Trading goods with the EU
New rules are now in place
The UK has now left the single market and customs union and there are steps that your business needs to take to meet the new rules.
If you're confused by the new rules, we're here to help.
The process for importing and exporting goods has changed and your business needs to be ready.
What you need to do
Following the government announcement, the new controls and requirements that were due to be introduced from 1 October 2021 and 1 January 2022 have now been delayed to 1 January 2022 and 1 July 2022.
You no longer need to pre-notify or acquire a certified Export Health Certificate (EHC) from 1 October 2021.
This means you can continue to import animal product consignments from the European Union as you do today until 31 December 2021.
From 1 January 2022, you (or a representative acting on your behalf), will need to pre-notify authorities via the import of products, animals, food and feed system (IPAFFS) that your consignment will be entering Great Britain.
From 1 July 2022, importers of animal products will need to continue to pre-notify authorities of their arrival via IPAFFS. Additionally, these consignments must be accompanied by a certified Export Health Certificate and enter via a point of entry with a Border Control Post (BCP) that has been designated to receive these goods. The consignment will be subject to documentary, identification, and physical checks.
These delays do not impact any current arrangements already in place, for example products under safeguard measures.
We encourage you to start thinking about the appropriate and relevant actions you will need to take to be ready for 1 January 2022.
If you haven’t already, you can register for IPAFFS on GOV.UK.
- Appoint an authorised EU representative - Manufacturers in non-EU countries who wish to sell their products in the EU must appoint an authorised representative established in the EU to act on their behalf. Find out how to appoint an EU-recognised notified body on the GOV.UK website.
- Label your goods correctly - Most goods that are exported to the EU need specific labelling in the right language. Find out more about the EU labelling and packaging requirements on the European Commission website.
- Meet EU product safety requirements (if you need a Certificate of Conformity) - As an exporter, you are responsible for designing and manufacturing products that meet all applicable safety requirements, including carrying out the required conformity assessment procedure. Any testing required by EU legislation must use EU notified bodies. UK test houses no longer meet these requirements. Certificates will also need to be in the language of the member state where they will be placed on the market. Find out more about conformity assessments on the European Commission website.
- Register for an Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI) number. You need an EORI number that starts with GB to export goods.
- Decide how you want to make customs declarations and whether you need to get someone to deal with customs for you.
Guidance for exporting certain products
For more information about how the new rules affect how certain goods are exported to the EU, read our guidance documents below:
- cosmetics guidance document (PDF, 167.9 KB)
- food guidance document (PDF, 205.9 KB)
- product safety guidance document (PDF, 134.2 KB).
If you need more personalised advice for your business, get in touch with Trading Standards.
If you don't follow the new rules
- your goods may be refused entry
- you will be responsible for paying the costs of examination
- you will need to pay for storage
- you will need to pay to rectify the problems
- and if the issues cannot be rectified, you will need to pay for the goods to be destroyed.
More business advice
For more advice relating to the new rules visit one of the following websites:
- Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce
- Department for International Trade
- Federation of Small Businesses (FSB)
- Business Companion
- GOV.UK - Haulier advice site locations
- Food Standards Agency
- HMRC - general enquiries about imports and exports
- European Commission Trade Helpdesk
- New EU VAT e-commerce rules explained by the FSB for online sellers
- Free webinars for organisations that trade with the EU
- Free webinars for importers of food and drink products from the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.
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