As of 1 Jan 2021 UK exports to the EU have been subject to full EU third country requirements, meaning they have had to comply with the same documentary, certification and other requirements as goods from the rest of the world, including in respect of issues such as permits for road haulage. Animal and plant-based food and feed products are additionally subject to quite specific requirements related to their respective health and safety risks.
Companies which already export to non-EU countries will be familiar with these requirements and have scaled up their internal procedures accordingly. But companies which have only ever traded with the EU will have needed to have new processes in place and factor in the extra time required prior to shipment, particularly in order to obtain an export health certificate. Many have found it easier to employ customs agents to help with this, though there is significant demand for such services.
During the course of 2021, new EU Animal Health Regulations have come into force modifying the content and format of a number of the Export Health Certificate (EHCs) which previously applied. A first set of changes came into effect from 21 April 2021, including the introduction of new certificates for composite foods. But a further set of changes is due to come into force from 15 January 2022, having been delayed from August 2021 to allow businesses more time to adapt.
A summary of the main requirements and an initial check list can be found at Prepare to Export from Great Britain. A useful set of key documents are set out in Defra’s GB to EU Trader Showcase. Different arrangements apply in respect of goods exported to the EU from Northern Ireland, which continue to be subject to Customs Union and Single Market rules. Please see here for further details.
Any GB exporter experiencing problems on entry to a Member State should contact Defra at SM-Defra-traders (DEFRA) firstname.lastname@example.org
- General Guidance
- Exporting from Britain to the EU
- Export Health Certification (EHC)
- Border Control Points (BCP)
- Tariffs & Customs
- Plant & Animal Products
- Products of Animal Origin (POAO) including Animal By-Products (ABP)
- Rules of Origin (ROO)
- Plants, Cereals and Potatoes
- Trade with the rest of the World
- Exporting live animals
- Composite foods