Finnish Food Authority prepares for Brexit

December 2/2020

The departure of the United Kingdom from the European Union will affect clients of the Finnish Food Authority who export and import goods, and the activities of the Food Authority in many ways. The effects relate to terms for imports and exports of, for example, animals and animal-derived products, foods, plants and plant products, as well as animal feeds and fertilisers. An interim period lasting until the end of 2020 is now under way and negotiations on the future of relations between the EU and UK are still ongoing. The Finnish Food authority has compiled current Brexit information on its website:

As of 1 January 2021, the UK will leave the EU's internal market and become a third country. Imports to the EU will be subject to the same requirements as those applying to other countries outside the EU. National UK legislation will apply to exports to the UK. Border controls will begin in stages in the UK so that all inspections at border stations will be in use on 1 July 2021.

Import controls begin immediately in January

Import controls of animals as well as food and products of animal origin will begin at border control posts on 1 January 2021. All animals coming from the UK and food and products of animal origin will be inspected at border control posts from the beginning of the year. It should also be noted that the UK's EU pet passport will no longer be valid after 1 January 2021. However, EU pet passports from Northern Ireland will continue to be valid.

The same rules that now apply to imports from outside the EU will apply to plants, plant products, and used agricultural and forestry equipment imported from the UK as of 1 January 2021. In addition, wood packaging material must be treated according to the ISPM15-standard. All import consignments require a phytosanitary certificate and a plant health entry document (CHED-PP) in the TracesNT system. Border control will be conducted on all plants intended for planting. The requirements apply both to imports by companies and by private individuals. EU rules will continue to apply to trade in plants with Northern Ireland also after 1 January 2021.

New requirements for exports by degrees

In exports of live animals, products of animal origin, and foods to areas other than Northern Ireland, border formalities and other requirements will take effect by degrees in the year 2021. From the beginning of January requirements will take effect for high-risk goods, live animals, and fishery products, and from April, for certain other products, including foods. In addition to EU legislation, exports will also need to meet UK requirements.

From the beginning of January, exports of high-risk plants and plant products will require a phytosanitary certificate, advance notification, and inspections. The requirements will also apply to used agricultural and forestry machinery. In addition, wood packaging material must be treated according to the ISPM15-standard. From early April all regulated plant products must have a phytosanitary certificate. In addition, new export practices will apply to plant-based foodstuffs.

From 1 July, all changes will be in force and all export goods will be inspected at UK border inspection stations.

Further information:

Finnish Food Authority's Brexit web pages