Government Guidance

For full information on Importing

Government checklist on Importing from the EU

For full information on Exporting

Government checklist for Exporting to the EU

Goods placed on the market

updated 29.12.20

Guidance for exporting or moving goods from GB to the EU or NI after the end of the Transition Period that have been placed on the market before the end of the Transition Period

Rules of Origin

UK and EU businesses will need to comply with the Rules of Origin from January 1 2021 as part of the customs declaration when importing and exporting to and from the UK and EU.

Export Health Certificates

From 1 January 2021 exports of animal products to the EU, including fish, will require an Export Health Certificate (EHC) which can be signed by an Official Veterinarian (OV) or local authority Food Competent Certifying Officer (FCCO).

  • Traders need to check now that their OVs and FCCOs have registered with Export Health Certificate Online (EHCO) in order to certify EHCs.
  • Traders need to prepare in advance with their OVs and FCCOs, so that all parties are familiar with the EHC forms and guidance.
  • Traders should work with their OVs to make sure they are familiar with the products which will require certification.

Defra has been running tests on the implementation of Export Health Certificates. The key findings are outlined in this webinar:

Check a VAT number

Updated 18.12.20

The new Check a UK VAT Number service has launched in response to GB VAT numbers not being able to be checked via the EU’s online VAT number checking service after the end of the Transition period.


Heat treated pallets

Updated 18.12.20

At the end of the transition period, all Wooden Packaging Material moving from the UK to the EU and from the EU to UK must meet ISPM15 international standards by undergoing heat treatment and marking. As there will be no immediate change to the biosecurity threat of wood packaging material originating from the EU at the end of the Transition Period, GB will maintain its current risk-based checking regime for EU wood packaging material. The UK Timber Pallet and Packaging Confederation (TIMCON) is strongly encouraging the European Federation of Wooden Pallet and Packaging Manufacturers and EU national associations to engage and support their countries’ wood packaging material industries to increase their own stocks of compliant pallets.


Rules of Origin declarations

Updated 18.12.20

In terms of any potential EU Free Trade Agreement, both sides are proposing methods of proving origin that allow traders to self-certify that goods are originating. The UK and EU have different proposals, so the final detail will be confirmed if/when the deal is finalised, but for example, both sides have included provisions that allow exporters to make “statements on origin” to certify their goods as originating. A statement on origin is a declaration placed on a commercial document and provided to the importer. Unlike an EUR1, it does not require certification from HMRC or Chambers of Commerce.

European Union Prohibited and Restricted goods

From 1 January 2021 there will be new processes that UK exporters and importers trading with the EU must comply with. The Defra Secretary George Eustice has shared a letter outlining in the annex information on the food and drink commodities prohibited and restricted from being imported or exported between GB and the EU from January 1.


Updated 22.10.20

Updated guidance on the end of the transition period that is specific to food and drink:

  • Trading and labelling organic food from 1 January 2021: Updated guidance includes information on importing organics from the EU to Great Britain from 1 January 2021.
  • Fresh fruit and vegetable marketing standards from 1 January 2021: Updated information about importing and exporting fresh fruit and vegetables between the UK and EU and non-EU countries.
  • Importing and exporting wine from 1 January 2021: Updated information on labelling wine imported from EU and non-EU countries and updated details on importing and exporting wine between UK and EU and non-EU countries.
  • Export groups of products of animal origin to the EU from 1 January 2021: New guidance for exporters and suppliers exporting multiple products of animal origin from Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales) to, or through, the EU.
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