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Advice to importers/exporters who trade with the UK

Official Controls - Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) requirements

  • If you import agri-food products, live animals or hatching eggs, from the UK, you will need to apprise yourself of, and comply with, the EU regulations governing the imports of such products from Third Countries, including in relation to wood packaging material;
  • The EU SPS regulations stipulate that live animals and products of animal origin can only be imported from establishments listed by the EU for the export of such products. In the majority of cases these animals and products will have to be accompanied by health certificates, and be presented at an BCP for checks by DAFM;
  • Details of EU approved establishments will be available on TRACES;
  • In the case of plants and plant products, establishments per se are not approved, but the plants and plant products are approved under the relevant legislation. The legislation also refers to emergency measures in relation to certain pests and, by extension, restriction on commodities coming from certain countries;
  • Compliance with new regulatory requirements may become necessary in respect of exports to the UK post-Brexit. Although this is not currently planned by the UK, exporters should be aware of potential developments in this area, and of the implications for your business.


New Official Controls legislation 

  • The information provided in this document relates to Official Controls legislation as it currently operates (e.g. Regulation 882/2004; EU Regulation No 183/2005; European Council Directive 2000/29/EC; Commission Decision 2007/275/EC; Council Directive 1999/105/EC; etc).
  • However, from December 14th 2019, all official controls and other official activities performed to ensure the application of food and feed law, rules on animal health and welfare, plant health and plant protection products will be governed by a new Regulation - Regulation 2017/625.  

Fees for inspections.

  • EU legislation obliges Member States to charge fees for official controls, including checks on products from Third Countries. The legislation stipulates that importers   will be responsible for paying the full cost of inspections.

Customs declaration requirements:

  • At the end of the transition period, customs formalities will commence for all existing and new traders with the UK.  As a result, operators will be required to make customs declarations and will therefore need to register for an Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI) number.  Registration with Revenue for this number should be completed as soon as possible at
  • In order to ensure continued trading with the UK post Brexit, operators should focus on the following:
    • Fully assess what Brexit might mean for their business, including examining the supply chain. Useful resources include Bord Bia’s Brexit Barometer information, available on Enterprise Ireland’s Brexit Scorecard is also available at
    • Consider the benefits of customs simplification procedures, including temporary storage facilities, simplified transit, inward processing and outward processing;
    • Assess the potential benefits of the deferred payment scheme and customs simplifications;
    • Determine how they would put in place a customs guarantee to manage the movement of goods transiting through the UK;
    • Consult with their logistics partners on the information they will require for each consignment and when; and
    • Identify and understand their responsibility for the accuracy of the customs declarations made by their business or on their behalf and the retention of supporting documents.
  • Information in relation to these matters and trading with Third Countries from a customs perspective is available on the ‘Customs traders and agents’ page of or


Use of wood packaging material (including pallets), crates or dunnage

  • Currently, wood packaging material (WPM) including pallets, crates and dunnage used in the transport of goods moving from the UK to Ireland does not need to meet International Standard for Phytosanitary Measure No. 15 (ISPM15) requirements and can move freely without checks or controls, whereas WPM imported from and exported to third countries is subject to ISPM15.
  • At the end of the transition period, all WPM being imported from the UK will need to be ISPM15 compliant. The WPM associated with these products may be subject to official checks either upon entry to the EU (including Ireland) or after entry.
  • To date the UK Government has indicated that DEFRA, the Forestry Commission and other relevant UK plant health authorities are working with the WPM sector in the UK to manage this potential new EU requirement.
  • It remains possible that the UK will introduce reciprocal arrangements requiring EU (including Ireland) exporters to the UK to ensure WPM arriving in the UK from the EU is ISPM15 compliant.  Such a development would have particular implications for Irish exporters to the UK using WPM etc. and for producers of WPM to certify ISPM15 standard. This will have implications for where operators source their pallets and crates and may potentially add costs.
  • See FAQs

The value of AEO status

  • Authorised Economic Operator (AEO) certification is an internationally recognised quality mark which indicates that businesses, in the international supply chain, are secure and that customs controls and procedures are efficient and compliant;
  • This is primarily a trade facilitation measure that recognises reliable operators and encourages best practice in the international supply chain;
  • The benefits of certification relate to Customs activity, not DAFM Official Controls;
  • The benefits could include a reduction or waiver of comprehensive guarantees; easier access to simplified procedures; or reduced data sets for entry and exit summary declarations (this only applies to AEO safety and security);
  • Achieving AEO status does not prevent consignments containing agri-food products being subject to SPS controls from being selected for DAFM Official Control inspections at point of import; and
  • Businesses who consider that they meet the necessary criteria and wish to attain AEO status, should complete the application for AEO certificate and send it, plus a self-assessment questionnaire to Simplifications and Compliance Unit, Revenue.

Truck Loading arrangements to facilitate ease of inspection: 

  • Transporters using groupage should consider how their containers are packed.  They should ensure ease of access to agri food products requiring inspection;
  • Failure to do so could result in additional delays while the goods to be inspected are accessed. Packing containers in an orderly accessible fashion also helps in ensuring speedy inspections; and
  • Agri-food exporters should discuss potential time delays arising out of packing arrangements with their logistics partners and distribution centres as soon as possible.


Likely additional costs and delays

  • EU legislation obliges DAFM, as the control authority, to recoup costs of inspections. This will involve the establishment of a schedule of fees based on the category and volumes of goods in the consignment.  The specific details are set out in Annex IV and Annex V of EU Regulation  882/2004 for products of animal origin and Annex VIIIa of Council Directive 2000/29/EC for plants and plant products; and
  • On inspection times, every effort is being made to ensure that trade will continue to flow as freely as heretofore at our Border Inspection Posts and significant investment is being made in infrastructural, staffing and IT resources at the ports and airports to ensure this. However, given that all that all consignments, including regulated agri-food products, must be subjected to SPS checks, they will inevitably be delayed at port for longer periods than they currently are.


  • Bord Bia, BIM, SFPA and EI are available to assist agri-food and fisheries companies in understanding the new requirements necessary to maintain trade in agri food products with the UK; and they can direct the businesses to appropriate trade bodies if necessary.

Bord Bia: