Apply for a licence to export agricultural products
- Rural Payments Agency
- Part of:
- Import and export Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) goods and Import, export and distribution of food
- First published:
- 31 March 2014
How to get an Export Licence or Advanced Fixing Certificate to export Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) goods from the UK.
If you intend to export agricultural products from the EU, you will need a licence, except in certain limited circumstances (exporting to entitled destinations such as supply ships).
The type of licence you need will depend on the type and quantity of the commodity you are exporting and the destination of the goods.
You can use your licence to export a specified percentage of the quantity you have applied for. Your licence may allow you to export up to 5% more or less than the specified quantity, but this may vary according to the type of licence.
This page tells you how to apply for a licence. Check that you know what licences are required or available for your goods.
How licences are issued
Licences are issued by the Rural Payments Agency (RPA) in the UK, or by similar organisations in other EU member states. You can use licences issued by the authorities of other member states throughout the EU.
In the UK, licences are issued electronically. However, if you want to use your licence in another member state you should request a paper licence when you submit your application.
RPA must receive your licence application before midday for it to be accepted on that day.
If you fax applications before midday, RPA will take the time the last sheet arrives as the time of application.
Some licence types have regulatory wait periods before they are issued.
RPA will issue licences electronically and will notify HMRC’s [CHIEF (Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight) system. When we receive confirmation that it has been successfully updated on CHIEF we will send you details of its issue if you have registered your email address with RPA. The electronic licence will be automatically attributed when you enter the licence details on your export declaration.
Before you start
- register with RPA as a customer to export agricultural products if you have not already done so
- find out the Commodity Code for the goods you intend to export using the Trade Tariff
- find out if you need to provide licence security and how to calculate it
Apply for a standard export licence
To get an export licence, you can complete an Export Licence Application Form (AGREX) (MS Word Document, 51.5KB) and return it to RPA.
You can apply for an export licence without using an AGREX, as long as your application contains all mandatory information.
You can post or fax your application or apply to submit it by email. If you wish to submit by email then you will need to be pre-approved to do so. For pre-approval you need to complete and return the form TS03 (MS Word Document, 307KB) before submitting any licence applications.
Apply for an Advanced Fixing Certificate (AFC) for exported goods
You can apply for an AFC, which is also known as a World Trade Organization (WTO) licence, using an Export Licence Application Form (AGREX) (MS Word Document, 51.5KB) .
You can apply for an AFC without using an AGREX, as long as your application contains all mandatory information. When you apply, you should include the following information on your application form:
- in box 16, the 8 or 12 digit Commodity Code (multiple commodities may, in some cases, be grouped under a single code, as allowed under Regulation 376/2008 A13).
- in box 7, the destination country or zone if the rate of refund varies according to destination
If you apply for an AFC for a food aid export, you must include the following information on your application form:
- in box 20, the statement ‘Licence under GATT Food Aid’ must be shown
- box 7 must indicate the country of destination
If you are bidding for an export refund you should check the rules for your specific commodity on when your licence application needs to be lodged.
Validity of licences
Each licence is valid for a specific period. This depends on the type of licence and will be shown on the licence. If it expires on a non-working day, the licence validity will automatically be extended to the next working day.
To find out about the validity periods that apply to licences, refer to the trader guidance for your commodity .
Your licence is an obligation to export the specified quantity of the commodity within the period set out the licence. If you do not meet this obligation, you may forfeit all or part of the security deposited against it.
Guidance for traders: specific commodities
Beef and veal (PDF, 1.32MB, 93 pages)
Cereal exports (ET13A) (PDF, 1010KB, 51 pages)
Eggs (PDF, 76.3KB, 37 pages)
Fresh fruit and vegetables (PDF, 87.1KB, 37 pages)
Hemp (PDF, 122KB, 26 pages)
Milk and milk products (PDF, 527KB, 124 pages)
Oils and fats (PDF, 54.4KB, 27 pages)
Pigmeat (PDF, 193KB, 25 pages)
Poultry meat (PDF, 291KB, 36 pages)
Processed fruit and vegetables (PDF, 107KB, 41 pages)
Processed goods (PDF, 1MB, 135 pages)
Rice exports (ET14A) (PDF, 48.8KB, 16 pages)
Sugar (PDF, 226KB, 39 pages)
Victualling (PDF, 240KB, 51 pages)
If you have any general queries about importing or exporting, call the RPA External Trade helpline on 03300 416 500 (open Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm).
Commission Regulation (EC) No 376/2008 laying down common detailed rules for the application of the system of import and export licences and advance fixing certificates for agricultural products
Commission Regulation (EEC) No 120/89 laying down common detailed rules for the application of export levies and charges on agricultural products
Commission Regulation (EC) No 1454/2007 laying down common rules for establishing a tender procedure for fixing export refunds for certain agricultural products
Commission Regulation (EC) No 612/2009 on laying down common detailed rules for the application of the system of export refunds on agricultural products
Council Regulation (EEC) no 918/83 setting up a Community system of reliefs from customs duty
Published: 31 March 2014