Importing CAP goods

Common Agricultural Policy and cereals, rice, sugar and oils

This page explains the special controls relating to cereals, rice, sugar and oils.

You should read the Rural Payment Agency (RPA) leaflets offered on this page in conjunction with RPA leaflet ET1 - The Traders Guide to Importing and Exporting CAP Goods. Note that the rules in the leaflets about specific goods have precedence over the general rules outlined in leaflet ET1. If you are not sure which rules apply, please contact the RPA.


You need an import licence to import cereals above certain weight quantities. In order to take advantage of import quotas that reduce customs duty, you'll typically also have to:

  • lodge additional securities
  • provide proof of country of origin of the goods
  • only import from the specific countries covered by the scheme

Find information, trader notices, import scheme guidance and contacts for importing cereals.


You'll need an import licence to import more than one tonne of rice. For smaller quantities, you do not need an import licence unless you are importing under a quota, or paying zero duty when importing certain varieties of husked basmati rice from India or Pakistan. In addition, you may have to:

  • lodge additional securities
  • provide proof of origin of the goods
  • provide proof of previous trade within the rice sector
  • only import from the countries specified on the licence


Import licences for sugar are only needed if you are importing under preferential arrangements. Imports from the African Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries or India, can be made under quotas if the correct kind of licence is held. Your licence will require you to import and refine the sugar before the end of the marketing year.

For cane sugar (preferential sugar) imports, you'll need to present a Certificate of Origin, or EUR1 Movement Certificate. Read more about rules of origin.

Oils and fats

You'll need an import licence when importing more than 100 kilograms of olives, olive oil residues or oil cakes. For smaller quantities a licence is required if you want to take advantage of import quotas.

This scheme applies to imports of unrefined olive oil from Tunisia.