The EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement, now in place, means change. It will require adapting to new trading arrangements, rules and regulations. This information for cross-border SMEs in Ireland and Northern Ireland focuses on important Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) Controls information and key actions to get your business prepared.
Important SPS Information
The export and import of live animals, products of animal origin (including fish), germinal products, animal by-products (i.e. not for human consumption) and some plants will be subject to additional SPS border checks. This is to reduce the risks of diseases, pests, or contaminants entering from third countries. It is the responsibility of the “operator responsible for the consignment” to ensure that the appropriate paperwork is in place. The operator responsible for the consignment can be the importer, but is often a Customs agent acting on the importer’s behalf. Documentation (for example an Export Health Certificate, EHC) will be required and you will also be required to pre-notify your national authority prior to the goods being imported.
Checks can then be carried out, including:
The next steps:
Ireland goods entering GB:
It is very important that Irish exporters fully understand and prepare in good time for the GB import requirements. Engagement with the relevant players in the supply chain, including the relevant GB importer, is essential. Roles should be clear, and responsibilities agreed. For more information visit Revenue. Please note that the UK is postponing checks on imported food and fresh products from the EU until the end of 2023, as it announced a review of the post-Brexit regime. For more information click here.
GB goods entering Ireland:
Transiting the UK Landbridge:
Irish Revenues advises that, from 1 January 2021, animals and goods moving between Ireland and another EU Member State via GB (the UK Landbridge) must be placed under the Customs Transit procedure, to maintain their Union status. EU regulations require certain SPS controls on animals and goods re-entering the Union. For more information, click here.
Northern Ireland to GB: The UK Government has promised “unfettered access” for goods moving from Northern Ireland to the rest of the UK – without the need for additional approvals, Customs or regulatory checks. The precise arrangements are yet to be determined. Click here for more information.
GB to Northern Ireland: The Northern Ireland Protocol has recently granted some easements for supermarkets. It outlines a grace period extended to authorised traders, such as supermarkets and their trusted suppliers. They will benefit from a grace period, through to 1st April 2021, from official certification for products of animal origin, composite products, food and feed of non-animal origin and plants and plant products. The UK Government and the Northern Ireland Department for Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs will engage in a rapid exercise to ensure these traders are identified prior to 31 December so they can benefit from the grace period. Click here for more information. Please see below list of steps they will need to follow:
Ireland & Northern Ireland: Verify what certificates are required to export/import the products.
Ireland: Ask suppliers if they will be able to provide the health/phytosanitary/catch certificates and the time this will take.
Northern Ireland: Identify the responsible person for your organisation.
Ireland: Decide how the consignment(s) will be presented at the Border Control Post – the simpler the load the quicker the import control process.
Northern Ireland: Notify the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) if importing live animals and germinal products from the EU to Northern Ireland.
Ireland: Complete pre-notification and submit the correct documentation 24 hours in advance.
Northern Ireland: Decide how the consignment(s) will be presented at the Border Control Post – the simpler the load the more efficient it is to process through all stages of the import control process.
Northern Ireland: Submit notification in Import of products, animals, food and feed system (IPAFFS) at least 24 hours before the consignment is due to arrive at the border control point. This can be done up to 30 days in advance.