Get ready for the end of the Brexit transition period

Have a look at our Brexit resources for help and guidance on what you need to do.

The United Kingdom left the European Union on 1 February 2020 after the EU and the UK concluded a Withdrawal Agreement which facilitates an orderly UK departure from the EU. The Withdrawal Agreement provides for a transition period, intended to give time to both sides to prepare for the changes that will arise on 1 January 2021. From this point, the UK will be outside the EU Single Market and Customs Union, and EU law will no longer apply to or in respect of the UK.

The Withdrawal Agreement includes the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland which means that different arrangements apply to Northern Ireland. The Protocol provides that Northern Ireland is legally part of the UK customs territory but subject to certain provisions of EU law, including EU food law. This means that there will be no change to the current procedures for trade in food between Ireland and Northern Ireland.

With the exception of these specific arrangements for Northern Ireland, from 1 January 2021 Irish businesses that wish to buy any food product from the UK and place it on the Irish market will need to adhere to the rules and requirements for importing food from outside the EU Single Market and for placing these products on the EU Single Market. Irish businesses that wish to sell any food product in the UK will need to adhere to the rules and requirements for exporting outside the Single Market, as well as to UK import requirements.

You need to know what this means for your business and make sure you are ready.

Now, is the time to plan and prepare for the new checks, controls and regulatory requirements for UK food imports to Ireland, and Irish food exports to the UK, which will operate from 1 January 2021. Failing to take the necessary action now may result in undue cost to your business.


FSAI Help and Advice

Brexit Information Resources

Brexit Advice for Local Authority Supervised Businesses

Local authorities enforce food legislation in EU approved low-capacity slaughterhouses and in food manufacturers handling and/or processing low quantities of meat, meat preparations and meat products.These premises are supervised and approved by local authorities with controls carried out by veterinary inspectors.

The food legislation enforced by the local authorities includes general food law, food hygiene, labelling, additives, flavourings, contaminants, and food contact materials.
As a food business, it is your responsibility to ensure that the food you place on the market is safe and complies with both EU and Irish food legislation.

The departure of the UK from the EU poses many challenges for food businesses and may result in some changes to how you carry out your business so it’s important for you to prepare.Your food business will be affected by Brexit if you:

  • buy any food ingredients or food products from the UK
  • sell any food ingredients or food products to the UK
  • move any food through the UK, either to or from Ireland (transit through the UK landbridge)
  • source food ingredients or food products through an intermediary who sources or brings products from or through the UK

EU food legislation sets out additional checks, documents and in some cases specific entry points for food imports (from outside the EU) and the requirements can vary depending on the food type.

These checks are to protect the safety and health of EU citizens, preserve the integrity of the internal market and enforce compliance with fiscal obligations (duties, indirect taxes). In addition, all food from the UK that is supplied to the EU, will have to comply with EU food legislation.

Get further Brexit information resources

Once the UK leaves the EU they can set their own requirements regarding food for their market, including product labelling and import requirements for food supplied to the UK. Check the GOV.UK website for UK requirements and keep an eye out for updates.

To discuss the food regulatory implications of Brexit for your food business, contact your local authority veterinary inspector.

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