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Supplementary Customs Declarations Are Now Due For Products That Have Entered Great Britain since 1 January 2021

The UK’s Customs Freight Simplified Procedure has allowed authorised importers to submit simplified declarations when the goods enter Great Britain, with supplementary (full) declarations due within 175 days of import. This system will run until end-2021. For Irish traders acting as importers into Great Britain from the start of 2021 these supplementary declarations have been becoming due. The declarations may be completed by firms themselves or by their Customs agents/fast parcel operators.

More information available here.

Exporting to Britain FAQs 2024

Information available here


What has changed between the EU and the UK?

There are now significant differences in the arrangements for trade between the UK and its neighbours. This affects businesses operating to and through (using the landbridge) GB. There is a new deal but a range of new rules in the forms of Customs paperwork, origin statements and health restrictions. There are unique requirements for fish and fishery products.

  •  The EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement (EU-UK TCA) took provisional effect at the start of 2021, providing tariff-free trade in goods between Great Britain (GB) and the European Union (EU), so long as they meet origin criteria.
  • Goods that do not meet the rules of origin requirements will have to pay the standard tariffs that each of the EU and UK apply to imports from countries with which they have no agreement.
  • Traders moving goods between the EU and to and through GB now face changes to the way they had hitherto been able to conduct business.
  • For trade from GB to the EU (including RoI), full Customs controls have been imposed since January 2021. This includes export and import declarations. The responsibility for completing these depends on the terms of trade agreed between seller and buyer, known as Incoterms. 
  • For trade from the EU to GB, there is a staggered approach to border controls with additional measures occurring at the beginning of October 2021, January 2022 and March 2022.
  • The UK allows for import Customs declarations to be deferred using the Customs Freight Simplified Procedure. Under this procedure, an authorised importer can submit a simplified declaration when the goods enter GB, but must submit a supplementary (full) declaration within six months of import. This system will run until end-2021.” 
  • As a result of the Withdrawal Agreement’s Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland, there are no Customs controls or tariffs for trade between the EU and NI. Under the terms of the Protocol, NI implements EU Food Law for certain goods, especially foods (including fishery products). This means that fish and fishery products can move freely within the island of Ireland and the EU.

What does the Agreement say about Fish and Fishery Products?

Producers, Processors, and traders across the new borders face three levels of requirements – Customs declarations, health controls and catch certificates.

  • Heading 5 of Chapter 2 and four Annexes of the TCA deal with fishing in EU and UK waters. On January 1, 2021, the United Kingdom left the Common Fisheries Policy
  • 25% of the EU’s fisheries quota in UK waters will be transferred to the UK. The negotiating parties agreed on a 5.5-year transitional phase during which the previous regulations on mutual access to each other’s waters will be maintained. The exact fishing quotas (Total Allowable Catch) will be gradually adjusted to the modified conditions. . More information here.
  • Either party will be able to impose tariffs on fisheries where one side reduces or withdraws access to its waters without agreement. A party can suspend access to waters or other trade provisions where the other party is in breach of the fisheries provisions.
  • Trading arrangements affecting fish and fishery products are set out in regulations for all “third countries”.  There are three layers of measures, covering: 
    • trade in all goods
    • trade in products of animal origin, and
    • particular rules relating to the sustainability of fish stocks – the IUU rules.
    • Further information available from the Sea-Fisheries Protection Authority (SFPA), here.
  • See fisheries section of DAFM website – here.

What do I need to move goods to, from and through GB?

Who is responsible for Customs paperwork, duty and VAT?

The burden of the paperwork falls on whoever has been agreed in the contract of trade. There are many options. Typically, if you’re the buyer you want the seller to do it. If you’re seller, vice versa.

  • International commercial terms, or “Incoterms”, identify where the responsibility lies between the seller and buyer – including for the completion of export and import declarations, insurance,  paying import VAT and liability for Customs duty – and where the risk passes.
  • More information on Incoterms is available here.

Customs declarations. What are they, why are they needed and who is responsible?

Customs declarations outline the goods crossing the borders. They must be completed by the party agreed between the buyer and the seller.

  • Export and import declarations are needed for goods traded between different Customs territories.
  • A Customs declaration is a document that lists and gives details of goods that are being imported or exported, helping to identify and control the goods entering or leaving a territory. This allows for protection of the economy, security or environment.
  • Irish Revenue has produced guidance on Customs import, export and postal procedures – available here.
  • Separate documents are required for goods in Transit. See guidance here.

If we’re responsible for completing export/import declarations, should we do this in-house or can we engage someone to do it?

You could try it yourself, but it’s quite a skilled task. Perhaps better to leave it to a specialist. It does help to know what’s involved. The choice about which is more appropriate will depend on the nature of the business, the number and complexity of transactions and the Customs expertise of staff. Completion in-house involves purchasing Customs software and training staff in a specialist field over time.

  • Companies can complete Customs declarations in-house or engage a Customs agent/broker as their representative.
  • Enterprise Ireland has a helpful note on this here
  • Transport companies often are able to complete Customs declarations as part of their service. There is a list of Irish International Freight Association members here.

The UK government has produced a list of Customs agents and fast parcel operators


What documents should accompany a Customs declaration?

The declaration alone won’t be enough – additional items will be needed.

  • Commercial invoice.
  • Proof of origin (e.g. Statement on Origin), if required.
  • The ability to pay import VAT or Customs duties direct to a Customs authority, e.g. deferment account.
  • Transport documents with details of the mode of transport and departure times for export/import.

What are EORI Numbers?

Customs authorities want to be able to identify you easily. There are separate numbers for Ireland, Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

  • EORI means Economic Operators’ Registration and Identification.
  • Since January 2021, EORI numbers have been needed for trade between GB and EU Member States. 
  • This number is used as a reference for interactions with the Customs authorities and is needed when completing export or import Customs documentation.
  • Companies completing export/import declarations in RoI will need an IE EORI number. Apply here.
  • Companies completing export/import declarations in GB will need an GB EORI number. Apply here.
  • Companies completing export/import declarations in NI when trading with non-EU countries, will need an XI EORI number. An XI EORI number is not needed for goods moving directly between NI and EU Member States (including RoI). Apply for an XI EORI number here (a GB EORI is a prerequisite).

What are Commodity Codes and import duties?

Customs authorities want to identify what goods you’re moving. Each product has a number from which you can find the tariff (if any) and any other barriers. The tariff or import duty is a non-recoverable tax for crossing the border.

  • This number determines the amount of import tax (duty and VAT) payable on import (if any), as well as any non-tariff restrictions and certifications required.
  • The rate of import duty attached to a commodity code mostly depends on the economic sensitivity of the product.
  • For EU and GB trade, an export declaration requires a commodity code 8-digits long, while an import declaration needs a 10-digit code. Certain composite food products imported into the EU require additional digits depending on the presence of sugar, starch/glucose, milk fat and milk protein – the Meursing code.
  • It is important to check codes received from suppliers for accuracy – the first six digits are harmonised globally but the remaining ones may vary by jurisdiction. The EU and UK use the same commodity code classification system.
  • Commodity codes and the corresponding import duty rates can be identified for the EU using  TARIC, and for the UK using the UK Global Online Tariff
  • A helpful explainer of how to identify commodity codes and use the respective databases is available here.

How can I be sure my Commodity Code is correct?

A wrong code could mean you’re paying too much or too little duty. Customs can tell you the right code.

  • Traders can apply to revenue authorities for legally binding rulings on the correct commodity code. This is called Binding Tariff Information (BTI) in the EU and Advance Tariff Ruling in GB.
  • An EU BTI is normally valid for three years from the date of issue.
  • More information available from Irish Revenue and HMG.

Non-binding advice on commodity codes can be sought in the first instance.  Contact details: tarclass@revenue.ie and classification.enquiries@hmrc.gov.uk

How are goods valued for Customs purposes?

Duty is usually calculated on the commercial value of the goods but other ways may be appropriate.

There are several methods for calculating the Customs value of goods. The transaction value of goods is the most common, but there are other methods:

  • Transaction value of identical goods.
  • Transaction value of similar goods. 
  • Value based on unit price (or deductive value method). 
  • Computed value.
  • Fall-back method. 

A helpful summary is available here.

Why is Origin Important?

Where the goods come from is central to all trade agreements. The “place of birth” is more important than the place of supply.

  • Origin is the “economic nationality” of a product. That is where it was obtained or manufactured, rather than from where it was shipped. This can be easily identified where products are “wholly obtained” in a country, without inputs from elsewhere. However, where production involves complex supply chains and materials from more than one country, origin is determined by where the last “substantial transformation” took place. This could include an increase in value, change in commodity code or even specific manufacturing process. 
  • The purpose of these provisions is to ensure that preferential tariffs are only afforded to goods that derive from the countries identified in a particular trade deal. The rules of origin provisions differ in each trade agreement.
  • The European Commission’s Rules of Origin Self-Assessment is a helpful tool to identify whether a particular product meets the rules of origin requirements.
  • Preferential and non-preferential origin – here.

What are the Rules of Origin in the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement?

There are no tariffs if the goods originate in the EU or the UK. Be careful with goods passing through. They may not qualify.

  • In order to qualify for the preferential tariff under the EU-UK TCA, the goods must originate in the EU or the UK.  
  • Irish Revenue guidance on Origin in the EU-UK TCA, here.
  • For Irish Revenue guidance on how to avoid loss of origin for EU goods coming/going through GB click here.
  • For specific material on rules origin for seafood click here.

How may I claim preferential origin under the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement?

A special document is required – a Statement on Origin.

  • To claim preferential duty (i.e. 0%) under the EU-UK TCA from 1 January 2021, the exporter can self-declare the origin of a product by completing a Statement on Origin and providing this on an invoice or other commercial document (except bill of lading), describing the originating product in sufficient detail to enable its identification. 
  • The Statement on Origin requires an Exporter Reference Number. There are different rules for EU and GB exporters. 
    • If the value of the consignment is below €6,000 then EU exporters can use their EORI number. 
    • If the value is €6,000 or above, EU exporters need to be registered in the Registered Exporter System (REX) – Ireland here and Northern Ireland here – in order to self-declare that the product originates in the EU. 
    • GB exporters can use their GB EORI numbers, regardless of consignment value.
  • From 2022, a Supplier’s Declaration form will be needed to support the exporter’s claim in the Statement on Origin. A Supplier’s Declaration template can be found in ANNEX ORIG-3 of the here.

Where can I get advice for my specific needs?

BIM offers a specific one-to-one support to the Irish seafood industry.

BIM’s Brexit Mentoring Programme provides grant funding of up to €4,000 per company for consultations with specialists – here.

Where can I get Customs training?

Short courses introduce traders to the complexities of Customs paperwork and procedures. Many people can help.

Training is available from: 

I land fish from my Irish boat in the UK - what are the new arrangements?

Fresh Fish to GB Ports

The SFPA is the relevant authority in regard to this matter. Landings can only take place at particular ports. There are requirements for pre-notifications, pre-landing declarations and Catch Certificates. There are separate time limits for fresh and frozen fish notifications. Frozen fish must comply with health controls. NI ports have their own rules.

Fresh Fish to GB Ports

  • Landings are only permitted to North East Atlantic Fisheries Commission (NEAFC) designated ports. List here for UK.
  • Landing must be pre-notified at least four hours in advance of intended landing.
  • NEAFC RULES:  Masters need to set up an account on the NEAFC website. For fish caught in the NEAFC convention area, use form PSC 1. This must be submitted by the Master or agent to the Flag State authority – Irish FMC (Fisheries Monitoring Centre) and forwarded after completion to the Port State authority – UK FMC.
  • IUU Rules: Three documents must be completed and submitted: 
  1. The Prior Notification Form – more here.
  2. The Pre-landing Declaration – more here.
  3. The Catch Certificate. This needs to be submitted to the Flag Authorities for validation by them before it is sent to the UK authorities.   This submission to the Flag authorities must be completed in time to allow the validated certificate to be with the UK authorities four hours before the intended landing. More here.

These documents must be submitted by the Master or a representative to the GB importer for onward transmission to the UK authorities.

The UK authorities may then issue Pre-authorisation to land at a GB designated port.

For more information on the UK requirements, see this link

Frozen Fish to a GB Port

Pre-notification must be given 72 hours in advance of intended landing.

All documentation required is as for Fresh Fish.

In addition: 

  • from 1 October 2021: Frozen fish must comply with SPS rules. Go to question – “WHAT ABOUT EXPORTS OF FISH AND FISHERY PRODUCTS FROM IRELAND TO GB?”
  • Under Regulation 852/2004, the vessel must be approved and the frozen fish must have a Captain’s Declaration of Fishery Product Health Status. 
  • from 1 January 2022: Frozen fish must enter GB through a port designated as a Border Control Post (BCP).

Live Bivalve Molluscs (LBMs) to GB port

  • From January to April 2021, LBMs may be landed in NEAFC-designated ports in the UK and are subject to NEAFC rules.
  • From 1st April, Irish vessels may not land such products at GB ports.

Landings by Irish registered vessels at Northern Ireland ports

  • Landings must be at a NEAFC-designated port. Link here
  • NEAFC pre-notification form must be submitted four hours in advance for fresh fish and 24 hours in advance for frozen fish.
  • There is no requirement to submit IUU documentation.
  • Unlike GB requirements, landed frozen fish is not required to transit via an EU-accredited BCP and landings to designated ports may also include LBMs.

What are the rules for the British boats landing fish at Irish ports?

This can only take place at seven designated Irish ports.

The SFPA is the relevant authority in regard to this matter. Landings can only take place at particular ports. Four documents are required: pre-notification, prior notification of landing, Catch Certificates and pre-landing declaration.

Port Third Country Nationality Vessel Size Species Presentation Access Times
Burtonport NI vessels <18M Non-TAC Fresh only 14:00 to 20:00 weekdays
Howth <26M All Demersal Fresh or Frozen* Fish 10:00 to 22:00 Weekdays
Killybegs All Third Country vessels All All All

*These ports are not EU Approved Border Control Posts. Consequently, frozen fish may only be landed by fishing vessels registered either in NI or EFTA countries, including Iceland, Norway and the Faroe Islands.

In advance of a Third Country-registered vessel landing fish at a designated Irish port, four documents must be submitted to the Irish FMC by the Master or their agent

North East Atlantic Fisheries Commission (NEAFC) pre-notification document, the Port State Control PSC1 document. 

  • This document must be completed and submitted when landing fish caught in the designated area. The Master must be registered on the NEAFC website and the documentation must be completed and submitted on that website. This PSC 1 must be submitted:
  • 4 hours in advance of intended landing for fresh fish
  • 24 hours in advance of intended landing for frozen fish.
  • Following submission, both the Port State (Ireland) and the Flag State (the UK) must review and validate the documentation.

Prior Notification of Landing (PNO)

  • This document must be submitted:
  • 4 hours in advance of intended landing of fresh fish.
  • 72 hours in advance of intended landing of frozen fish.
  • There are two forms of PNO. The simpler form is used when accompanied by a catch certificate. The longer form is used on the rare occasions when a catch certificate is not submitted e.g. when not landing fish.  More here.

Catch Certificate

  • If intending to discharge fish, Masters must submit a Catch Certificate using the template in the IUU Regulation. A simplified catch certificate template may be used for smaller vessels. More here.
  • The Catch Certificate must be validated by the Flag State (i.e. the UK) before being submitted along with the PNO to the Irish authorities.


Pre-landing Declaration

  • The template for this document is in the IUU Regulation, here. The document must be submitted with the PNO and the Catch Certificate.
  • Having submitted the above documents, the Master must await two authorisations from the Irish authorities:
    • Authorisation to enter the designated port.
    • Authorisation to discharge fish.
  • The second authorisation may be issued at the same time as the first or may be issued on arrival of the vessel in the port. 

Irish authorities may carry out inspections before, during or after discharge.

What are the rules for importers of fish and fishery products from the UK to Ireland?

What are the rules for importers of fish and fishery products from the UK to Ireland?

GB products are subject to the same restrictions as most other non-EU members. NI products can move freely within the island of Ireland and the EU.

  • From January 1st 2021, the UK has left the European Union. This means that the UK is now a Third Country and products from the UK are subject to the same official controls as those from any Third Country (e.g. Egypt, India, Russia).
  • There’s an exception for Northern Ireland. Northern Ireland remains part of the EU Single Market and implements EU Food Law. This means that fish and fishery products can move freely within the island of Ireland and the European Union. This includes fishery products that have entered NI from GB.

How Can I Import Fish and Fishery Products from GB into Ireland?

Imports can only take place at particular ports. An “Operator Responsible” must be registered.

  • These must be imported into Ireland through an appropriately designated EU Border Control Post (BCP). Irish Border Control Posts are located at:
  • Dublin Port
  • Rosslare Port
  • Dublin Airport
  • Shannon Airport. 

Further information on the ports and the products they can handle, here

Not all handle fish and fishery products. Which ones do?

  • For each consignment imported from GB, there must be an Operator Responsible for that consignment. The Operator can either be the importer or an Agent acting on behalf of the importer.

The Operator Responsible must: 

  • be resident in Ireland
  • be registered with the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) and on TRACES NT. Registration is through the DAFM on-line registration portal here
  • provide all required documentation to enable assessment by the BCP and, where relevant, SFPA, 24 hours in advance of arrival of the consignment.
  • pay the fees for inspection at the BCP (55 euros per consignment up to 6 tonnes and 9 euros per tonne from 6 to 46 tonnes. Other charges are laid down for bulk shipments).
  • pay costs associated with laboratory analyses, and the return or destruction of rejected consignments.

What Documents are Needed?

Normal Customs declarations (and supporting documentation) are required, together with a Common Health Entry Document (CHED), health certificate and in certain cases a Catch Certificate. Pre-notification is needed. Different health certificates are required for Live Bivalve Molluscs and fishery products.

  • Apart from documentation which must be submitted to the customs authorities, the Operator Responsible for the consignment must generate a Common Health Entry Document (CHED) in TRACES NT on the DAFM website. This electronic documentation must be submitted to the Irish authorities at the BCP 24 hours before the arrival of the consignment. 
  • The CHED will contain details of the consignment, including the Customs commodity code for the product in the consignment. The codes should accurately and completely cover all products in a consignment.
  • Also in the CHED must be the serial number of the Single Administrative Document (SAD) issued by the Customs authorities.
  • Attached to the CHED must be a copy of the official health certificate for the consignment. If there are different products in the consignment, there may be a need for several health certificates. One CHED must be generated for each health certificate.
  • There is a health certificate for consignments of Live Bivalve Molluscs fit for Human Consumption, and a different one for fishery products – Form GBHC080E (link here) – which is applicable to all other fish as Products of Animal Origin – POAO, including wild/farmed live/part-dead/alive fresh/frozen/cooked finfish/crustacean, and also includes any bivalve mollusc products such as processed mussels or shucked scallops.
  • If possible, the container carrying the consignment should be sealed with an official seal. The serial number of the seal must be included in the CHED.
  • Copies of supporting documentation (invoices, packing lists, etc.) should also be pre-notified into TRACES and accompany the load.
  • If a catch certificate is required (as is the case for most sea-caught fish) this must also be attached. The Catch Certificate needs to have been validated by the fishery authority of the Flag state. If the fishery products had been caught by a UK vessel or vessels, then that is the relevant Flag State. However, if the fishery products had been caught by the vessel of a different country than that which is validated on the catch certificate, and such fishery product is imported from the UK, it will frequently also require an accompanying Processing Document or Storage Document, to link the exported consignment to the Catch Certificate.
  • Following pre-notification, and prior to consignment arrival in the BCP, those documents will be subjected to checks and controls. Catch Certificates are checked by SFPA. Inaccuracies or incomplete submission will tend towards physical inspection, more frequent laboratory analyses, potentially inducing delays or rejection of the consignment upon arrival at the BCP.
  • The original of the Health Certificate must travel with the consignment, either with the driver, if a tractor unit accompanies the container, or in a pouch attached to the container if no tractor unit travels.
  • At the BCP, the consignment will undergo a series of mandated official checks (documentary, identity and physical) and if no non-compliances are detected, the container will be released for free circulation in the EU.
  • If non-compliances are detected with either the EU’s SPS or IUU entry requirements, the release of the container may be delayed, or the container may be refused entry to the EU. In that case, the consignment can either be returned to GB or, in extreme cases, may be destroyed. Should such event occur with frequency either for a specific operator or product, the EU may suggest an upgrade in import controls, including mandatory physical checks.
  • The Operator Responsible will have a right of appeal if he/she wishes to exercise it and must pay all costs that arise from the detection of non-compliances.

What about exports of fish and fishery products to GB. The UK has a phased approach to controls up to March 2022.

What are the rules and key dates for the export of EU fish and fishery products to GB?

There is a range of documentation required for exporters and importers to GB. The UK has a phased approach to controls up to March 2022.

  • Exports and imports are subject to Customs formalities including the need to complete declarations and, on import, to pay any applicable duties and VAT.
  • Irish exporters of fish consignments should apply through a SFPA regional port office for an Export Health Certificate (EHC).
  • Once the EHC is generated, signed, and stamped by the SFPA Certifying Officer the original EHC will be made available in hard copy to the exporter. This EHC should physically accompany the consignment.
  • A scanned copy of the signed EHC is provided by the exporter to the GB importer.
  • The GB importer will need to register with the UK’s Import of Products, Animals, Food and Feed System (IPAFFS) and submit pre-notification of import to IPAFFS, accompanied by an EHC and Catch Certificate.
  • The GB importer will need to upload EHC onto IPAFFS. This must happen before the consignment arrives in GB.
  • GB documentary checks will occur remotely, with identity and physical checks undertaken at the point of destination on a risk basis.
  • For fish that has been stored or processed the following documents are also required:
    • processing statement filled in by the processor.
    • documents showing the fish was stored prior to export.

For more details, see Irish Revenue and HMRC.

The UK is introducing rules in stages:

  • Since 1 January 2021 – wild caught fish and products derived from wild caught fish must have a catch certificate validated by the Flag State. A processing certificate and/or a storage statement may also be required if the fishery products are imported to UK form a country other than the Flag State. An Attestation of Catch Certificate Exemption may be required for other fish and fishery products. 
  • From 1 October 2021 fish consignments must be accompanied by a health certificate. All imports to GB must be pre-notified into the UK IPAFFS system. Physical checks may occur at destination. 
  • From 1 January 2022 – physical SPS checks on high-risk products of animal origin will take place at Border Control Posts, rather than at the place of destination.
  • From 1 March 2022 – checks at Border Control Posts will take place on live animals (fish).

How should I go about getting Catch Certificates and Processing Certificates?

The Irish Sea-Fisheries Protection Authority (SFPA) is the responsible authority. The documents are available through the SFPA’s Export Certificate System.

  • For fish caught by an Irish vessel, the SFPA is the relevant validating authority.
  • Applications to the SFPA for export to GB should be made through the Export Certificate System (ECS) of DAFM. The relevant SFPA port office will contact the applicant.

Do I need multiple Catch Certificates where products include fish from more than one landing?


A consignment of fishery products may consist of fish from more than one landing and so will need more than one Catch Certificate, or, if all from the one Flag State, there can be one Catch Certificate with a schedule of the different landings.

What is the name of the UK’s new pre-notification system?

IPAFFS, it’s similar to the TRACES NT for the EU.

  • The UK has replaced the EU TRACES system with the Import of Products, Animals, Food and Feed System (IPAFFS)
  • Importers of fish and fishery products must be registered with IPAFFS or use an agent who is registered.
  • The registered person or body must be UK-based. The registered person will obtain all necessary documentation from the Irish exporter and upload this to the IPAFFS system.

What about Health Certificates?

Health Certificates are issued through the SFPA.

  • Health Certificates are applicable for consignments arriving in GB from October 2021. 
  • Applicants exporting fishery products from SFPA-approved establishments should contact their local SFPA port office. Health Certificates will only be issued for products dispatched by SFPA-approved establishments. 
  • All exporting establishments need to be listed by the UK. The EU modality for communication such lists is based on TRACES registration so all exporting establishments need to be registered on TRACES.
  • The Health Certificate required by UK authorities does not support the export of consignments of primary products to GB. Therefore, products such as Live Bivalve Molluscs, live crustaceans or gutted iced finfish need to be dispatched from an approved establishment, meeting the relevant human consumption criteria.
  • The format for fishery product official health certificate is laid down by the UK. 
  • The Health Certificate application can then be processed by the SFPA on application by the exporter.

Where can I find a list of GB Border Control Posts?

The ones relevant to Ireland are at Liverpool and several airports. Others are planned for Holyhead and Fishguard/Pembroke.

This list is likely to be expanded to include new BCPs which will be constructed at or near existing Irish Sea ferry ports (Holyhead and Fishguard/Pembroke).

What is the GB landbridge?

What is the GB landbridge?

The Landbridge refers to the movement of goods from RoI to the EU26 (and vice versa), via GB’s port and road network. This is the quickest non-air route, particularly important for fish and other perishable goods.

Now that the UK has left the EU, can I still use the Landbridge?

  • Yes, goods can continue to avail of the Landbridge. Customs Transit procedures should be used to reduce paperwork and avoid full checks when entering GB and subsequently re-entering the EU.
  • Transit is a procedure by which goods move under Customs control. They cannot be offloaded within GB. It requires submission to the revenue authority at the point of departure. Transit documentation requires almost the same details as an export/import declaration. On acceptance by the revenue authority, a reference number and document are issued. 
  • A financial guarantee is required to cover the risk of Revenue loss – duties and/or VAT.

Further information from Irish Revenue here and HMRC here.

Are there special Transit rules for Fishery Products?

Yes. They are subject to the same health controls as if they were to remain in the UK.

  • While travelling across GB, the fishery products must comply with EU Customs and UK health requirements. The fishery products must re-enter the territory of the EU through a Border Control Post and face official checks.
  • Subject to acceptable advanced information, Belgium has agreed to “green route” Irish products transiting through GB. 
  • More information here.

What are the Transit procedures for EU goods to Ireland?

They are the same as those for goods going the other way. Transit procedures must be followed – with a Transit document and pre-notification to Customs.

  • Before leaving the EU Member State, the operator completes a Transit Accompanying Document (TAD) and uploads this to the shared Customs platform, the NCTS. The Irish Customs authorities have access to this platform. 
  • In GB, the haulier completes the Pre-Boarding Notification (PBN) on the Irish Customs RoRo system. This PBN will include the TAD reference number given to the consignment by the NCTS.
  • When the consignment is on the ferry to Ireland, Irish Customs will share the information on the PBN and the TAD with Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) officials at the Border Control Post (BCP). 
  • When leaving GB territory, the vehicle driver must inform the UK authorities.
  • DAFM officials will carry out documentary checks on the information contained in the TAD and PBN before arrival in the port. 
  • If no issues are noted, the consignment is given green routing.
  • DAFM officials retain the power to carry out checks on the consignment.

Fuller information on electronic transit declarations is available here.

What are the rules for fishery products from Ireland which complete transit in France?

France will also require similar documentation.

  • In France, the control system uses TRACES NT.
  • The operator responsible must enter the details of the consignment and create a CHED. The operator then completes a Transit Accompanying Document (TAD) and enters the reference number of the CHED on the TAD.
  • Documentary checks are completed before the arrival of the consignment and, if no issues are raised, Part 2 of the CHED is completed and the consignment is green routed from the French port of arrival.

More information here.

What are the rules for composite products?

What are composite products?

These are products that combine ingredients some of animal origin (including fish) and some of plant origin after a transformation, such as cooking or smoking.

  • A composite product is “a foodstuff intended for human consumption that contains both processed products of animal origin and products of plant origin”.
  • A processed product of animal origin is a food of animal origin that has undergone substantial changes, altering the product e.g. cooking, curing, drying, marinating or smoking.
  • The plant products cannot be present just to lend special characteristics (e.g. taste, texture or colour). E.g. canned tuna in oil is a fishery product, not a composite product.

The FSAI has a short training exercise to identify composite products.

Are all fishery products covered?


For fish, EU Commission guidance refers to “processed fishery products”, which are processed “seawater or freshwater animals whether wild or farmed, but excludes: processed live bivalve molluscs, live echinoderms, live tunicates and live marine gastropods” (e.g. cockles, mussels, clams, scallops, oysters, star fish, periwinkles, whelks and abalone).

What are the rules for composite fishery products from GB entering RoI and do my composite products need health certificates?

They may need health certificates. It depends on the risks to animal and public health posed by the composite product and whether they are classed as higher or lower risk.

Higher risk products are:

  1. Composite products containing meat/fish, or

  2. Non-shelf stable composite products.

Lower risk products are:

3. Shelf stable composite products

  • The EU introduced new rules on 21 April 2021.
  • Composite products falling into the higher risk categories must be accompanied by a health certificate. The new model composite product health certificate can be found in Chapter 50 of Commission Regulation (EU) 2020/2235 .
  • Composite products falling into the lower risk category must be accompanied by a private attestation. This can be found in Annex V of Commission Regulation (EU) 2020/2235.
  • There is a transition period which allows for composite products that needed health certificates for import to the EU before 21 April 2021 to continue to use these until August 2021. If a health certificate was not previously required, the new version must be used immediately.
  • The transition period does not apply to products which now require a private attestation where there were previously no certification requirements.
  • All composite products, except those in the box below, will require official controls at the Border Control Post (BCP) of entry to the EU. The importer of consignments of composite products must register with DAFM and on TRACES-NT. Documents and logistical information must be submitted 24 hours in advance via the Department’s Imports Portal and a Common Health Entry Document (CHED-P) must be submitted on TRACES-NT.
Composite products exempted from controls at the BCP

  • confectionery (including sweets), chocolate and other food preparations containing cocoa
  • pasta, noodles and couscous
  • bread, cakes, biscuits, waffles and wafers, rusks, toasted bread and similar toasted products
  • olives stuffed with fish
  • extracts, essences and concentrates, of coffee, tea or maté and preparations with a basis of these products or with a basis of coffee, tea or mate
  • roasted chicory and other roasted coffee substitutes, and extracts, essences and concentrates thereof
  • soup stocks and flavourings packaged for the final consumer
  • food supplements packaged for the final consumer, containing processed animal products (including glucosamine, chondroitin or chitosan)
  • liqueurs and cordials
  • Guidance from the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine is available here.
  • The European Commission has summarised the new composite product rules in a decision tree, here.


What are the rules for composite fishery products from Ireland entering GB and do my composite products need a health certificate?

Rules for composite fishery products may include paperwork and a check: CHED, health certificate, catch certificate and stopping at a Border Control Post.
Health certificates may be required. It depends on how much the fishery products represent. If 50% or more, they’ll require health and catch certificates.

  •  The UK is introducing import controls in stages (see “What about exports of fish and fishery products to GB. The UK has a phased approach to controls up to March 2022.”)
  • If the processed fishery product makes up 50% or more of the composite product, it must be accompanied by the correct health certificate and be presented for inspection at the Border Control Post of entry into GB. In this case, the consignment must also be accompanied by catch certificates. If the fishery product in the composite product originated in part or in whole from another Third Country, the latter country, and the establishment in which the fishery product was produced, must be recorded on the health certificate. The country and establishment of origin must both be approved for export to GB.
  •  If the composite product contains less than 50% processed fishery product, a health certificate is not necessary.
  • The same rules apply for export of composite products which contain more than 50% of a fishery product to GB from Ireland as apply to the export of all foods of animal origin:
    • Pre-notification using IPAFFS
    • Appropriate GB Health Certificate.
    • Catch certificate if composition is 20% or more of marine caught fish/fishery products.
    • After 1 January 2022 all consignments must enter via a GB Control Post.
  • More information is available from the UK’s Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs here.

What do buyers/sellers of fishmeal have to do?

What is fishmeal?

Fishmeal is made up of heat-treated fish parts not eaten by humans. The heat treatment produces oil and fishmeal. It’s used as feed for animals and farmed fish.

  • Fishmeal is an Animal By-product (ABP) – material of animal origin that people do not consume.
  • Fishmeal is made from parts of healthy fish that are not eaten by humans, are subjected to a heat treatment that removes moisture and divides the residue into fish oil and fishmeal. Fishmeal is classified as a Category III animal by-product which means it can be used as an ingredient in animal feed (especially for farmed fish).

Does fishmeal require a Health Certificate?


  • When it is being transported, fishmeal must be accompanied by a Health Certificate, a model of which can be found here (Annex XV).
  • See DAFM video on importing animal by-products.

What are the rules for importing fishmeal from GB to Ireland?

It must come from an approved establishment and be pre-notified to Customs, with a Health Certificate.

  • The same rules apply as for food imported from GB.
  • Consignments must come from a country and an establishment approved to export to the EU.
  • Consignments must enter via a Border Control Post.
  • Pre-notification 24 hours in advance of the arrival of the consignment by submitting Common Health Entry Document on TRACES-NY.
  • Attach a copy of the ABP Health Certificate to the CHED. The original of this document should accompany the consignment.
  • Add copies of supporting documentation.

What about exporting fishmeal to GB?

Similar rules as vice versa. There must be pre-notification to Customs, with a Health Certificate. From January 2022, the goods must enter through a Border Control Post.

  • The same rules apply as for food exported to GB.
  • Until end-September 2021: Consignments should have an ABP health certificate using the template required by the UK.
  • From 1 October 2021: Pre-notification using the IPAFFS and copy of ABP Health Certificate.
  • From 1 January 2022: In addition to the above, consignments must enter GB through a GB Border Control Post.