Here is our latest update on all things affecting food businesses including exports to the EU, future UK imports and GB-NI.

  1. EU Trade Deal
  • EU has now officially ratified the trade deal
  • Future discussions between UK and EU will be through specialised committees to resolve workable issues (but not make changes to the deal)
  • Defra beginning preparations for SPS Committee – this will look at issues of compliance causing issues in the supply chain ie interpretation of regulation for checks, problems with paperwork etc – if you have issues on working of SPS and controls we can feed into Defra
  • Agreeing deal also clears path for in depth discussions on working of NI protocol
2 Exports to EU
  • UK continuing to work with MSs on specific problems at borders – Spain, Belgium and Poland recent focus
  • UK businesses experiencing problems with recent changes to composite products – UK and MSs trying to resolve (eg recent DAFM advice from ROI). We and FDF flagging issues to Defra
  • HRFNAO – EU regulation changed 5/5 and some changes to products covered and sampling required – relevant to UK-EU and GB-NI

 3 GB-NI

  • Defra considering P&R exemption which runs out 1/7 – Defra believes impact would be limited if exemption changed as retailers moving sourcing to NI and ROI – I’ve suggested they check to ensure this is the case and consider impact on xmas trade
  • Defra working with retailers on digital assistance scheme (DAS) – workshops held on workability
  • We are still pushing Defra to review its approach to roadmap beyond October and push for a comprehensive trusted trader scheme than digitilising current approach – support from Ministers so we will need to agree approach and try and get EU to support
  • NI borders – currently at capacity both BCPs and available vets – DAERA/Defra recognise and trying to resolve
  • New forum with Defra/HMT/DAERA set up to address all issues for food businesses transporting between GB and NI – first call 20/5 register


  • This is assurance scheme allowing exporters to certify loads of fresh fruit and vegetables
  • Number of UK food businesses signed up
  • Defra will push the benefits as the NI grace period ends to help food businesses sending food GB-NI
  • Also other MSs could use this system – eg we could push Spanish govt to implement it to help their fruit exporters

 5 Freeports

  • HMT working through customs issues but hoping for clarity by Autumn
  • Have the potential to avoid tariffs for imports from EU to UK which then go onto EU eg parma ham consignment, split in freeport with some to GB and some onto ROI could avoid tariffs
  • More details available for anyone interested

 6 Global trade deals

  • Australia moving quickly – UK hoping for agreement in principle by mid June with official agreement by Autumn
  • NZ – slower progress not this year

Norway/Iceland – close to completing deal