deal. It is believed that this will be rejected, in which case there would be another vote on whether to delay Brexit, which looks a more realistic outcome, say market watchers.
Meanwhile, the UK government has been publishing a series of technical notices setting out what will happen in the event the UK leaves the EU without reaching a deal, and providing guidance for individuals and businesses.