THE Irish Government is urging firms which export goods to Britain to ‘get ready’ ahead of new Brexit rules around border controls which take effect this month.
From January 31, a new Border Target Operating Model on import controls will take effect in the UK.
This will mean any organisation that imports agri-foods to or through Britain will be subject to new import controls at British borders.
For Irish firms this will require customs declarations on goods to be made prior to their arrival at the border and the pre-notification of agri-food exports – which in some cases will also need an Export Health Certificate.
The new UK requirements are in addition to the existing formalities that apply when exporting goods from the EU.
Tánaiste Micheál Martin, who is Ireland’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, has urged Irish exporters to prepare now for the new UK requirements to avoid backlogs and disruption at the border.
“The UK continues to be an important market for Irish exports so the smooth transition to these new UK requirements will be very important for us,” he said.
“I am encouraging all Irish companies to speak to everyone in their supply chain and make sure they are ready for the new UK processes starting January 31.”
More that one third of Irish exports go to the UK, which remains the largest single destination for Irish food, drink and horticulture goods.
The nation accounts for 47 per cent of Irish beef exports, with an estimated value of €1.3billion, while dairy exports to the UK were valued at €1.1 billion in 2023.
Speaking about the particular impact the new rules will have on Ireland’s agri-food sector, Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue said: “These new UK import control requirements represent a significant change in the trading environment for Irish agri-food exporters to GB, in what is our largest export market.
“All businesses in the agri-food supply chain to GB must continue to engage with their UK customers, their local supervisory competent authority team and logistics providers to confirm the processes are in place to meet the new UK requirements in the most effective and efficient manner.”
The Irish Government has launched a nationwide media campaign to inform exporters of the changes coming into effect this month and the action they will need to take.
“We want to make sure that everyone exporting to the UK, or using the UK landbridge, is fully aware that the new UK requirements are coming into force on 31 January and knows what they need to do to prepare,” Ireland’s Minister of State for European Affairs, Peter Burke said.
“We have engaged with all the relevant stakeholders, including in the agri-food sector, the logistics and transport sectors, and we have rolled out a communications campaign at national and local level on radio, in print and on social media to ensure our businesses have sufficient time to prepare for these changes.”