The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue has updated the government on the agri-food sector’s trade preparations for the next phase of UK import requirements which will be introduced on October 1.

Speaking after briefing his Cabinet colleagues yesterday (Tuesday, June 6), Minister McConalogue said: “Brexit has already meant a seismic shift in how we trade with the UK and further changes are coming.

“The UK will introduce new checks on certain food and agricultural products from October 1. Businesses exporting these types of products to the UK, excluding Northern Ireland, face changes, including pre-notification and new health certificate requirements.

“It’s crucial that exporters fully understand these new UK import requirements and ensure everyone in the supply chain, from their UK customers to their logistics providers, are clear on their roles and responsibilities and can meet them,” he added.

New procedures

No new procedures apply to goods moving between Ireland and Northern Ireland because of the Protocol on Ireland / Northern Ireland.

Minister McConalogue added: “Extensive preparations continue across government and the wider agri-food and fisheries sectors for the October 1, changes.

“We will continue to engage with stakeholders and businesses throughout the summer and in the run up to October 1, as part of our comprehensive trader engagement programme.”

The minister added that the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM), along with other departments and agencies, are undertaking export trials across a variety of commodities to inform the industry.

Commenting on the resilience of the agri-food sector, Minister McConalogue said: “Given the volume and value of trade in both directions and the integrated nature of agri-food supply chains, the UK choice to leave the Single Market and Customs Union has had a profound impact on the trading environment and has unavoidably meant new burdens on companies through the additional requirements, checks and controls now in place.

“It is now over six months since the end of the Brexit Transition Period and we see evidence of businesses adapting to the permanent changes brought about by the UK’s withdrawal from the EU.

“The government [is] committed to continuing to support the sector in adapting to these new trading arrangements and in preparing for the further Brexit-related change and disruptions coming later this year and in 2022.”

Webinar on trade post-Brexit changes

To help businesses adapt to the post-Brexit trading environment, DAFM, along with colleagues in Revenue and the Health Service Executive (HSE), will hold a webinar today (Wednesday, July 7).

It will provide an overview of the most common challenges experienced by businesses since January 1, and provide advice on the practical steps businesses can take to manage these challenges.


The UK is implementing a phased approach to the introduction of its import requirements, including Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) controls.

The UK first phase was introduced on January 1, 2021. On March 11, the UK Government announced a delay in the introduction of additional import controls which had been scheduled to take place on April 1 and July 1.

These requirements will now come into force on October 1, January 1, 2022, and March 1, 2022.

These new UK import controls will impact on exporters of all products of animal origin, including all meat, dairy, fish and composite products incorporating products of animal origin, certain animal by-products, high risk food not of animal origin as well as regulated plants and plant products.

Anyone moving goods from, to and through the UK (excluding Northern Ireland) should register with DAFM as an importer/exporter.

Companies should also register with Revenue to obtain an Economic Operators’ Registration and Identification (EORI) number if they haven’t already done so.