What is an ATP Certificate for Refrigerated Vans? And Do I Need One?
Many refrigerated vans start as normal vehicles and then are converted, either to chill their contents or freeze them. Anyone who is transporting perishables such as food, however, needs to follow some special rules to ensure safety, especially if they are delivering to another country.
For delivery across borders, this means getting approval through ATP certification which is based on a treaty between members of the United Nations. The types of foods that are covered under the agreement include butter, concentrated fruit juices, fish, dairy and meat products, frozen and ready-cooked or ready to eat foods.
International Food Delivery
If you are using a refrigerated or freezer van to transport these goods to another country outside the UK, you need to meet the standards set out by the ATP agreement. When your vehicle has been converted and approved, you will be given a certificate which you need to keep with the vehicle along with a certification plate of compliance that needs to be permanently fixed to the refrigeration equipment and in clear view for anyone who needs to check.
If you are transporting abroad, you may be stopped by officials who will view the plate, either at the border or anywhere within the country you are visiting.
If you are buying or leasing a refrigerated van that is already designed to carry perishable goods, the certificate should be given with the vehicle when you take possession of it. If you have bought an ‘ordinary’ van and then want to convert it to a refrigerated or freezer van, you will need to obtain new certification at the same time.
Whether you have a conversion or a ready to go vehicle, the certification lasts for 6 years and, after that, your van requires a retest and recertification every 3 years following this period.
Do I Need an ATP Certificate if Transporting in the UK
The ATP certificate is aimed at businesses that are likely to transport their foodstuffs across borders. The UK is counted as one country so whether you are delivering to Scotland, England or Wales it’s all the same.
In the UK, the rules for transporting food goods is governed by The Food Safety and Hygiene (England) Regulations 2013 which includes maintaining the right temperature and monitoring and recording it. While an ATP certificate isn’t required for local deliveries, it does give you complete peace of mind that your vehicle is fit for purpose, even if you have no plans of delivering abroad.
Get Your Refrigerated Van from FridgeXpress
If you need a refrigerated or freezer van in the UK, it pays to use the experts. At FridgeXpress, we only deal with this type of vehicle so can ensure that you have the right certification and that your van is fit for purpose and safe to use.
Want to find out more? Contact our expert team today.