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EU Exit guidance for food, drink and farming sector stakeholders

The Agri-Food chain stakeholder team at Defra has shared guidance to ensure that businesses are ready for a potential ‘no deal’ scenario

Cow in a field

Stakeholders in the food, drink and farming sectors need to be prepared for EU exit


As part of preparations for exiting the EU, Defra are continuing to create guidance to ensure that businesses are aware of forthcoming changes and ready for day one in a potential ‘no deal’ scenario. The Agri-Food Chain Stakeholder Engagement team has shared seven key food, drink and agriculture related government communications that have been released in recent days and weeks.

How to import organic produce if the UK leaves the EU with no deal – Certificate of Inspection

If the UK leaves the EU with no deal, the way in which we import organic produce will change as we will lose access to TRACES NT. Imports from third countries (excluding the EU, EEA and Switzerland until 31 December 2020) will still require a Certificate of Inspection (CoI). This will be a UK CoI and will be a manual system for an interim period until an electronic replacement is available. This system mirrors the system that was in place 17 months ago.

Defra have circulated the CoI template, guidance and resources to a number of stakeholders and are working on updating their webpages.

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Please find information that the food and drink sector need to know before we leave the EU. This is a helpful tool that can be shared with your members and supply chains. Included are social media assets, flyers, animations and posters.

Nutrition and health claims on foods if there’s no EU Exit deal

The UK nutrition and health claims register sets out all authorised and rejected nutrition and health claims. In the event of a no-deal EU Exit, only authorised claims in the register may be used in the UK. Find more information from Department for Health and Social Care.

Vitamins and minerals in foods if there’s no EU Exit deal

Department for Health and Social Care have also released the UK register and associated guidance which specifies which vitamins and minerals may be added to foods, and any substances that are banned or restricted, in the event of a no-deal EU Exit.

VAT on goods you move from Ireland to Northern Ireland if the UK leaves the EU without a deal

HMRC have released information and guidance for UK businesses who move goods from Ireland to Northern Ireland. If the UK leaves the EU without a deal, import VAT will be due on goods that are moved from Ireland to Northern Ireland at the relevant rate. If you move goods into Northern Ireland from any other country, or from Ireland directly to Great Britain, you should follow the relevant customs procedures.

Customs procedures for goods moving between Ireland and Northern Ireland if the UK leaves the EU without a deal

There is HMRC guidance for businesses who move goods between Ireland and Northern Ireland. These goods will face different procedures compared to other UK-EU trade if the UK leaves the EU without a deal.

UK signs trade continuity agreement with Caribbean countries

Department for International Trade have published a press release highlighting that the UK has signed a trade continuity agreement with a series of countries in the Caribbean.

Food and Drink and Farming landing pages

We recommend that stakeholders continue to check for updated no deal guidance on our dedicated landing page for the food and drink sector. There is also a farming sector landing page. These pages have been created to ensure that EU Exit guidance is easy to find. The landing pages combine all relevant EU Exit guidance in the case of a no deal scenario for the Food and Drink and farming sector stakeholders and are updated regularly with new no deal communications as they become live.

Published 2 April 2019