The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) is continuing to recruit veterinary and agricultural border-control staff in advance of stricter UK imports requirements that are set to come into force on October 1, 2021.

Currently, Import Controls Operations within the DAFM have 185 full-time staff assigned to the border-control posts at Dublin Port, Dublin Airport and Rosslare Harbour.

These staff include veterinary inspectors – of which there are 35 – agricultural inspectors, portal inspectors, administrative staff and others.

Resulting from Brexit, the UK government now sets its own import policy, and is introducing new controls on imports from the EU on a phased basis.

New import controls are already in place in relation to live animals since earlier this year but from October, “a further element of these controls is the provision of official export health certificates (EHC)”, the DAFM explained.

EHCs are official documents, provided by a competent authority to a business (economic operator), to facilitate the movement of goods to destinations outside of the EU, according to the DAFM.

“These will be required to accompany products of animal origin to Great Britain, and pre-notification to the UK authorities will be necessary”.

UK imports ‘not business as usual’

EHCs for many products are an “additional requirement for businesses exporting to Great Britain and, in this respect, trade with Great Britain is not ‘business as usual‘,” according to the DAFM.

EHCs for food exported from the EU to Great Britain include attestations made by an official inspector regarding the official controls and checks carried out in line with EU legislation and Great Britain import requirements.


In preparation for October’s stricter import controls to the UK, the DAFM said that “ongoing consultation and communications are taking place with industry, including logistics companies, in order to enhance its readiness”.

“Trials are ongoing across a range of commodities with industry partners, and additional trials are planned throughout the summer.

“Learnings are being shared through case studies, webinars and direct engagement. Substantial engagement by individual businesses with these new requirements may significantly mitigate any adverse impact on trade.”

The EHCs are set by the UK government, and are available to view here. Information for Irish businesses regarding applications for export health certification is available here.