HC Deb 08 July 2002 vol 388 c688W
Mr. Lidington

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what the target time is for processing an application for an import licence for camelids from non-EU countries; and if she will make a statement; [64359]

(2) what plans she has to change the licensing procedure for the import of camelids; and if she will make a statement. [64358]

Margaret Beckett

If the application for an import licence is complete and correct and we have up-to-date import conditions in place that have been agreed with the exporting country, we can dispatch a licence within three days. It is, however, more common for us to have to negotiate new or amended import conditions with the veterinary authorities of the exporting country. This can be a slow process and can take several months. For this reason we do not have a target date for such applications.

The existing licensing procedure will be retained until the European Commission introduces harmonised animal health rules for the importation of camelids into the Community.