Brexit Hub

On 31 December 2020 the UK ended its transition period with the European Union, and as a result is no longer a member of the EU's customs union or single market.

Whilst the UK and EU have agreed zero tariffs and quotas on trade between the two markets, the way rural businesses trade, the way supply chains work, and the way products are packaged and labelled have still changed. It is therefore vital that rural businesses are aware of these changes and how they impact future business decisions.

The CLA’s latest Brexit guidance pack provides rural businesses with advice on the steps that need to be taken and where more information can be found. It covers all the main sectors of activity in the rural economy and includes a simple Brexit checklist members can use to ensure they are able to navigate the new procedures successfully.  

All changes and guidance discussed on this page relate to both England and Wales. 

Latest update

  • EU workers in the UK: Settled and pre-settled status deadline

Index

  • Getting business ready
  • Animals and Animal Products
  • Plants and plant products
  • Food and Feed
  • Export and import rules and processes
  • Brexit news

Getting business ready

On 31 December 2020 the UK ended its transition period with the European Union, and as a result is no longer a member of the EU's customs union or single market.

Whilst the UK and EU have agreed zero tariffs and quotas on trade between the two markets, the way rural businesses trade, the way supply chains work, and the way products are packaged and labelled have still changed. It is therefore vital that rural businesses are aware of these changes and how they impact future business decisions.

The CLA’s latest Brexit guidance pack provides rural businesses with advice on the steps that need to be taken and where more information can be found. It covers all the main sectors of activity in the rural economy and includes a simple Brexit checklist members can use to ensure they are able to navigate the new procedures successfully. The guidance pack can be downloaded by clicking the button below. 

Brexit: Getting rural business ready

Frequently Asked Questions

In order to assist members, the CLA has produced this briefing note on a number of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).

Animals & Animal Products

The end of transition has changed the way producers and traders engage with the European Union. With the EU being the UK’s largest agrifood market, these briefing notes set out the new rules relating to how to import and export, the trade in horses and other equines and the new rules regarding poultry and eggs.

Traders urged to register now to export animals and animal products

When exporting animals and animal products from Great Britain to the EU from 2 January 2021, traders will require an Export Health Certificate (EHC). Traders can now register for the online service now.

The EHC service can be used to:

  • apply for an export health certificate;
  • copy existing applications;
  • apply for blocks of certificates;
  • apply for multiple certificates in a single application;
  • see the status of your application.
For more information and to register

Groupage Export Facilitation Scheme for animal products

From 1 January 2021, exporters and their suppliers will be able to make use of the Groupage Export Facilitation Scheme (GEFS) to trade multiple products within one shipment. The idea is to ensure the continuation of trade without significant delays. This briefing note sets out the main details of the GEFS, which products can be exported, how to be a member of the GEFS and what type of inspections will take place.

New Movement Assistance Scheme

The Government has announced a new scheme, the Movement Assistance Scheme (MAS) for moving animals, plants and associated products from Great Britain to Northern Ireland from 1 January 2021.

The MAS sets out advice for businesses through a dedicated helpline. It also means that traders will not need to pay certification costs, which will be reimbursed by government to those certifying the products. The aim is to make it easier for traders to continue to move agri-food goods from Great Britain to Northern Ireland.

Movement assistance scheme

Horses and other equines

The transition period between the UK and the EU ended on 31 December 2020 and the UK is no longer a member of the EU’s Single Market nor the Common Customs Union. These changes will result in a series of significant, and depending on the timing, abrupt changes to how rural businesses operate. Arrangements for horses and other equines will change.

Plant & Plant Products

There will be changes in the way arable and other cultivated products are traded in the UK and the EU. These briefing notes set out the new rules on to how to import and export arable products, the changes that will be made in the horticulture sector and the new rules regarding wood and timber products.

End of transition will mean major change for trading timber

The government has announced a series of changes to how timber will be traded between Great Britain and Northern Ireland. From 1 January 2021:

  • Due diligence checks will take place on timber flowing from Great Britain to Northern Ireland;
  • Due diligence checks will take place on timber flowing from the European Union (EU) to GB and GB to EU;
  • No new due diligence checks will take place on timber flowing from NI to GB;
  • No new due diligence checks will take place on timber flowing from the EU to NI.

There are to be no changes to the current process for businesses importing from outside of the EU and UK producers first placing timber on the internal market will still need to carry out due diligence as before. Timber traders will be required to tell the Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS):

  • Who they bought the timber from;
  • who they sold it to (regardless of species, product or country of origin), through evidence such as an invoice; and,
  • both traders and operators (importers) will be required to keep records for five years.

Operators will be required to exercise due diligence to ensure that timber and timber products have not been illegally harvested.

Organic trade after transition

When the transition period ends on 31 December with the EU, there will be a series of significant changes for organic producers, particularly those that export organic food and feed to the EU. This briefing note sets out those changes as well as the implications for organic businesses.

Plant variety rights and marketing

The rules regarding the import and export and the marketing standards for fruit and vegetables have changed. This briefing note provides rural business owners with a detailed framework for the steps which will need to be taken and where you can find more information relating to fruit and vegetables marketing standards after transition and has been independently compiled by CLA experts.

It covers:

  • Import arrangements for fruit and vegetables from the EU;
  • Export arrangements for fruit and vegetables to the EU;
  • The Approved Trader Scheme;
  • Trading arrangements with non-EU countries.

Of course, the decision about what actions to take will be unique to every businesses’ needs. This guidance is not intended to make a judgement on the specific activities you should be undertaking, or about the longer-term effects of the UK’s exit from the EU

Imports after transition: plants and plant products

Arrangements for the import of plants and plant products will change.

This briefing note provides rural business owners with a detailed framework for the steps which will need to be taken and where you can find more information relating to importing plants and plant products after transition and has been independently compiled by CLA experts.

It covers:

  • The rules for imports from the EU after the end of transition;
  • The three stages of the UK Border Operating Model;
  • Phytosanitary Certificates;
  • High-risk and prohibited products

Of course, the decision about what actions to take will be unique to every businesses’ needs. This guidance is not intended to make a judgement on the specific activities you should be undertaking, or about the longer-term effects of the UK’s exit from the EU.

Imports after transition: plants and plant products

Exports after transition: plants and plant products

Arrangements for the export of plants and plant products will change.

This briefing note provides rural business owners with a detailed framework for the steps which will need to be taken and where you can find more information relating to exporting plants and plant products after transition and has been independently compiled by CLA experts.

It covers:

  • The rules for exports to the EU after the transition period;
  • Exporting high-risk plants to the EU;
  • The use of plant passports;
  • Rejected exports and returned products.

Of course, the decision about what actions to take will be unique to every businesses’ needs. This guidance is not intended to make a judgement on the specific activities you should be undertaking, or about the longer-term effects of the UK’s exit from the EU.

Exports after transition: plants and plant products

Horticulture

The rules regarding the import and export and the marketing standards for horticultural products (fruit and vegetables, hops and wine) have changed.

This briefing note provides rural business owners with a detailed framework for the steps which will need to be taken and where you can find more information relating to the trade in horticultural products after transition and has been independently compiled by CLA experts.

It covers:

  • Import arrangements for fruit and vegetables from the EU;
  • Export arrangements for fruit and vegetables to the EU;
  • The Approved Trader Scheme;
  • Trading arrangements with non-EU countries;
  • Importing and exporting hops and

Food & Feed

There are substantial changes to the UK’s system of protected names, the way the organic sector will operate and changes to how products are labelled in the future. These briefing notes set out what businesses need to be aware of and the changes that came into force on 1 January 2021.

Protected food names

There are a number of UK food products that have benefitted from the EU’s protected names scheme for geographic indications. Examples include Melton Mowbray pork pies and Welsh lamb. However, with the end of the transition period, the UK is to introduce its own geographic indications scheme. This briefing note sets out the position for those products already registered in the EU and how new products can be registered in the UK.

Exporting Animals and Animal Products

The process through which UK exporters trade with the EU has significantly changes. Even in the event of a deal with the EU, substantial change is about to take place because the UK is leaving the EU Single Market and the Common Customs Union. This briefing note sets out those changes and highlights areas members will need to be aware.

Food labelling and composition: natural mineral water

This briefing note provides rural business owners with a detailed framework for the steps which will need to be taken and where you can find more information relating to fruit and vegetables marketing standards after transition and has been independently compiled by CLA experts.

It covers:

  • Non-recognition of natural mineral water producers in Great Britain;
  • Applying for recognition;
  • EU natural mineral water imported to the UK.

Export and import rules and processes

As a result of Brexit, there are changes in terms of labour availability and customs declarations for goods entering the UK border. These briefing notes outline these changes to ensure that business can become “Brexit ready”.

Documentation and Registration Requirements: What is needed and when it should be received

There are changes in the documentation that will be required in order to trade with the EU and non-EU countries.

This briefing note provides rural business owners with information on the documentation which will be required from 1 January 2021 in order for businesses to continue trading.

It covers:

  • Documentation required and the standard time before receipt of documents;
  • Registration required before undertaking certain trading activities.

Haulage & transit

This briefing note provides rural business owners with a detailed framework for the steps which will need to be taken and where you can find more information relating to international haulage and transit after transition and has been independently compiled by CLA experts.

UK global tariffs

This briefing outlines the UK Global Tariff and the rate of tariff importers will need to apply on imports after 31 December 2020.

Importers need to register and use IPAFFS

Importers of live animals, animal products and high-risk food and feed will need to register for the government's “Import of animals, food and feed system”, better known as IPAFFS as soon as possible.

IPAFFS is the domestic system for the import of live animals, animal products and high-risk food and feed not of animal origin into Great Britain.

Importers will need to use IPAFFS to notify:

  • the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) about imports of live animals and germinal products from the EU and EEA countries excluding Iceland to Great Britain (GB);
  • live animal border control posts (BCPs) about imports of live animals from non-EU countries including Iceland to GB from 6am, 23 November 2020. Before this date they can continue to use the EU TRACES system;
  • Continue to use TRACES to notify port health authorities of imports of animal products and high-risk food not of animal origin (HRFNAO) and products of animal origin (POAO) into GB from non-EU countries until 6am, 7 December 2020.
  • Use IPAFFS for high risk animal products and products of animal origin HRFNAO and POAO from 6am, 7 December 2020.

How to register on IPAFFS

It is vital that importers register on IPAFFS in order to continue trading. To start the registration process, go to: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/import-of-products-animals-food-and-feed-system

Before starting registration, decide who is the responsible person to register the business or organisation. The business can use an existing Government Gateway account or create a new one. Each person must have a Government Gateway account that is personal to them.

Gateway accounts must not be shared.

The first person to register the business or organisation will automatically become the organisation administrator for that business. That person will then have permission to invite and remove other team members.

It is important that the organisation administrator allocates at least one other team member to an administrator account role so as to share the account management.

To know more about the registration process go to: register a business or organisation for the IPAFFS service (ODT, 11.9KB).

When to submit notifications on IPAFFS

Notifications on IPAFFS must be made at least 24 hours before the consignment is due to arrive in Great Britain. Notifications can be made up to 30 days in advance.

Imports from the EU and non-EU countries

If the import is from a non-EU country, before putting a notification on IPAFFS, the importer needs to know:

  • what is being imported;
  • the date and the estimated time the consignment will arrive at the border control post;
  • which country it will come from and the country in which it is consigned if they are different;
  • the consignment’s destination.

If the import is from the EU, before putting a notification on IPAFFS, the importer needs to know:

  • what is being imported;
  • the date of import into Great Britain;
  • which country it will come from the consignment’s place of destination.

Timber & timber products

This briefing note provides rural business owners with a detailed framework for the steps which will need to be taken and where you can find more information relating to the import and export of timber and timber products and has been independently compiled by CLA experts.

It covers:

  • The import of timber from the EU;
  • The export of timber to the EU;
  • Due diligence;
  • Standards and enforcement.

Labour & employment

This briefing note provides rural business owners with a detailed framework for the steps which will need to be taken and where you can find more information relating to labour supply and immigration after transition and has been independently compiled by CLA experts.

It covers:

  • Changes to immigration;
  • Settled status for EU nationals;
  • Seasonal workers;
  • Visas;
  • Rules for skilled workers;
  • Becoming a sponsored employer;
  • Implications for future labour supply.

Documentation and Registration Requirements: What is needed and when it should be received

This briefing note provides rural business owners with a detailed framework for the steps which will need to be taken and where you can find more information relating to customs declarations for imports entering Great Britain after transition and has been independently compiled by CLA experts.

It covers:

  • Goods requiring an import declaration;
  • Free circulation of goods.

Fertiliser changes

The briefing note provides rural business owners with detailed information on the steps which will need to be taken and where you can find more information relating to the manufacturing, importing and marketing of fertilisers and has been independently compiled by CLA experts.

It covers:

  • Manufacturing and selling fertilisers in Great Britain;
  • Selling EC labelled fertiliser in Great Britain;
  • Trading with the EU;
  • Rejected consignments;
  • Ammonium nitrate imports.

Government extends seasonal workers’ pilot

The Government is to allow up to 30,000 seasonal workers into the UK in 2021 as part of an extension to the existing Seasonal Workers Scheme.

The additional number of visas for migrant workers follows a review of the seasonal workers pilot scheme that, for 2020, allowed for 10,000 workers. The visas will last for a maximum of six months and will be available for 2021 only.

As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, only 25% of migrant workers, who would normally have worked seasonally on British farms, were able to arrive as a result of border closures in a number of countries. The CLA estimated that as many as 80,000 migrant workers are required per year.

Following a joint industry response, the government set up the “Pick for Britain” website to encourage more British workers to help producers on farms. This will be extended in 2021.

Government allocates £20 million for new SME Brexit support fund

The government has set up a new £20 million SME Brexit Support Fund to help small businesses adjust to new customs procedures, rules of origin, and VAT rules when trading with the EU. The fund offers up to £2,000 for business with up to 500 employees, and no more than £100 million annual turnover who trade with the EU.

In order to be eligible the business must:

  • be established in the UK;
  • have been established in the UK for at least 12 months before submitting the application, or currently hold Authorised Economic Operator status;
  • not have previously failed to meet its tax or customs obligations;
  • have no more than 500 employees;
  • have no more than £100 million turnover;
  • import or export goods between Great Britain and the EU, or moves goods between Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Businesses can use the grant for training on:

  • how to complete customs declarations;
  • how to manage customs processes and use customs software and systems;
  • specific import and export related aspects including VAT, excise and rules of origin;
  • professional advice so the business can meet its customs, excise, import VAT or safety and security declaration requirements.

More details can be found here.

The fund is not yet ready for applications. When it opens, further information will be circulated on the CLA Brexit Hub.

EU workers in the UK: Settled and pre-settled status deadline

Foreign workers who are employed in the UK have until 30 June to apply for either settled or pre-settled status and be able to remain in the country without a workers visa.

Following the UK’s exit from the European Union on 1 January 2021, immigration rules for EU nationals working in the country have been considerably tightened. There are a number of schemes set up by the UK government to allow foreign workers to continue to work. One such scheme is that of settled and pre-settled status.

Although employers are not legally obliged to inform any of their employees of the new immigration rules, they will need to check immigration status of workers in the future.

For more details, go to: https://www.gov.uk/settled-status-eu-citizens-families/applying-for-settled-status

There is also the Frontier Workers permit that allows for seasonal workers. The CLA has produced a briefing note which sets out the details of the permit, the eligibility conditions and how to apply. The briefing note can be downloaded here

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