DEFRA Newsletter No. 2

DEFRA have issued their second ‘No Brexit’ Newsletter, which you can read in full below.

Welcome to the second edition of Defra’s imports and exports Brexit newsletter. With around 8 weeks left before the UK leaves the European Union (EU) it is vital that you are prepared for the changes that will be required to importing and exporting goods.

Exporting goods to the EU and beyond: Export Health Certificates

When the UK leaves the EU, exporters will need an Export Heath Certificate (EHC) in order to export to the EU and to non-EU countries. Businesses that already export goods to counties outside the EU will already be familiar with these forms and with the online process for exports as for non-EU countries.

This is a robust and tested system, that is already well known to exporters and it will be ready to go from Day 1.  

We have uploaded revised Export Health Certificates (EHCs) for exports to the EU on GOV.UK, along with the Notes for Guidance. These can be found here. Following user feedback, we have improved its design to reduce the number of errors and to make them easier to complete.

We would welcome your feedback and we will continue to refine the forms to ensure that they are as straightforward as possible to complete. Feedback can be submitted by email, please click here.

Longer term, we are developing a new online system, “Export Health Certificates Online (ECHO)”, which will be rolled-out in phases later this year.  We will keep you updated through this newsletter.

Exporting goods to the EU and beyond: Process maps

To help you understand what you need to do to carry on exporting if the UK leaves the EU without a deal, we are preparing a series of process maps. Each map will set out the key steps that you need to follow in order to ensure your export goes successfully. The first map will be published on GOV.UK shortly and a pdf is attached for your reference.

French customs guidance

If the UK leaves the EU with no deal Brexit customs formalities and controls at the border between France and the UK will be reinstated for goods. Both imports and exports, will be subjected to two customs declarations, one to British Customs and one to French Customs. Details of the guidance issued by the French authorities can be found here.

EORI Numbers

In our last newsletter, we asked you register for an EORI number. These numbers are still required, but since that last newsletter, HMRC have updated their guidance. UK traders will need an EU EORI number if they interact with both UK and EU customs, but not if they just move goods between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.  HMRC’s latest EORI guidance can be found here. Any queries about EORI numbers should be directed to HMRC.

‘Get Ready for Brexit’ Campaign

Earlier this week the Government launched a public information campaign to help businesses and individuals prepare for the UK’s departure from the EU. It is the largest single communications campaign ever undertaken by the UK Government. The campaign includes an online checker tool that will tell you what you and your business will need to do to get ready for Brexit. The checker can be found here.

To Do List

In this edition we would like to highlight:

  • Sign-up for Brexit updates – If you haven’t already done so, sign-up for the Government’s Brexit update alerts. You can find a link here.
  • Seafood roadshows – In partnership with Seafish and the Marine Management Organisation, Defra, are hosting a series of events across England to help seafood traders, processors and businesses understand the changes that lie ahead and what they can do to prepare. The remaining dates and locations are:

    11th September – Grimsby 
    12th September – Scarborough 
    26th September – Fleetwood 
    4th October – London
  • Border Inspection Posts – Goods will only be able to enter the EU through a Border Inspection Post (BIP) designated for the specific consignment. Check the list of existing BIPs in the EU (here). You should also consider how to redirect your trade route if necessary. If you are transporting goods by road, you should ensure that your freight company is prepared. Further details of the requirements for lorry and goods vehicle drivers can be found here.

We hope you find this newsletter useful.

The Imports and Exports Team

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