Import for organic businesses after Brexit
In the event of a no-deal Brexit, some things will change for UK organic farmers and growers, manufacturers and traders importing from the EU and third countries.
As the UK’s organic experts and largest dedicated food and farming charity, we have compiled some key information on importing for our organic licensees.
We are here to support you with any questions you have around importing after a no-deal Brexit.
Importing from the EU after Brexit
Once we leave the EU, imports from the EU, EEA and Switzerland will continue as they are until 31st December 2020.
Importing products from these countries will not require any checks at point of entry, unless there is a specific risk identified with a particular ingredient (see more on importing high risk foods here). There will be no need for Certificates of Inspection (CoIs) or other additional paperwork to be completed on these imports until 2021.
Please note that, in a no deal scenario, products you’ve imported cannot be exported back to the EU until your certifier is approved for trade1. See more on export post-Brexit here.
Importing from non-EU countries after Brexit
The UK is transitioning the European Commission Regulation regarding the arrangements for imports of organic products from third countries2 into UK law.
Whilst this is happening, the UK will continue to recognise products from all 13 EU approved third countries and from other third countries where Soil Association Certification has approval to trade3.
You should continue to use the TRACES NT system to generate your import documents until the date that the UK officially leaves the EU.
- Switch to using the interim paper-based Certificates of Inspection (CoI) for anything arriving into the UK from outside the EU, EEA or Switzerland. The paper CoI can be used immediately after Brexit with no registration required.
UK ports may still accept EU CoIs for third country imports after the UK’s exit date, however we’d advise you notify ports that these consignments are arriving to avoid delays.
- Third country exporters will need to complete this new UK paper based Certificate of Inspection (COI), and will need to be endorsed by the exporters certification body. As with all COI’s this will need to accompany the consignment to the port of entry in the UK. If the COI does not accompany the consignment you must ensure it is at the port of entry when the consignment arrives in the UK ready for the UK Port Health Authority to check and sign the paperwork. Defra recommend that organic businesses start to inform suppliers of this new requirement.
- Under a ‘no-deal’, your UK operation will not be able to send goods directly from other third countries into the EU, this will only be possible once your UK certifier has been individually recognised by the EC.
- Third country imported goods that enter the UK via the EU but do not clear EU customs will need a UK CoI endorsed at the first point of entry in the UK.
- Organic businesses will need to register for an EORI number to move product in and out of the EU. Find more information on EORI numbers here.
- If your businesses imports animals, animal products and feed from outside the EEA, see the government information on the new UK IPAFFS system. Registry is now open.
Talk to us
As the organic experts in the UK we provide a wealth of free information and guidance to our organic licensees.
If you can’t find what you’re looking for on these pages, please get in touch with your Certification Officer or email: email@example.com
- Under European Commission regulation 1235/2008 to be added to Annex IV of the organic regulation and they are registered on TRACES NT as an exporter.
- European Commission Regulation 1235/2008
- Equivalency is when a certification body has been approved by the EU as having standards and control system equivalent to EU organic standards 1235/2008 . https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=CELEX%3A32008R1235