Brexit: Moving CITES specimens through Belfast Seaport, Dover, Eurotunnel and airports from 1 January 2021
Points of entry and exit for trading or moving CITES specimens
The customs offices at the following points of entry and exit will be designated for CITES trade from 1 January 2021.
You can use these airports:
- Belfast International
- Birmingham International
- Bristol International
- Cardiff International
- East Midlands
- Glasgow International
- Glasgow Prestwick
- London Heathrow (worldwide distribution centre)
- London Luton
- London Stansted
- Southampton International
You can use these ports:
- Belfast Seaport
- Eurotunnel - present documents at Ashford (for imports) or Ebbsfleet (for exports)
- Harwich international
- Liverpool Seaforth Container Terminal
- London Gateway (Port of London)
- Portsmouth International Port
- Southampton Eastleigh
- Tilbury (Port of London)
You can use these post offices (for import only):
- Coventry International Parcel Post Hub
- Heathrow International Distribution Centre
Read more about importing and exporting CITES specimens by post.
Gibraltar will not be included as a UK-designated port for CITES trade.
Additional port arrangements for CITES specimens
There are additional arrangements if you’re using roll on roll off (RoRo) services, Eurotunnel, or moving specimens between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.
Using roll on roll off (RoRo) services
You’ll be able to use RoRo services, for example car ferries, at the following ports:
- Dover - present documents at Dover Western Docks
You’ll need to stop and present your CITES documents to a customs official for endorsement.
Importing and exporting CITES specimens through Eurotunnel
To import CITES specimens into the UK through Eurotunnel you must present your CITES documents for endorsement at Ashford. You must make a customs declaration on the CHIEF system before you transport them.
If you’re exporting specimens from the UK through Eurotunnel, you should prepare for it to be very busy. You may present your CITES documents to Border Force at Ebbsfleet, but if possible present it at another suitable designated point of entry and exit away from Kent before you travel through Eurotunnel.
Moving specimens between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland
To import CITES specimens into Northern Ireland from the Republic of Ireland over land, you must make a customs declaration on the CHIEF system before you transport them.
CITES checks must be carried out at Belfast Seaport. You must present your CITES documents for inspection and endorsement by Border Force when you import or export over the land border.
CITES specimens entering the UK from the EU
You must use one of the CITES-designated points of entry and exit to move CITES specimens from the EU to the UK.
Live or temperature-controlled specimens can only pass through designated points of entry or exit with the facilities or expertise to handle them. You must contact your chosen point of entry or your freight handler to check that they can handle your CITES specimens.
CITES species coming into the UK from outside the EU
For all CITES species that enter the UK from outside the EU, different animal and plant health conditions apply. You must check the guidance and use the correct point of entry and exit if you’re importing live animals, animal products and high-risk food and feed not of animal origin.
Moving live animals and animal products
The following airports will be designated to handle live CITES animals coming directly from non-EU countries after Brexit:
|Airport||Live CITES animals|
|Edinburgh||Dogs, cats, ferrets, lagomorphs, rodents, amphibians, reptiles and fish, molluscs and crustaceans|
|Gatwick||Reptiles, amphibians, fish, molluscs, crustaceans, birds and all mammals except ungulates and equines|
|Glasgow Prestwick||Ungulates and equines only|
|Manchester||Fish, invertebrates, reptiles and amphibians|
|Stansted||Ungulates and equines only|
Read the guidance about border inspection posts (BIPs) for animals and animal products.
Moving products of animal origin (POAO)
Before you import products of animal origin (POAO), you should check that the port or airport has the approvals and facilities to handle:
- products for human consumption
- products not for human consumption
- chilled or frozen goods
Moving food not of animal origin (FNAO)
Moving controlled plants or plant products or forestry materials (FM)
Moving to approved inland facilities
You may also import controlled plants and plant specimens or regulated forestry material through any CITES-designated ports if they are going to approved inland facilities.
Use the guidance to understand the rules and documents needed:
- Importing plants, fruit, vegetables or plant material to the UK
- Import wood, wood products or bark from non-EU countries
CITES specimens transiting through the UK
You’ll need CITES documents from each country if your specimen passes through the UK when moving between EU countries.
For example, to move a CITES specimen from France to the Republic of Ireland (RoI) through the UK, you would need an:
- export permit from France
- import and re-export permit from the UK
- import permit from RoI
You must use a CITES designated point of entry and exit in the UK, and present your documents to the UK Border Force.
If your specimen passes through the UK when moving between a non-EU country (third country) and an EU country, you may be able to get a transit exemption so you do not need to get UK CITES documents. Contact APHA Centre for International Trade: Bristol to check if you can get an exemption.
You can contact APHA Centre for International Trade: Bristol for advice if your CITES specimen will transit through the UK.
You can contact Defra for support with trading or moving endangered animals or plants listed under CITES.