Welcome to the Defra imports and exports Brexit newsletter
You are receiving this newsletter as you have a key role in the import or export of animals and products of animal origin (POAO) between the United Kingdom and the European Union.
We contacted you ahead of the March and April Brexit dates to help you and your business prepare for when the UK leaves the EU. With an extension to that deadline until 31 October, we will now be sending you this regular update every fortnight until then, to ensure that you have all the latest information you need so that your business - or your customers - can continue to import and export to the EU.
As you will be aware, the Prime Minister has been clear that the UK will be leaving the EU on 31 October. Whilst the Government would prefer to leave with a deal, the UK will leave without one if an agreement cannot be reached. Irrespective of the outcome, Defra has been preparing for the UK’s departure. Robust plans are in place to minimise any disruption to the import and export of animals and animal products, and ensure that you can continue to trade after we leave the EU.
While we are ensuring that you will be able to import and export between the UK and EU after the UK leaves, the processes, systems and documentation will change. For example, all exports of live animals and products of animal origin will need Export Health Certificates, and there will be a new system for notifying of imports.
Over the next 12 weeks we will be letting you know when these systems for import and export will be ready for you to use – please do not attempt to register on the imports system yet, we will tell you when you can and ensure that you have proper user support to do so – as well as when the user guidance will be available, to ensure that you have all of the information you need to be able to import and export to both the EU and the rest of the world after 31 October.
In addition we will publish helpful process maps, run a series of online WebEx sessions, provide video content and publish social media material through our Defra Twitter handle to help you understand the steps you need to take. We will also attend key industry events across the UK where we can speak to you face to face.
We would be grateful if you would share the content of our various products with your members and other interested parties, to ensure they take the steps they need to be ready.
Organisations operating in Northern Ireland should ensure that they are aware that the Department of Agriculture Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) plan to introduce their own procedures for exports. Further information can be found on DAERA’s website:
To Do List
Each newsletter will highlight a set of key actions to take that will help ensure that you are prepared for 31 October. If it is relevant to you and you haven’t done it already, you need to make sure that you do it as soon as possible.
- Apply for EORI number - The first item in the ‘To Do List’ is to ensure that your European Union Registration and Identification (EORI) number will be valid if the UK leaves with or without a deal. If you do not get one, you may have increased costs and delays. For example, if HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) cannot clear your goods you may have to pay storage fees. Further information can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/eori
HMRC recently announced that they will automatically enrol all relevant traders that are VAT registered to have EORI numbers. Further details can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/chancellor-accelerates-brexit-preparations-for-businesses
If the UK leaves without agreeing a deal, you’ll also need an EU EORI number. Details of how you can obtain an EORI number can be found on the link above.
Approved establishment list – If the UK leaves without a deal, the EU will only accept imports of POAO that have been manufactured from products that originate from approved establishments. If you export POAO, or intend to do so shortly, you need to ensure that the establishments you use are on the approved list. Further details of this requirement and how to register can be found on the Food Standards Agency website. The FSA is supporting Defra to identify establishments that need to be listed: https://www.food.gov.uk/business-guidance/brexit-listing-of-establishments-to-export-products-of-animal-origin-to-the-eu
Seafood roadshows – In partnership with Seafish and the Marine Management Organisation, Defra, are hosting a series of events across England to help seafood traders, processors and businesses understand the changes that lie ahead and what they can do to prepare. The dates and locations are:
• 4th September – Plymouth
• 5th September – Newlyn
• 11th September – Grimsby
• 12th September – Scarborough
• 26th September – Fleetwood
• 4th October – London
Registration is on a first come first serve basis and attendees will be notified of venue locations closer to the time. You can register for the events here.
Finally, ahead of its go live we are undertaking user experience testing of the new online export service. We are very keen to get the feedback of users and we are running a two hour session in central London during the week starting 2 September. We want to accommodate as many people as possible and we will try to arrange it around your availability.
If you would like to take part, please use the link here and the team will get in touch with you to discuss timings. Please let us know what sector you are from so that we can, as far as possible, tailor the session to your specific user needs.
We hope you find this newsletter useful.
The Imports and Exports Team
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra