Reviewed in November 2020. Content will be updated as negotiations develop.
From 1 January 2021, Great Britain (GB) is to be outside of the EU Single Market and Customs Union. Businesses in Ireland who move goods from, to or through Great Britain will be subject to new Customs formalities and regulatory requirements, regardless of the outcome of the EU-UK Free Trade Agreement (FTA) negotiations. There are to be no Customs or SPS controls on the island of Ireland, with or without a FTA.
The export and import of live animals, products of animal origin (including fish), germinal products, animal by-products (i.e. not for human consumption) and some plants will be subject to additional SPS border checks. This is to reduce the risks of diseases, pests, or contaminants entering from third countries.
Prior to the goods being imported, they must be pre-notified by the importer to national authorities. I.e. for imports into the EU using the Trade Control and Export System (TRACES), or for imports into GB using the Import of Product, Animals, Food and Feed Systems (IPAFFS).
Checks can then be carried out, including:
It is the responsibility of the “operator responsible for the consignment” to ensure that the appropriate paperwork is in place. The operator responsible for the consignment can be the importer, but is often a Customs agent acting on the importer’s behalf.
From 1 January 2021, full SPS checks will be imposed, with checks at BCPs and requirements for certificates, pre-notification through TRACES (24 hours before arriving at the BCP) and submitting the necessary documents via the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM), or other import portal.
For more information, see Irish Revenue’s October 2020 Presentation on Trading in Agricultural Goods – SPS Checks and Requirements.
Irish Revenues advises that, from 1 January 2021, animals and goods moving between Ireland and another EU Member State via GB (the UK Landbridge) must be placed under the Customs Transit procedure, to maintain their Union status. EU regulations require certain SPS controls on animals and goods re-entering the Union. Discussions are ongoing to determine how this will work.
The below will help advise you as to what you need to do next to get your business prepared ahead of 1 January 2021.
Verify what certificates are required to export/import the products.
Ask suppliers if they will be able to provide the health/phytosanitary/catch certificates and the time this will take.
Identify the operator responsible for the consignment.
Decide how the consignment(s) will be presented at the Border Control Post – the simpler the load the quicker the import control process.
Complete pre-notification and submit the correct documentation 24 hours in advance.