New Import rules

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B+.

Queen Bee
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I'm expecting some queens to be arrive rom the EU (Netherlands) early next week so I've duly applied for an import number. Then I received this:

"
Dear Importer.

Thank you for logging your intent to import honey bees via the IPAFFS System. Please continue to use the IPAFFS system to upload any further documents that are required for your import to be processed.

Shortly before the arrival date a National Bee Unit inspector may contact you to carry out an at destination risk-based import check. If contacted please do not complete the below action until the bees have been inspected.

Once you are in physical possession of the bees.

  • Remove only the queen from the cage
  • Send the original cages with attendant worker bees and other material that accompanied the queen bees from their country of origin to RM 02G06, Fera Science Ltd., York Biotech Campus, Sand Hutton, York YO41 1LZ, within 5 days of date of arrival. Please include your name, address, contact number and the IPAFFS Unique Reference Number with the parcel.
As the importer it is your legal responsibility to ensure the cages and bees arrive at Fera we therefore suggest you use some form of tracked delivery and are suitably packed for the postal service.

More information is available on the BeeBase website at Beebase - Beekeeping information resource for Beekeepers

Best wishes,

The National Bee Unit"

Does it strike anyone else as odd that a "legal responsibility" can be avoided by having a SBI visit? Part of the reason for doing the DASH certification all those years ago was that the SBI would only need to come every 3 years to do the audit.

At the risk of making this political, the NBU tell us they don't have the resources to inspect all these cages and attendants, So why add an additional layer of bureaucracy? We haven't had to send samples to the NBU since the early days of varroa. It's yet another cost that we're being asked to swallow because of Brexit.
 
Yes. For example if you buy jolanta’s queens direct you have to do this. If you buy from BMH he is supposed to transfer into new cages and do it. I suppose it’s the same for anybody importing queens. The big suppliers will do it for the hoi polloi
 
How much does it cost for the health certificate B+? I understand that European bee exporters are charged ~£100 for the bees to be inspected and certified before despatch.
 
Yes. For example if you buy jolanta’s queens direct you have to do this. If you buy from BMH he is supposed to transfer into new cages and do it. I suppose it’s the same for anybody importing queens. The big suppliers will do it for the hoi polloi

My understanding is that sending in cages/attendants only applies to queens imported into the UK. My point is that nothing has changed, but now the NBU are going to have lots of cages/attendants to examine. Do you really think they will? or is this another bit of pointless bureaucracy? Is this what we've become? A nation of form fillers and pencil pushers?
Obviously, this will affect the price of queens (not just mine) - how many queens come from abroad that are sold by all those well known bee suppliers we hear about. No doubt their prices will go up too.
 
How much does it cost for the health certificate B+? I understand that European bee exporters are charged ~£100 for the bees to be inspected and certified before despatch.

It varies depending on where you are and what tests you have done.
 
I'm expecting some queens to be arrive rom the EU (Netherlands) early next week so I've duly applied for an import number. Then I received this:

"
Dear Importer.

Thank you for logging your intent to import honey bees via the IPAFFS System. Please continue to use the IPAFFS system to upload any further documents that are required for your import to be processed.

Shortly before the arrival date a National Bee Unit inspector may contact you to carry out an at destination risk-based import check. If contacted please do not complete the below action until the bees have been inspected.

Once you are in physical possession of the bees.

  • Remove only the queen from the cage
  • Send the original cages with attendant worker bees and other material that accompanied the queen bees from their country of origin to RM 02G06, Fera Science Ltd., York Biotech Campus, Sand Hutton, York YO41 1LZ, within 5 days of date of arrival. Please include your name, address, contact number and the IPAFFS Unique Reference Number with the parcel.
As the importer it is your legal responsibility to ensure the cages and bees arrive at Fera we therefore suggest you use some form of tracked delivery and are suitably packed for the postal service.

More information is available on the BeeBase website at Beebase - Beekeeping information resource for Beekeepers

Best wishes,

The National Bee Unit"

Does it strike anyone else as odd that a "legal responsibility" can be avoided by having a SBI visit? Part of the reason for doing the DASH certification all those years ago was that the SBI would only need to come every 3 years to do the audit.

At the risk of making this political, the NBU tell us they don't have the resources to inspect all these cages and attendants, So why add an additional layer of bureaucracy? We haven't had to send samples to the NBU since the early days of varroa. It's yet another cost that we're being asked to swallow because of Brexit.

Where does it say that legal responsibility can be avoided by having an SBI visit? I read it that, while you might have an SBI visit, you still then have to send the cage and attendants to Fera?

Also, I'm confused that you are surprised by this. Surely we heard about this "send the cage and attendants to the NBU" thing back in January? I'm sure it was discussed quite a bit on the forum back then?
 
Where does it say that legal responsibility can be avoided by having an SBI visit? I read it that, while you might have an SBI visit, you still then have to send the cage and attendants to Fera?

Also, I'm confused that you are surprised by this. Surely we heard about this "send the cage and attendants to the NBU" thing back in January? I'm sure it was discussed quite a bit on the forum back then?

You're right. It's not instead of the SBI visit. It's as well as the sbi visit!
The point is that this is just one of the additional costs we're encountering. All down the line, there are new "requirements" that add cost to the final product. It doesn't matter if the news comes out in "dribs & drabs" or is sprung on you as a surprise, it's the cumulative cost that you have to pay...all because we are no longer part of the EU. IMHO, it's got nothing to do with "sovereignty". It's about creating new market opportunities so people can add bureaucratic layers that add no value, but does add cost.


EDIT: I wonder how you're supposed to arrange an SBI visit and deliver the bees to the NBU within 5 days? Lets be honest: this is an import restriction in all but name. It makes no sense, especially when you have to notify them of the port of entry on the IPAFFS system. If it were about pest/disease control, surely you'd inspect them at the port of entry?
 
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Yes. For example if you buy jolanta’s queens direct you have to do this. If you buy from BMH he is supposed to transfer into new cages and do it. I suppose it’s the same for anybody importing queens. The big suppliers will do it for the hoi polloi

Prices will have to go up or there will be a shortage.
 
My understanding is that queen imports will face more stringent requirements from 1st April 2022 as they will have to be through a Border Customs Post of which there are only two, Heathrow and Manchester. At present they can come in through any freight airport but this comes to an end on 31 March 2022. The likes of BS Honeybees will have to collect queens from the BCP and also pay for any inspection costs.
 
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My understanding is that queen imports will face more stringent requirements from 1st April 2022 as they will have to be through a Border Customs Post of which there are only two, Heathrow and Manchester. At present they can come in through any freight airport but this comes to an end on 31 March 2022. The likes of BS Honeybees will have to collect queens from the BCP and also pay for any inspection costs.

Yes. These are changes that will occur next year, but there are others already being implemented as indicated above.

Perhaps one change which may not be appreciated by members of this forum, but one that will affect me (but probably customers of imported queens too) is that any delay in the process increases the rejection rate as queens will have spent too long in transit. I pay extra so they arrive here overnight but will others? I doubt it.
If they have to be inspected at Heathrow (my understanding is this will only be a check to see if documentation is in order) there will, by necessity, be some delay as it is no longer a direct flight.
 
Sending the packaging, cages and attendents away to York is a good thing isn't it ? Even if they don't inspect and/or test everything that comes through the door, they need to monitor as much as possible.

Anyone who is going through the IPAFFS process is at least trying to do the right thing, It's those that import under plain cover without checks that are the real issue as far as pest and disease control is concerned.

And yes, prices will be going up....... by quite a bit for 2022. Costs of production here are rising pretty quickly, it's just not sustainable to absorb the extra costs and keep prices stable. The perception that bees need to be cheap is going to have to change, otherwise you won't be getting your bees !
 
Sending the packaging, cages and attendents away to York is a good thing isn't it ? Even if they don't inspect and/or test everything that comes through the door, they need to monitor as much as possible.

Anyone who is going through the IPAFFS process is at least trying to do the right thing, It's those that import under plain cover without checks that are the real issue as far as pest and disease control is concerned.

And yes, prices will be going up....... by quite a bit for 2022. Costs of production here are rising pretty quickly, it's just not sustainable to absorb the extra costs and keep prices stable. The perception that bees need to be cheap is going to have to change, otherwise you won't be getting your bees !

It's fine raising this here, but, its the beginners who may not be reading this forum who won't have been fore-warned. They'll get a shock when it comes to bees next year.
 
Sending the packaging, cages and attendents away to York is a good thing isn't it ? Even if they don't inspect and/or test everything that comes through the door, they need to monitor as much as possible.

I'm not sure that it is. What is the point of sending material that is just going to be binned? If they're going to be inspecting cages/bees/etc, I want feedback on what they find. I'm not paying for them just to "monitor" how many cages of bees I send them. That's just a box-ticking exercise.
 
I'm not sure that it is. What is the point of sending material that is just going to be binned? If they're going to be inspecting cages/bees/etc, I want feedback on what they find. I'm not paying for them just to "monitor" how many cages of bees I send them. That's just a box-ticking exercise.

I think you would get feedback pretty quickly if there was anything concerning found.
I don't have a problem following the protocol as it stands, the costs are accounted for when setting pricing going forward.
 

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