Brexit Import Controls

The following is a summary of important information on Brexit import controls as directed by Government agencies.

  • In addition to the necessary customs formalities, Irish exporters exporting to, or through the UK, excluding Northern Ireland need to comply with several new UK requirements. All businesses wishing to export to the UK must be listed as an “approved establishment” on the EU TRACES system. In addition, your UK importer will have to pre-notify the UK authorities of the goods being imported and you will have to get the appropriate health certificate(s) from the Irish authorities which must accompany the goods when they are being exported.
  • Since 1 January 2021 EU exporters have been required to pre-notify exports to the UK authorities using the Good Vehicle Movement Service (GVMS) or to avail of temporary storage at the point of import while import formalities are completed. Certain limited categories of plant and animal products, which the UK considers to be high risk (e.g. live animals, germinal products and high risk plants and plant products), also already require pre-notification to the UK authorities (using its Imports of Products, Animal, Food and Feed System (IPAFFS- the UK equivalent to the EU’s TRACES)) by the UK importer and an Export Certificate which must accompany the consignment being exported.
  • From the 1 January 2022 the UK will introduce import the requirement for pre-notification of agri-food imports on the IPAFFS system.
  • There will also be remote documentary checks for products of animal origin, regulated plants/plant products, animal by-products, and high-risk food and feed not of animal origin. There will also be IPAFFS pre-notification requirements.
  • From 1 July 2022 there will be new requirements for export certificates for ‘health and catch’ including products of animal origin, animal by-products, high-risk food and feed not of animal origin, certification of inspection needed for organic food, and germinal products. Phytosanitary certificates will also be required from this date. There will also be entry through Border Control Posts for live animals, regulated plants/plant products, high risk plants and plant products, products of animal origin, animal by products, high risk food and feed not of animal origin, and germinal products. There will be checks performed at the Border Control Posts for all the aforementioned too.
  • No new procedures apply to goods moving between Ireland and Northern Ireland because of the Protocol on Ireland / Northern Ireland.

Please also note that the type of health certificate required for individual categories of products may differ and therefore consignments with different products may require a number of health certificates. For further information on how to apply for an Export Health Certificate (EHC), please contact the competent authority:

A range of Government supports are available, including training and grants, to help your business deal with these changes. However, you will also need to engage with your UK importer and with the UK authorities. Click here for more information.