Minister challenged over certificate delays

Bradford East MP David Ward and representatives from Chamber International met environment minister David Heath over delays in the issuing of health certificates which is regularly taking longer than the usual three days and damaging export business for a small number of firms. The certificates cover animal by-products such as raw wool, hides, skins and offal.

The minister said a new online application service would be launched next year, but was urged to bring it forward. He also invited the delegation to visit the centre in Carlisle which issues the certificates to view the system first-hand.

Mike Cartwright Chamber policy executive, said: “This is not a widespread issue, but for those businesses that do export animal by-products, the turnaround time in getting these certificates is an additional hurdle, so it’s certainly real for them.”