Brexit: An overview of exporting to Britain after it leaves the EU

With only a number of weeks left for a trade deal to be negotiated, Brexit talks have resumed between the UK and EU.

Although Britain left the EU on January 31 of this year, there is a transition period of 11 months. This transition period ends on December 31 and, if a deal has not been secured by then, the UK will have to trade with the EU on the terms of the World Trade Organisation.

As the deadline approaches with the potential impacts on Ireland looming, the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine has recently published information on exporting to Britain after Brexit.

AgriLand has broken down the key points of the publication.


Most consignments of animals, animal products and products of non-animal origin from non-EU countries must come through a Border Control Post (BCP), which was previously known as a Border Inspection Post (BIP).

There are three BCPs designated for these categories of animals and goods in Ireland: Dublin Port; Dublin Airport; and Shannon Airport. 

BCPs must know about consignments in advance and, if not, there may be an added fee or a delay in the checks. It must also be ensured that the BCP being used is designated to check the shipment’s commodity.

As an added note, animals and animal products crossing the UK land-bridge will be subject to veterinary controls at the point of re-entry into the EU.

Products of animal origin

The UK has indicated that it does not intend to impose export certification requirements for animal products for at least the first six months after leaving the EU without a deal.

However, the Department of Agriculture has warned that “business operators should be aware that this arrangement could change at any time”.

The UK authorities have indicated that they will require pre-notification notice to the Food Standards Agency but, it is not clear as of yet what the pre-notification will involve.

Plants and plant products

Ahead of the UK officially leaving the EU, registered exporters may apply for phytosanitary certification of consignments of plant and plant produce to the UK.

The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine requires a minimum of 14 days notice prior to export to enable inspectors to arrange an inspection and allow for any laboratory testing that may be required to be completed.