What will be required for used machinery trade with Britain?

The transition period set out in the Brexit Withdrawal Period is set to come to an end on December 31 next. At that point, a lot of things will change – with or without a trade deal in place.

This will impact on the movement of second-hand machinery to and from the island of Britain (i.e. England, Scotland and Wales).

As things stand, the Northern Ireland protocol in the withdrawal agreement means the regulation will not apply to machinery moving across the border.

In light of this, the Farm Tractor and Machinery Trade Association (FTMTA) has issued guidance to its members on what to expect from January 1, 2021.

Gary Ryan, the chief executive of the FTMTA, told the association’s members that a regulation from September of last year covering soil cultivation and preparation machinery has been updated by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine this week to include a wider range of equipment.

The categories of machinery covered by the updated regulation now include:

  • Agricultural tractors;
  • Agricultural, horticultural or forestry machinery for soil preparation or cultivation;
  • Harvesting or threshing machinery (including straw or fodder balers); grass or hay mowers; machines for cleaning, sorting or grading eggs, fruit or other agricultural produce;
  • Other agricultural, horticultural, forestry, poultry-keeping or bee-keeping machinery; including germination plant fitted with mechanical or thermal equipment; and poultry incubators and brooders.

The FTMTA noted that it will be necessary for any business importing or exporting used machinery of the above categories to or from non-EU member states – which will include the island of Britain from January 1 – to adhere to a number of requirements.

The requirements for importing second-hand machinery from Britain are:

  • Registration with the Department of Agriculture;
  • Registration with TRACES NT (the EU’s trade control system);
  • Machinery is to be clean and free of soil or plant debris;
  • A phytosanitary certificate is required, and will be provided by the UK’s National Plant Protection Organisation (NPPO);
  • All documents are to be submitted to the department at least 24 hours before arrival of consignment;
  • Part 1 of TRACES NT’s Common Health Entry Documents for Plants and Plant Products (CHED-PP) will have to be completed;
  • Second-hand machinery will be subject to physical checks on arrival.

The requirements for exporting second-hand machinery to Britain are:

  • Registration with department;
  • A phytosanitary certificate, which must be applied for through the department 14 days before the departure of the consignment;
  • The certificate will have to be sent to the British buyer before the departure of the consignment;
  • The British buyer will have to submit the relevant documents to the authorities there at least four hours before arrival if consignment is traveling by air, and one working day if traveling by road or sea.

In his communication to FTMTA members, Ryan said: “While the new requirements will undoubtedly put an additional administrative burden on businesses engaged in such trade, I can see a benefit in that such regulations will definitely impact on private importers of machinery to quite an extent, and will hopefully serve to drive such purchasers towards buying locally.”