United Kingdom: Changes to import notification processes for animal products and animal by-products (BREXIT) (2020-01)

Date of issue: 08 January 2020

Date of effect: Immediate

Reference Number: MAA2020-01


  • Industries—Industry bodies – Australian Food and Grocery Council (AFGC), Australian Honey Bee Industry Council (AHBIC)
  • Licensed exporters
  • Department of Agriculture — Central and Regional offices


This Market Access Advice notifies Australian exporters and manufacturers of products of animal origin and animal by-products of changes to the way in which imports are notified to authorities in the United Kingdom (UK) as a consequence of Brexit if this should occur on 30 January 2020.

Summary of key points

  • Currently, the UK is scheduled to leave the European Union (EU) on or before 31 January 2020. The current Brexit deal has not yet been approved by the UK Parliament. This may change prior to 30 January 2020.
  • Regardless of the exit scenario, the UK has advised that it will continue to accept EU model health certificates for a period of six months after Brexit. The UK will also continue to accept product from EU listed establishments.
  • Exporters need to be aware of possible changes related to the link between the Australian Export Documentation system (EXDOC) and the EU’s Trade Control and Expert System (TRACES). TRACES is used to notify the importing authorities prior to arrival of imported consignments.
    • If a deal with the EU is agreed, importers must continue to notify imports using TRACES during the implementation period.
    • If the UK leaves the EU without a deal, UK importers will no longer be able to use the EU’s TRACES to notify the UK authorities about an import.
  • To ensure imports of products of animal origin and animal by-products, can continue after exit in the event of a ‘no-deal’ Brexit, the UK is launching a new system called the Import of products, animals, food and feed system (IPAFFS).
  • The UK government website provides guidance on notification through the new IPAFFS system https://www.gov.uk/guidance/import-of-products-animals-food-and-feed-system-ipaffs-guidance
  • This IPAFFS system is now open for registrations by importers. It may be used for testing and training before the UK leaves the EU. However, IPAFFS notifications will not be valid until after Brexit has taken place, the EU TRACES must be used until Brexit occurs.
  • As the department understands the ability to submit notifications through IPAFFS is restricted to UK based importers, we strongly encourage all exporters to work closely with their UK importers to ensure that they have the necessary arrangements in place to facilitate clearance of consignments to the UK in this time of uncertainty.
  • The UK and EU are still working out a policy for product transiting the UK. Informal advice from the UK government is that:
    • Exporters should ensure that product for which the final destination is an EU member state should be cleared through a Border Control Post (BCP) in an EU country rather than the UK (i.e. transhipped via the UK).
    • Product that is considered to be in transit through the UK may be required to be cleared and re-certified.
  • Exporters should note this significant difference when completing their RFP and ensure that they use the correct term.
  • The department is continuing to work through the Minister Counsellor (Agriculture) based in London to receive up to date and accurate advice on Brexit which will be passed on as soon as it becomes available.
  • The Manual of Importing Country Requirements (MICoR) will be updated to reflect this market access advice.

Further information

Contact Export Standards if you have any queries.

The information provided in this advice is current at the time of writing and is intended for use as guidance only and should not be taken as definitive or exhaustive. The Commonwealth endeavours to keep information current and accurate, however, it may be subject to change without notice. Exporters are encouraged to verify these details with their importers prior to undertaking production/exports. The Commonwealth will not accept liability for any loss resulting from reliance on information contained in this notice.

Last reviewed: 9 January 2020
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