Brexit update for farmers and growers
Essential Brexit update for farmers and growers - information for those in Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Following our departure from the EU, producers in Great Britain (GB) who buy products such as feed, seed and livestock directly from the EU will be regarded as importers. Producers in Northern Ireland buying these products directly from GB companies will similarly be regarded as importers. Producers in GB who sell these products to buyers in NI or EU will be regarded as exporters. In all cases, producers will be affected by changes to importing and exporting rules and additional documents will be required for every consignment.
Click on the links below to refer to the following guidance:
- Importing products into GB
- Selling products to the EU or NI
- Buying organic products from GB if you are in Northern Ireland
- Additional requirements for all producers
Importing products into Great Britain
If you're based in Great Britain and purchase organic products for your organic farming business directly from farms or companies in the EU, Switzerland or EEA countries (Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway), you'll now be regarded as an importer. As such, you'll need to be certified as an importer, and there'll be some additional checks and paperwork you'll need to carry out and record.
From 1st July 2021, all organic food, feed and seed imported from the EU, Switzerland or the EEA must also be accompanied by a GB Certificate of Inspection (COI) that's endorsed by the exporter’s certification body. As the importer, you're responsible for ensuring the GB COI is available at the GB port of entry. Organic product won't be permitted entry into GB without a completed COI. Please visit our Import page on our Brexit Hub for further details.
If you know you'll be importing organic product from the EU, Switzerland or EEA countries, please contact your Certification Officer who'll send you the relevant paperwork to complete to enable importing to be added to your licence.
Selling products to the EU or Northern Ireland
If you're selling organic products directly to farms or companies in the EU or Northern Ireland, you'll now need exporting added to the scope of your organic license, and be registered as an exporter on the EU TRACES NT system. You'll need to complete a Certificate of Inspection (COI) on the TRACES NT system for every consignment before the goods leave GB and have the COI endorsed by the Soil Association Certification COI team. If you don't have all of the shipping information before your goods are due to leave, you can still create a COI in the TRACES NT portal based on draft information. Organic product will not be permitted entry into the EU or Northern Ireland without a completed COI. More information on what you'll need to do can be found on the Export page on our Brexit Hub.
Please be aware that they may be additional requirements for exports into the EU or Northern Ireland and your products may need a Common Health Entry Document (CHED) especially if you're exporting products of animal origin. More information can be found on the TRACES NT website.
Update for Farmers and Growers in Northern Ireland
Buying organic products from Great Britain
If you purchase organic products for your organic farming business directly from farms or companies in GB, you'll now be regarded as an importer. As such, you'll need to be certified as an importer, and there will be some additional checks and paperwork you'll need to carry out and record.
If you buy organic products direct from EU member states, and not GB, under the Northern Ireland protocol, you won't need to be registered as an importer, and you'll be able to continue to trade with EU member states as normal, with no additional requirements.
If you'll be importing organic product from GB, please contact your Certification Officer, who'll send you the relevant paperwork to complete to enable importing to be added to your licence. You'll also need to register on the EU system TRACES NT as an importer. Each consignment you import will need to have a COI issued on the TRACES NT system - which has to be endorsed by the GB exporters certification body before it leaves GB - and then signed by the NI authorities at the port of entry in NI. Please be aware that Port Health Authorities will need to be notified if an organic shipment is arriving. Organic product will not be permitted entry into NI without a completed COI. More information on what you will need to do can be found on the Export page on our Brexit hub.
For sale of organic products from Northern Ireland into GB or the EU, there will be no additional checks or requirements.
Additional requirements for seed and livestock products for all producers
For some products, such as seed and livestock products, there may also be other requirements needed before the products or animals are imported, such as phytosanitary or animal health certificates, or plant passports. For further information and guidance, use the Government website on importing plants and plant products, or livestock and livestock products.
If you need any support in navigating these changes, or if you would like to discuss this, please contact your Certification Officer.