This guidance does not apply to UK businesses moving goods into, out of, or through Northern Ireland. Further information will be added to GOV.UK in the coming weeks. Find out more about Moving goods into, out of, or through Northern Ireland from 1 January 2021.
Exports from the UK to the EU
You’ll need to follow different guidance for:
- fish and fishery products
- live aquatic animals
- endangered animals
- animals for display, research and conservation (under the Balai directive)
Animals, products of animal origin or germplasm
To transport these products from the UK to the EU from 1 January 2021, you’ll need:
- an export health certificate, which you need to apply for in advance
- to get your goods checked at a border control post (BCP), previously known as a border inspection post (BIP) or designated point of entry (DPE) that can accept your type of goods, in the first EU country you enter
- to make sure your EU-based import agent has notified the BCP that your consignment is arriving – check with the BCP for how much notice needs to be given
- to comply with wider HMRC guidance on customs requirements for exporting to the EU
If you’re exporting live animals, meat or dairy, you can view flowcharts with the steps you need to take.
You’ll also need to follow new rules on identifying livestock, if you want to export sheep, cattle, goats and pigs to the EU after 1 January 2021.
You should read additional rules if you:
- export composite food products to the EU
- want to check if your product counts as a composite food product
To export animal by-products (ABP), you’ll need to check the export health certificate (EHC) finder to get either:
- an export health certificate (EHC)
- a model declaration form
If you cannot find either of these for your product type, you’ll need to contact the competent authority in the EU country where your consignment is going – this means the equivalent of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) in that country. They will send you the paperwork you’ll need to fill in.
You’ll also need to comply with HMRC guidance on customs requirements for exporting to the EU.
Some ABPs need to go through a BCP. You can confirm this by checking the EU list of products which must be inspected by a vet at a BCP.
If your ABP needs to go through a BCP you must make sure that your:
- goods are checked at a BCP that can accept your type of goods, in the first EU country you enter
- EU-based import agent has notified the BCP that your consignment is arriving – check with the BCP for how much notice needs to be given
If your ABP does not need to go through a BCP, you must make sure that your EU-based import agent notifies the:
- competent authority of the EU state that your consignment is going to
- EU port or airport, within the time limits set out by the competent authority
Exports to non-EU countries (third countries) from the UK
There’s unlikely to be any change to the current export rules and processes for countries outside the EU. Make sure you check the existing guidance on exporting live animals.
Border and customs offices
You must get your animals and animal products checked at an EU BCP, from 1 January 2021.
These checks are made to protect:
- animal health and welfare
- public health
Your goods may be refused entry, seized, destroyed or returned to the UK if they arrive at:
- an EU port without a BCP
- a BCP that can’t check your type of product
Find the correct BCP for your goods
You must find a BCP that can accept your type of goods – as not all BCPs accept all goods. Consider how to redirect your trade route if needed.
There are more than 400 BCPs in the EU and they’re usually at EU ports and airports.
Check the main list of BCPs on the EU site.
8 extra BCPs were added in early October 2019.