Leaving the EU: How to prepare for January 2021

The UK has left the EU, and the transition period after Brexit comes to an end this year. Below we signpost to the actions needed to get ready for new rules from January 2021.
Prepare for the end of transition – latest government advice on the new rules from January 2021 Government guidance to farmers and growers on preparing Government guidance for food and drink businesses on preparing for Brexit

There are also notices on a range of specific issues: 

Farming and growing Importing and exporting Labelling products and making them safe Protecting the environment EU labour

Farming and growing

The government has pledged to continue to commit the same cash total in funds for agriculture end of this parliament. This includes funding provided for farm support under both Pillar 1 and Pillar 2 of the CAP. This commitment applies to the whole UK.

Agriculture policy is devolved across the UK, to find out more about the latest information about farm payments, visit:


The UK government has guaranteed that any projects (such as Countryside Stewardship) where funding has been agreed before the end of 2020 will be funded for their full lifetime. This means you will continue to receive rural development funding that comes from the EU until your project closes.

The Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE) provides money for projects to improve agriculture, the environment and rural life.

There are separate rural development programmes for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.


New laws that ensure the safe use of pesticides (plant protection products) will be similar to existing laws. The rules will be different in deal and no deal scenarios. This guidance will help you prepare for either outcome.


The EU will continue to recognise EU plant variety rights granted to all breeders before 1 January 2021. For new plant varieties after 1 January 2021, you must apply separately in the UK and the EU. You must apply to the:

Marketing plant reproductive material in the EU

The UK will not have third-country equivalence from 1 January 2021. The EU will not accept UK certified plant reproductive material.

Marketing EU plant reproductive material in the UK

The UK will apply normal international trading rules to these materials from the EU.

For more information visit: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/plant-variety-rights-and-marketing-plant-reproductive-material-if-the-uk-leaves-the-eu-without-a-deal


There will be new rules and standards you must follow if you trade purebred breeding animals, hybrid breeding pigs or germinal products like semen or embryos.

These rules apply if you’re a recognised breed society for purebred breeding animals or a breeding operation for hybrid breeding pigs.

UK animals (and any germinal products they produce) registered in EU herd or flock books before 1 January 2021 can be issued with a valid zootechnical certificate recognised by the EU.

You will not be able to register your animals in the UK with EU breeding bodies after 1 January 2021. Registering with EU breeding bodies directly does not affect your existing pedigree registrations with UK flock or herd books, and your animals can be registered in more than one breeding book.

From January 2021 you will need a new style zootechnical certificates that a breed societies issues to export to the EU.


Importing and exporting

There will be a number of changes and new requirements. Business who don’t already have an EORI number will need to register for one.

You need to decide how you want to make customs declarations and whether you need to get someone to deal with customs for you.


There will be a number of changes and new requirements. Business who don’t already have an EORI number will need to register for one.

You need to decide how you want to make customs declarations and whether you need to get someone to deal with customs for you.


In addition to the UK guidance outlined above, there are additional implications for those businesses who have operations and will be conducting customs procedures in other EU member states. These will need an EORI number in the member state in which they are operating.


From 1 January 2021, food businesses in the UK will not be able to apply the current ‘EC’ health and identification marks to certain products of animal origin which have been produced in a UK-approved establishment.

This means a revised form of the health and identifications marks will need to be used from 1 January 2021 onwards produced in the UK and placed on the UK, EU and non- EU country markets.

Further guidance is available here:


From January 2021 you’ll need to follow the rules for importing goods from the rest of the world to import from the EU.

Government guidance on the rules to follow for importing can be found here:


From January 2021, EU trade agreements will not apply to the UK.

The UK is seeking to reproduce the effects of existing EU agreements for when they no longer apply to the UK. Details of the trade deals which have been agreed, and those in negotiation can be found on the link below:


Exporting all animal products and live animals will require Export Health Certificates (EHC) and will need to pass through Border Inspection Posts (BIP) to be signed by an official vet.

The UK will use different health and identification marks on Products of Animal Origin (POAO). The UK will be listed as having third country status with the EU. UK transporters will need to apply for new licences in order to transport live animals in the EU.


There are new rules for importing animal products, live animals and germinal products into England, Scotland and Wales from the EU from 1 January 2021.

Export Health Certificates (EHCs) will be required and you’ll need to use the UK’s new Import of Products, Animals, Food and Feed System (IPAFFS) instead pf the EU TRACES system for imports of:

  • live animals
  • products of animal origin (POAO) subject to veterinary checks
  • high-risk food and feed not of non-animal origin
  • germplasm (also called germinal products)
  • animal by-products not intended for human consumption (ABP) subject to veterinary checks

More information here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/importing-animals-animal-products-and-high-risk-food-and-feed-not-of-animal-origin-from-1-january-2021


There will be new processes that importers must follow in 2021. At present high risk plans and plant products need a phytosanitary certificate (PC) and physical inspection. This will be expanded to include:

  • all plants for planting
  • ware potatoes
  • some seed and timber
  • used agricultural or forestry machinery

More information here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/importing-and-exporting-plants-and-plant-products-if-theres-no-withdrawal-deal


Your business will need to be established in the EU or European Economic Area (EEA), or have a representative that is established in the EU or EEA if you wish to trade in the EU. The following guidance explains what you need to do.


If you produce or sell fruit and vegetables which are subject to marketing standards, some of the processes you follow will change from 1 January 2021.


Labelling products and making them safe

The EU has issued guidance on labelling changes required from 1 January 2021.

Check with your EU importer how the EU’s new labelling requirements affect your products. You must not use the EU emblem or health and identification marks.


The UK will have its own laws for the production, processing, labelling and trading of organic food and feed from 1 January 2021. Organic standards will remain similar to the EUs.

Food and feed registered as organic in the EU will continue to be accepted as organic in the UK. The EU will decide whether to continue accepting food and feed registered in the UK as organic.


The UK will set up its own geographical indication (GI) schemes. GI schemes provide a set of rules to protect the geographical names of food, drink and agricultural products.

New UK GI logos will be available to identify products protected under the UK schemes from 1 January 2021.

All UK GIs registered under the EU GI schemes by the end of the transition period will continue to receive protection in the EU. New UK products seeking EU GI protection will need to secure protection under UK schemes first


The current EU POPs regulation implements, manages and enforces the international Stockholm Convention agreement on POPs and the Protocol to the 1979 Convention on Long-Range Transboundary Air Pollution on POPs (CLRTAP).

Because the UK signed both the Stockholm Convention and the CLRTAP in its own right, all existing obligations and protections will continue.


The UK has establish an independent standalone biocidal products regime.

The UK has a regulatory framework for biocidal products, by retaining the BPR and its subsidiary regulations in national law using the provisions of the EU Withdrawal Act. At the time of exit, the national regime would be essentially the same as the current EU framework, with changes made only where they are required to enable the regime to operate effectively in a national context.

This would ensure continued levels of protection for human health and the environment and give certainty to UK businesses putting biocidal products on the market.


Protecting the environment

The UK’s legal framework for enforcing domestic environmental legislation by UK regulatory bodies or court systems is unaffected by leaving the EU and continues to apply.

Environmental targets currently covered by EU legislation are already covered in domestic legislation. Permits and licenses issued by UK regulatory bodies will continue to apply as now.


There is no change to the UK’s commitment to domestic and international efforts to tackle climate change. The UK’s Climate Change Act is domestic legislation and will be unaffected by exiting the EU.


EU Labour

The UK will be introducing a points-based immigration system from 2021.

The new systems will treat EU and non-EU citizens equally and aims to attract people who can contribute to the UK’s economy. Irish citizens will continue to be able to enter and live in the UK as they do now.


EU citizens will be able to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme to continue living in the UK after 30 June 2021.


Workers in the UK will continue to be entitled to the rights they have under UK law. The government will make small amendments to the language of workplace legislation to ensure the existing regulations reflect the UK is no longer an EU country. These amendments will not change existing policy.


While the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board seeks to ensure that the information contained within this website is accurate at the time of publication, no warranty is given in respect thereof and, to the maximum extent permitted by law, the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board accepts no liability for loss, damage or injury howsoever caused (including that caused by negligence) or suffered directly or indirectly in relation to information and opinions contained in or omitted from this website.
 

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