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.
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.
Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič said:
I am glad to announce that the Commission has today taken steps to ensure the continuity of supplies of veterinary medicines to Northern Ireland – but also Cyprus, Ireland, and Malta. This decision means that citizens and businesses there will continue to be able to buy veterinary medical products from within the United Kingdom. Veterinary medicine is essential for animal health and welfare, for food safety, and public health.
- Publication date
- 19 December 2022
- Representation in Ireland