News article

Brexit: Exporting animals and animal products

14 October 2019


What you'll need to export animals, products of animal origin and animal by-products in a no-deal Brexit

If there is a no-deal Brexit, you will need to take certain steps if you want to export animals, products of animal origin and animal by-products. 

Exports to the EU from the UK
You need to follow different guidance for:

Animals, products of animal origin or germplasm
To transport these products from the UK to the EU in a no-deal Brexit, you’ll need:

If you’re exporting live animals, meat or dairy, you can view flowcharts with the steps you need to take.

You’ll also need follow new rules on identifying livestock, if you want to export sheep, cattle, goats and pigs to the EU in a no-deal Brexit.

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

Animal by-products
To export animal by-products (ABP), you’ll need to check the export health certificate (EHC) finder to get either:

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 BIP. You can confirm this by checking the EU list of products which must be inspected by a vet at a BIP.

If your ABP needs to go through a BIP you must make sure that your:

If your ABP does not need to go through a BIP, 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.

Consignments destined for non-EU countries that transit the EU will need both an:

You’ll need an EU importer who will take responsibility for the consignment while it’s transiting the EU. You’ll also need to check HMRC guidance on any customs declarations you’ll need to make.

Border and customs offices
Goods will only be able to enter the EU through a BIP designated for the specific consignment.

BIPs are currently being built to be ready for when the UK leaves the EU. Check the list of existing BIPs in the EU and consider how to redirect your trade route if necessary.

You should contact your import agent in the EU to make sure that they notify the BIP through the EU’s Trade Control and Expert System (TRACES) of the arrival of their consignment.

An EU BIP requires advance notice of goods arriving - check with the BIP for how much notice is needed.

EU listing of the UK and its establishments
The European Commission will vote before Brexit on whether to list the UK as a ‘third country’ and allow exports of:

  • live animals
  • germplasm
  • POAO
  •  ABPs

If the vote is passed, the UK will be listed as an approved ‘third country’(non-EU country) to allow these exports to continue to the EU, in a no-deal Brexit.

EU listing for exporters and suppliers
You’ll need to be listed as an approved establishment with the EU if you either:

The European Commission has confirmed that the current list of UK animal by-product and germplasm premises will be accepted in a no-deal Brexit.

Documents for transporters
Documents issued by the UK will only be valid in the UK and not in EU countries.

Read the Department for Transport guidance for more information.

Other export requirements
Before exporting, businesses must:

Trade agreements
Where replacement trade agreements are not agreed, trade would take place on World Trade Organization (WTO) terms with that country.

The temporary tariff policy announced in March would apply to all UK imports from countries the UK does not have trading arrangements in place with, including the EU.

Find out which non-EU countries the UK has trading arrangements with.

Find out which new trade agreements will be in place if there’s a no-deal Brexit.