Extra guidance for exporters about Brexit
Guidance for primary sector exporters to the United Kingdom (UK) and European Union (EU) under a ‘no deal’ Brexit scenario.
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In this section:
No change is expected in the sanitary requirements for live animals or animal products exported from New Zealand to the UK.
The UK/NZ Veterinary Agreement replicates the EU/NZ Veterinary Agreement (also known as the ‘Sanitary Agreement Applicable to Trade in Live Animals and Animal Products’).
It sets out sanitary measures that are recognised by each country. The measure are to protect human health and animal health relating to trade in animal products and live animals. The agreement reduces costs for exporters, and gives a robust basis for trade.
As of 14 March 2019, the NZ/UK Veterinary Agreement is not in force. It will come into force when the UK isn't bound by EU legislation anymore. This will happen either:
- in a ‘no deal’ scenario, or
- after December 2020 if a transition period (Withdrawal Agreement) is agreed on.
Changes to exports of live animals and animal products not listed in the NZ/UK Veterinary Agreement
Existing EU sanitary requirements for live animals and animal products are expected to apply for at least the medium term following the UK exiting the EU without a withdrawal agreement.
The UK Government has advised that health certificates and premise listings that are currently used for imports into the EU will be accepted for 6 months after the UK leaves the EU. After that, a new UK health certificate will be required.
There is more information available in the ‘Importing animals, animal products and high-risk food and feed not of animal origin after EU exit’ technical notice.
As of 14 March 2019, the UK has advised that until further notice, it will continue to use the EU lists of approved establishments. The UK Government’s ‘Import of products, animals, food and feed system (IPAFFS): guidance’ technical notice has more information.
In a ‘no deal’ Brexit scenario the EU will not allow the UK to access the EU import notification system, TRACES. The UK is launching a new system to replace TRACES. It is known as the ‘Import of products, animals, food and feed system’ (IPAFFS).
The UK Government’s ‘Importing animals, animal products and high-risk food and feed not of animal origin after EU exit’ technical notice has more information on IPAFFS and how to use it.
The requirements depend on if the pet cats and dogs are travelling:
- from New Zealand to the UK or EU
- between the UK and the EU.
Pets travelling from New Zealand to the UK or EU
The requirement will stay the same for pet cats and dogs travelling from New Zealand to either the UK or the EU.
Pets travelling between the UK and EU
Moving cats and dogs between the UK and EU will require:
- further testing for rabies
- a 3-month stand down period before the animals can travel.
Contact the UK Pet Travel Scheme Helpline (0370 241 1710) for more guidance or see the UK Government's guidance.
Phytosanitary requirements for New Zealand exports to the UK
As of 14 March 2019, there is no expected change to the phytosanitary requirements for plants or plant products exported from New Zealand to the UK.
Requirements for plants moving to the UK via the EU
The EU will no longer have to carry out plant health checks on regulated third country goods going to the UK. This includes goods from New Zealand, and may affect logistics and supply chains.
More information is available in the UK Government’s ‘Importing and exporting plants and plant products if the UK leaves the EU without a deal’ technical guidance document.
Phytosanitary requirements for UK imports to New Zealand
These phytosanitary requirements aren't changing.
The New Zealand Government is working to keep trade conditions the same for:
- seafood products.
It's expected that this will be confirmed before the UK leaves the EU.
As of 14 March 2019, we don't expect changes to exports requirements from New Zealand to the UK for:
- processed food and other primary sector products.
Will products entering the UK in a 'no deal' Brexit scenario labelled with an EU address be accepted?
The UK Government has advised that you must include a UK address for the food business operator (FBO) on pre-packaged food or caseins sold in the UK. If the FBO is not in the UK, include the address of your importer bringing the food into the UK. The UK Government's 'Food labelling changes after Brexit' technical notice suggest that a pragmatic approach will be taken. It states that: "The UK government is aiming wherever possible to allow a transition period for labelling changes in relation to goods produced or imported and placed on the UK market after exit day".
However, it is expected that the EU27 will require wholly accurate labelling to guarantee market access.
Will products that are already labelled with an EU27 address and placed on the UK market be allowed to be sold?
There will be a transition period to December 2020 for labelling changes for goods produced or imported and placed on the UK market after exit day.
The UK Government’s 'Food labelling changes after Brexit' technical notice has more information.
Will products entering the EU27 after 29 March that are only labelled with a UK address be accepted?
Products sent to an EU importer in a ‘no deal’ Brexit scenario must have an EU27 address. A UK address will not be accepted because the UK will no longer be a part of the EU following a ‘no deal’ Brexit.
In this section:
The UK will establish its own UK Trade Tariff, detailing the import duty rates and rules that will be applicable to goods. This will happen either:
- under a ‘no-deal’ scenario, or
- at the end of the transition period as set out in the Withdrawal Agreement.
In nearly all cases, the maximum tariff that the UK can apply is the same as the current European Union common tariff.
Possible lower UK tariffs for some essential goods
However, the UK has indicated that it will apply lower tariffs for some essential goods, to avoid shortages. These lower tariffs are expected to be applied to imports from all countries.
As of 14 March 2019, the UK Government has said it will publish its applied tariffs in the weeks following.
The EU is expected to continue applying tariffs at current pre-Brexit levels under a ‘no deal’ scenario.
However, these tariffs will also apply to UK trade, which currently does not pay any tariffs. This is the level of tariff that New Zealand exporters pay in the current pre-Brexit situation.
The UK has indicated that it may apply lower tariffs for some essential goods, to avoid shortages. These lower tariffs are expected to be applied to imports from all countries.
New Zealand’s main dairy and meat exports in the EU market are under tariff rate quotas.
Access to country-specific tariff quotas in the EU (including the UK) is managed by:
- the New Zealand Meat Board (for high-quality beef and sheep meat)
- MPI (for butter, cheddar cheese, and cheese for processing).
The UK and EU notified WTO members of their proposal to split the EU’s current WTO bound tariff rate quotas following Brexit. New Zealand and other countries that trade into quotas have made it clear this approach is unacceptable as it would reduce exporters’ current access by removing their flexibility to respond to changes in market demand between the UK and EU27 markets.
The New Zealand Government is working to protect our current market access under the EU’s WTO tariff rate quotas. MPI is engaging with decision makers in the UK and EU to highlight the importance of reaching an outcome that leaves New Zealand no worse off.
The UK Government has published guidance on the product-specific tariff rate quotas, which include the individual product volumes and rates.
The UK has indicated that it will continue to accept existing EU quota documentation for a period of time after 29 March 2019. We'll update this page when we know how long they'll accept existing EU quota documentation for.
We expect that further information on UK quota administration will be released in the next few weeks. MPI’s website will be updated to include additional information from the UK.
If you have questions about New Zealand’s documentation requirements for country-specific quotas for meat or dairy, email:
Remember, for some of the quotas, importers must also have a valid import licence issued by an EU member state. The UK Government is providing information to importers on how a Brexit 'no deal' scenario will affect import licences.
Customs documentation and procedures with the EU
- New Zealand Customs Service website
- Download questions and answers – New Zealand Customs Service website
If you want to contact the New Zealand Customs Service about Brexit (including if you're a New Zealand business and are concerned about the impact on Brexit on your exports to the UK or the EU), you can:
- phone 0508 BREXIT or 0508 273 948 (toll-free), or
- email email@example.com
General advice for exporters
The New Zealand Trade and Enterprise website also has information about Brexit for New Zealand businesses that export to the UK:
Information from the UK Government for food and beverage importers
The UK Government has technical information to help importers prepare for a possible ‘no deal’ Brexit.
Information on this web page is also available as a document you can download. Note, that the information on this page and in the document will be updated during the Brexit negotiations.
- Questions and answers about Brexit [DOCX, 172 KB]
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