The effects of Brexit on exports

Current situation

The United Kingdom is set to leave the EU on 1 February 2020. When the withdrawal agreement takes effect, a transition period will begin and lasts until the end of 2020. During this time, the EU’s current rules will remain in force and the future relationship will be negotiated.

However, exporters should note that live animals and products of animal origin may only be exported from Finland outside the EU by exporters who have registered in the exporter register maintained by the Finnish Food Authority.

Future relationship between the EU and the UK

The aim is for the future relationship to be in effect once the transitional period ends at the end of 2020. This is a very tight schedule. It is therefore possible that, by 1 January 2021, an agreement will not have been reached for certain sectors. Businesses in particular should be prepared for this possibility. 

Export of plants and plant products in case of no agreement

In case of no agreement, the UK may require a phytosanitary certificate for any plants and plant products for which a plant passport is used within the EU area. These include the host plants of quarantine pests.

Export of products of animal origin and live animals in case of no agreement

According to DEFRA's (Department for Environment Food & Rural Affairs) webpages :

  • There will be no need to use the  import of products, animals, food and feed system (IPAFFS). 
  • When importing from EU to UK live animals and germplasm, the UK importer must notify  UK authorities at least 24 hours in advance.
  • When importing from EU to UK ABP consignments travelling under a DOCOM (commercial document), the UK importer must notify  UK authorities when the consignment arrives.
  • When notification is required, APHA (Animal & Plant Health Agency) provides the importer a UNN (Unique Notification Number). UNN must be added to the commercial documentation or health certificate (if one is required).