The majority of the articles in Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2015/262 - The New Equine Passport Regulation - officially came into force on 1st January 2016. The remaining articles, which relate to the establishment of an operational central equine database, will come into force on 1st July 2016.
However, the national implementing legislation, which needs to be written and enacted by Westminster, has not yet been drafted and therefore will not come into effect this year.
This leaves us in the unusual situation where new EU Regulations must be adhered to but the UK legislation is awaiting revision.
Government and regulators will expect vets to comply with the overarching (i.e. EU) regulations. Consequently, BEVA is working with Defra to generate clear guidance on how vets should act in the current interregnum and how and when the UK legislation will affect vets. Defra has agreed that this guidance will be made available by the end of January 2016.
Until that guidance is available vets should act, as they have been, in accordance with the previous legislation.
It is worth noting that passports issued this year will have a different look but that existing passports will remain valid.
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