Supporting exporting businesses for EU exit
26th November 2020
A pricing regime has been agreed in Highland for the provision of Export Health Certificates which will be required by UK businesses from 1 January 2021 to export products of animal origin to the EU.
Chair of The Highland Council's Communities and Place Committee Cllr Allan Henderson welcomed the work carried out to date by Council officers in supporting exporting businesses to the EU, he said:
"The Environmental Health Team has a very important role in providing certification for Highland businesses exporting animal products to the EU. Highland Council estimates that around 11,000 Export Health Certificates will be requested from businesses within the Council area to its Environmental Health Team who are the certifying officers.
"I thank our Environmental Health Team for all their hard work so far in their preparations for the EU exit which has been carried out while the Team was also responding to the coronavirus pandemic. Councillors greatly appreciate this and acknowledge the huge task ahead for them."
Following a review of local authority export health certificate fees, Members of The Highland Council's Communities and Place Committee have agreed revised fees for their provision in Highland to enable fair recovery of administration costs to the Council.
The basic charge of a standard export certificate will be £42.00 (previously £70.00) with variations on small and large batches and specific additional charges - where required - for travel, research, translation, correction and providing additional copies. Full details of the new charging details will be made available on the Council’s website at www.highland.gov.uk and from firstname.lastname@example.org .
Cllr Henderson added: “Members have noted the need to respond quickly to trade developments, government funding and demand for this service and have therefore agreed delegated authority to the senior Executive Chief Officer - Communities and Place to enable her to set or revise the fees and to report back to committee in 2021."
An Export Health Certificate confirms that exported goods meet the food safety requirements of the destination country. Certificates must be signed by either an Environmental Health Officer, a Food Safety Officer, or a certified Veterinarian and are subject to the supplier having passed an inspection of their premises and for full compliance within the export supply chain, under which fishing vessels are also now being inspected.
Alan Yates, Environmental Health Manger said: “Anyone planning to export fish, shellfish, and crustaceans to the EU after 1 January 2021 are encouraged to view the GOV.UK website and become familiar with all relevant APHA requirements. This also applies to other animal products like meat and dairy. Crucially they must ensure they are registered for the APHA online export health certification portal. If you own or operate a fishing vessel with your home port in Highland in order for your catch to be able to be exported to the EU after 1 January 2021 you will need to register your vessel with Highland Council - please refer to the Council’s website www.highland.gov.uk for further information. Please contact environmental health if you have any queries on exporting to the EU and don’t delay in getting ready.”
Further information on exports, including how to register to the APHA online export health certification portal, is available via the GOV.UK website www.gov.uk/guidance/get-an-export-health-certificate.
Members of The Highland Council's Caithness Committee have approved additional funding for a project to bring new life to the site of a former derelict building on Wick High Street. In September last year the Scottish Government announced extra funding through the Town Centre Fund as part of its national economic recovery stimulus package, particularly aimed at supporting construction activity across Scotland.
Inverness Councillors on The Highland Council's City and Area Recovery Group today discussed the importance of local businesses having an online digital presence for customer access during the pandemic and post-lockdown recovery. Good digital access via websites and social media was the common theme raised by two speakers from Business Gateway and the Highland Food and Drink Trail in presentations to Councillors.
The Highland Council has begun detailed designs works on a major £2.5m energy project, part-funded by the Scottish Government through Salix Finance. At a site on the River Ness, near Whin Park in Inverness, the council is preparing to install a 92kW ‘Archimedes Screw' hydroelectric power turbine.
The Council's ICT in Learning team have been working hard to continue to support our school communities as we deliver remote learning to all children and young people across Highland. Chair of Education committee, Cllr John Finlayson said: "I want to thank all of our staff in Education who have worked incredibly hard to ensure that our school communities are receiving support and a quality education experience.
Enrolment for all ELC providers, including local authority nurseries, partner settings and commissioned childminders, will take place online this year. Enrolment week for ELC places will take place on Monday 8 February to Friday 12 February 2021.
Following discussions at the recent Council meeting, the Council Leader has formally written to the Local Government Boundary Commission on their proposals for councillor numbers and ward boundaries in the Highland Council area. She advised the Boundary Commission that the Council rejected the Commission's proposals in their entirety and formally requested that they halt this process immediately and review the whole issue of remote and rural area boundaries and councillor numbers in consultation with the Highland Council and other local authorities who have mainland councils with inhabited islands.
The Scottish Government has launched a £1,500 grant scheme to assist each individual licensed taxi or private hire driver with their fixed costs including licence plate fees, rental fees and insurance payments for taxis not on the road. The Highland Council's Chair of the Economy and Infrastructure Committee, Cllr Trish Robertson said: "The Highland Council has been asked by the Scottish Government to deliver this grant scheme on their behalf.
Applicants for the Scottish Government's Temporary Business Closure Grant can now apply even if they do not have a formal business bank account. Businesses will now be able to use a personal bank account as evidence, if the account is mainly used for their business banking.
A significant top-up to the grant support available for hospitality, retail and leisure businesses across Scotland closed by level 4 restrictions will be paid following an announcement by Finance Secretary Kate Forbes. In addition to the grants businesses receive through the Strategic Business Framework Fund, eligible businesses will also get a one off grant of.
Members at yesterday's previously adjourned and re-scheduled meeting of Highland Council voted to carry a motion introduced to make adjustments to the agenda in light of the situation in relation to COVID-19 and Brexit. The urgent motion was proposed by Highland Council Leader Cllr Margaret Davidson and supported by the Leader of the official Opposition, Cllr Raymond Bremner.