Based on the Border Operating Model (BOM), certification of 'high-risk' agricultural goods, such as trees, perennial plants, and live animals is now mandatory. UK import controls on these products will remain as they are.
The Target Operating Model
The veterinary and phytosanitary certification of 'low-risk' products (vegetables, fruits, plants, and flowers) and these product passing a designated border control post in the UK has been postponed until end 2023. It will become part of the Target Operating Model (TOM), which will replace the Border Operating Model (BOM). Information about TOM will be published soon. Read more.
Set out your route
Make sure you plan your transport well ahead and map out the route. Not all ports perform inspections.
Plants and plant products
Do you want to export plant products to the UK? You have to deal with phytosanitary export certificates and government checks. Also, different rules apply for products, product labelling or product packaging when exporting to a non-EU country.
Importing live animals and animal products
The following information applies to the import of:
- live animals and live products (semen, embryos and hatching eggs)
- products of animal origin (meat, fish, dairy, eggs and animal by-products)
- animal feed
- hay and straw. Read more about hay and straw (in Dutch)
For importers in the Netherlands, 3 things change:
1. Certify: the exporter must have the cargo certified
Every import shipment must be accompanied by health certificates. These are issued by the official regulator in the United Kingdom. The exporter in the UK applies for the health certificates.
2. Pre-notification: the import shipment must be pre-notified
Import from the UK must be pre-notified with a designated border control post in the UK. This can done by the exporter, the importer, or a customs agent. For more information, please contact the trade association FENEX (in Dutch).
3. Import inspection: the NVWA carries out an import inspection
If you import animals or animal products, they must enter the EU through an approved Border Control Post (BCP). NVWA will check the animals (products) and necessary documents upon arrival. They do this in cooperation with Dutch Customs. They also check if the goods are suitable for the purpose for which they are imported. For example, is the product suitable for consumption? Samples can also be taken here. The physical check may only take place at a BCP. Read more about importing live animals and animal products (in Dutch)
Things to consider when exporting: foodstuffs and agriculture
It has become harder to export foodstuffs and agricultural products to the United Kingdom. Agricultural products, vegetables, fruit, meat and live animals need to have an export certificate, among other things. If you do not have experience with trading outside the EU, start preparing well ahead.
Q&A about the TCA
There is an extensive Q&A about the Brexit Trade Agreement available on the website of the European Commission. It explains what the new rules mean for different sectors, such as trade in goods, fisheries and road transport. Note that this Q&A was published in December 2020 and therefore speaks of a draft agreement.