What is exporting?
Exporting to the UK
Controls in place for exporting food from the EU into the UK    
Changes to UK Import Requirements from 01 January 2022
UK Import Requirements from 01 July 2022
Tips for preparing to export to GB
Contact your Competent Authority

What is exporting?

The movement of goods to a destination outside the EU is referred to as an 'export'. A country that is not a member of the EU is often referred to as a 'third country'. Each third country can set their own requirements for food imported into their country and such trade is often subject to restrictions or may require additional certification.
The EU have a Market Access Database that contains extensive information about market access conditions in non-EU countries.

xporting to the UK  

Since 1 January 2021, the UK has been outside the EU Single Market and Customs Union. This means new procedures apply for businesses moving goods to, from or through the UK, excluding Northern Ireland.  The Protocol on Ireland / Northern Ireland, which forms part of the Withdrawal Agreement between the EU and the UK, means that no new procedures will apply to goods moving between Ireland and Northern Ireland.

For foods exported to the UK (excluding Northern Ireland) from the EU, the UK is introducing food import requirements on a phased basis. This approach is set out in detail in the UK Border Operating Model

On the 28 of April 2022 the UK Government announced that the remaining import controls, which were due to come into place on 1 July, 1 September and 1 November will no longer be introduced this year. Goods will continue to move from the EU to Great Britain as they do now.
Specifically, the following controls which were planned for introduction from July 2022 will now not be introduced:

  • A requirement for further Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) checks on EU imports currently at destination to be moved to Border Control Post (BCP).
  • A requirement for safety and security declarations on EU imports.
  • A requirement for further health certification and SPS checks for EU imports.
  • Prohibitions and restrictions on the import of chilled meats from the EU

The UK have indicated that they will publish a Target Operating Model in the Autumn 2022. This Target Operating Model will set out the new regime of border import controls and will target the end of 2023 as the revised introduction date for the controls.

The controls that have already been introduced will remain in place. See here for more information on exporting agri-food products to the UK from Ireland.

Controls in place for exporting food to UK

Currently, certain limited categories of plant and animal products, which the UK considers to be high risk (i.e. live animals, germinal products, products of animal origin under safeguard measures, high risk animal by-products (ABP)), require

  • pre-notification by the UK importer to the UK authorities, using its Imports of Products, Animal, Food and Feed System (IPAFFS)
  • an Export Certificate which must accompany the consignment being exported to the UK

Further information is available on Gov.UK

UK Import Requirements from 01 January 2022 

On 15 December 2021, the UK Government announced that the new UK customs and Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) import requirements which were due to apply to imports to Great Britain from 1 January 2022 have been postponed in respect of the import of goods from Ireland.

This announcement means that the current arrangements for importing goods to Great Britain (GB) from Ireland will now continue to apply after 1 January 2022 and until the UK Government provides further information. Based on the information provided by the UK Government, the following applies in respect of agri-food goods:

For animal product controls:

The pre-notification requirements introduced on EU imports from 1 January 2022 for Products of Animal Origin and Animal By-Products (ABP) currently do not apply to goods imported from the Republic of Ireland to Great Britain.

Existing requirements (introduced in January 2021) for Live Animals, Products of Animal Origin (POAO) under safeguard measures, germinal products and high risk Animal By-Products remain unchanged, i.e. imports of these goods from the Republic of Ireland (ROI) to GB and indirect movements from Northern Ireland (NI) moved via the ROI to GB, will continue to require pre-notification, to be accompanied by appropriate documentation and certification, and will continue be subject to risk-based import checks.

Direct movements from NI to GB of NI qualifying animal products, continue to have unfettered access to GB

Transits – Island of Ireland to European Continent via Great Britain

From 1 January 2022, all other POAO and low risk ABP moving from the Island of Ireland to continental EU countries via Great Britain are exempt from the UK import control requirements until further notice. Pre-notification is not required for these consignments.  

Transits - European Continent to Island of Ireland via Great Britain

From 1 January 2022, all other POAO and ABP from continental EU countries to the island of Ireland via Great Britain need to be pre-notified on IPAFFS at least four hours before they arrive into Great Britain.

GB authorities need to be informed once the consignment has left GB by emailing GBtransit-notification@defra.gov.uk with the subject line ‘confirmation that a consignment has left Great Britain territory’.

The email will need to include the following information:

- IPAFFS notification reference number

- details of means of transport

- date consignment has left GB territory

- copy of commercial documents (bill of lading or airway bill)

High Risk Food not of Animal Origin

Businesses moving high risk foods not of animal origin (HRFNAO) directly from the Island of Ireland (Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland) into Great Britain, are currently exempt from the requirement to pre notify. This is a temporary arrangement and continues to apply until the UK Government provides further information.

Tips for exporting to GB  

1. Familiarise yourself with Irish and UK Customs and Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) requirements for exporting goods to Great Britain 

2. Identify the correct health certificate(s) for your product(s)

3. Interact now with your inspector who will be certifying your products

4. Ensure you have full traceability information and all the supporting documentation available and have systems in place to organise these documents to align with your certifying officers’ needs

5. Identify the right, experienced staff to interact with the IT systems, such as TRACES, the EU online platform for sanitary and phytosanitary certification, the Dairy Certification System (DCPS).

6. Access the information material and guidance on UK Gov.UK and Irish Government websites (Gov.ie

7. Consider if there are issues to address in relation to logistics arrangements for example in relation to couriers 

Information on the new UK Import Controls is available on Gov.ie and includes:

   1. Summary 
   2. EU Import/Export Controls 
   3. UK Import Controls 
   4. Additional UK Government Import Requirements   
   5. UK Government Resources 
   6. Irish Government Supports and Training

Contact your Competent Authority

For further information on how to apply for an Export Health Certificate, please contact your Competent Authority.

 The FSAI issue Export Certificates for food contact materials. Download certificate application form and checklist  



Last reviewed: 6/5/2022

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