This section describes additional processes users will face when importing the following goods:
(1.2.2) Goods covered by International Conventions / Commitments
• Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES)
• Rough Diamonds (Kimberley)
• Temporary import of non-perishables (ATA Carnets)
(1.2.3) Goods subject to Sanitary and Phytosanitary Controls
• Animal products (Products of Animal Origin and Animal By-Products)
• Fish, Shellfish and their Products
• High-Risk Food and Feed Not of Animal Origin (HRFNAO)
• Live animals and Germinal Products
• Plants and Plant Products
(1.2.4) Goods with Specific Customs Requirements
• Excise goods
(1.2.5) Other Goods
• Bottled Water
• Drug Precursors
• Explosives Precursors
• Market Surveillance
• Veterinary Medicines
• Medicines, Medical isotopes, Clinical Trial Supplies, Controlled Drugs, Substances of Human Origin
1.1.2 Goods Covered by International Conventions / Commitments
Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES)
Species covered by CITES are listed in the UK under one of four appendices to the applicable regulations, according to the degree of protection that each species needs. The exact import controls that apply are determined by the appendix the species are listed in.
UK CITES requirements are the same for the EU as RoW.
• Appendices A and B: imports to UK need a valid, endorsed export permit (or re-export certificate) from the country of export, and an import permit from the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA).
• Appendix C: imports to UK would need an export permit, re-export certificate or certificate of origin from the country of export and a valid import notification on entry to GB.
• Appendix D: imports to UK would need an import notification on entry to UK.
Traders can check whether the species they intend to import is listed on the CITES list here or here.
All import, export, re-export and introduction of species covered by UKWTR need to be authorised, and the importer or intermediary must present the valid, original CITES export and import permits to Border Force officers for endorsement at a designated CITES port/point of entry.
The list of UK designated ports/points of entry can be found here.
If no valid import permit and necessary export permit or certificate is presented at the UK point of entry/exit, the specimen will not be allowed to proceed and could be seized.
Both the GB importer and the EU exporter will need to apply for a CITES permit from their competent authority. Contact details for EU competent authorities can be found here.
For GB, CITES import permit applications are processed by APHA at the Centre for International Trade in Bristol. Details for traders are available online.
Traders will need to allow 15 working days for permits to be processed. There are some specific exemptions from these requirements, and applicants are encouraged to contact APHA prior to making an application. This can be done online.
Imported goods may also need to be accompanied by an export permit, re-export certificate or certificate of origin; this will be dependent on the relevant appendix to the Convention that the species are listed in.
The EU export permit (or re-export certificate) must also be endorsed (printed permits are wet stamped, e-permits will be validated) by a customs officer upon exit, and then both the export and import permit/notification are endorsed (i.e. wet stamped) by a customs officer upon entry into GB. It is the importer’s responsibility to make sure that the original permit is presented to Border Force staff at the point of entry.
Moving CITES specimens by post
CITES documentation and specimens must be presented to Border Force (at one of the 27 points of entry) before posting items to destinations outside of the UK. Before importing CITES goods by post, the GB importer must ensure the sender completes customs declarations and any CITES documents required. Border Force check CITES imports before they can enter the UK. Importers will be asked to provide the CITES UK import permit before BF release the specimen.
Requirements for postal CITES movements can be found online.
Location of Checks
CITES specimens can only enter or leave the UK at CITES-designated points of entry/exit. Further information is available here.
Additional requirements for live animals, marine-caught fish, animal products and plants and plant products
CITES specimens will require 100% documentary checks by Border Force from January 2021. Imports of live animals (and some derivative products, plants or timber), listed under CITES may also be subject to specific sanitary and phytosanitary controls (Products of Animal Origin, Products not for human consumption, chilled and frozen goods, and Forestry material) as detailed elsewhere in this document, which may further restrict which points of entry can be used at the UK Border. For example, species of live animals listed under CITES would need to enter GB at a CITES-designated point of entry that also has a suitable Border Control Post for live animals.
Under CITES conference resolution 12.3 (Rev CoP16), certain artificially-propagated plants from Austria, Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Hong Kong, Republic of Korea, Singapore and Sweden may be imported with a valid combined Phytosanitary/CITES export permit subject to certain conditions, accompanied by UKWTR import documents. These documents should be presented to Border Force at import for endorsement.
Pocess Map: CITES
Rough diamonds are diamonds that are unworked or simply sawn, cleaved or bruted and fall under the relevant trade tariff commodity codes – 7102.1000 (unsorted rough diamonds), 7102.2100 (industrial rough diamonds) and 7102.3100 (non-industrial rough diamonds).
The framework that regulates the international trade in rough diamonds – the Kimberley Process (KP) – will continue to apply in the UK from 1 January 2021. Although the UK will no longer be represented by the EU in the KP, the UK has secured independent KP participation.
This means that importing rough diamonds from the EU will be subject to import controls in line with rough diamond imports from all KP participants. A list of KP participants can be found on the KP website.
Importing rough diamonds from non-KP participants is prohibited. The Government Diamond Office (GDO) implements the KP in the UK.
Original KP certificates for rough diamond imports should be presented to HMRC or Border Force before entry clearance can be granted. Border Force officers endorse the KP certificate at the time of import (at port) after import checks are performed and requirements are met. If there isn’t an original KP certificate, the goods are liable for seizure.
For imports at non-linked inventory ports, the importer or agent must present the Kimberley Process certificate to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) by faxing the customs import declaration and supporting documents to their National Clearance Hub (NCH). At the same time the importer or intermediary needs to make arrangements to present the original KP certificate to Border Force for verification and endorsement.
Rough diamond imports to GB from the EU would need an accompanying KP certificate issued by an EU competent authority and imported in a sealed, tamper-proof container.
Imports may be subject to physical inspection by the GDO and Border Force to ensure full compliance with the KP. If inspections indicate that the rough diamonds are not KP compliant or do not match the details on the certificate (e.g. value, weight, etc), then the shipment could be liable to seizure.
process Map: Rough Diamonds
The current process for ATA Carnets with convention countries outside the EU will apply to relevant imports and exports with the EU at the end of the transition period. This means that from January 2021, ATA Carnets provide one of the options available to both businesses and individuals when temporarily moving goods between the UK and EU countries. Detailed guidance is available here.
The ATA Carnet is an international customs document that can be used by private travellers and businesses in over 70 different countries around the world. The Carnet allows non-perishable goods to be temporarily moved between countries without the payment of customs charges. An ATA Carnet is valid for one year from the date of issue.
Using a Carnet
• Simplifies customs clearance of goods in exporting and importing countries by replacing customs documents that would normally be required.
• Provides financial security for customs charges potentially due on the goods.
• Helps to overcome language barriers and having to complete unfamiliar customs forms.
Countries have their own rules about what goods can be brought in with an ATA Carnet, but it can be used for goods such as:
• Samples to show at trade fairs or sales meetings
• Publicity materials
• Recorded film and audio
• Equipment needed for work like laptops, cameras or sound equipment
• Goods for educational, scientific or cultural purposes
• Sports goods
ATA Carnets do not exempt the holders from obtaining necessary export licenses or permits.
Traders applying for a Carnet via the Chamber of Commerce are provided with guidance and directed to the HMRC imports/exports helpline. The helpline will provide the trader with a contact number for a customs office at the port or airport to check if an officer will be available to physically wet stamp their Carnet. HMRC will advise traders of alternative arrangements if necessary.
If the goods are moved/carried in baggage, they should be presented to a customs official in the red channel.
The ATA Carnet holder must ensure that:
• The Carnet is presented to customs for endorsement each time the goods enter or leave a customs territory. This is currently a manual, paper-based process.
• They present the Carnet and the goods when requested by customs.
Applying for an ATA Carnet
Traders (both existing and new users) need to apply for a Carnet online using the London Chamber of Commerce & Industry eATA Carnet system here or by post.