Brexit: Plant and meat suppliers encouraged to self-certify for 'grace period' for new GB to Northern Ireland rules

Brexit: Plant and meat suppliers encouraged to self-certify for 'grace period' for new GB to Northern Ireland rules
Dan Martin
Dan MartinDan Martin Content & Events

Posted: Tue 22nd Dec 2020

Small businesses supplying plants, products of animal origin and other goods are being encouraged to self-certify for a three month grace period for new Brexit rules on moving products from Great Britain to Northern Ireland.

At the end of the UK's EU exit transition period on 31 December, Northern Ireland (NI) will remain in the EU single market. As a result, new processes for moving products from Great Britain to Northern Ireland will come into force.

To help businesses deal with the new rules, the government says they will not be introduced until 1 April. The three month grace period covers products of animal origin (POAO), composite products, food and feed not of animal origin, and plants and plant products.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said it is compiling a list of businesses that can take advantage of the delayed rules. They apply to 'authorised traders' which are supermarkets and their trusted suppliers.

In a statement, Defra said: "The UK government will not discriminate against smaller suppliers or between different companies in recognising traders as authorised for the purpose of this grace period."

The statement added: "a trusted supplier is one that independently moves its end product from GB to NI, for sale in NI. For example, a meat pie manufacturer that moves its own products from GB to NI, which delivers its products directly to a store for sale solely within NI would be in scope.

"However, where a meat pie producer delivers products to a supermarket distribution centre in GB, which is then moved by the supermarket to NI, the producer would not qualify (but would not need to - the supermarket would be the authorised trader for that movement into Northern Ireland)."

Although Defra is drawing up a list of authorised traders, suppliers can also self-identify by completing the authorised traders form. The form must be completed in full and include:

The form must be sent to by 5pm on 28 December 2020.

You can also email the same address if you have any questions about your eligibility. The emailed response will either confirm that your business is included on the authorised traders list and provide a unique registration number or contain a rejection letter with reasoning and steps to resolution. Businesses can challenge rejections via email until 28 December 2020.

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Dan Martin
Dan MartinDan Martin Content & Events
I'm a freelance content creator and event host who helps small businesses and the organisations that support them. I have 18 years of experience as a small business journalist having interviewed hundreds of entrepreneurs from billionaires like Sir Richard Branson to the founders behind brand new start-ups. I've worked for a range of leading small business publications and support groups, most recently as head of content at Enterprise Nation where I was responsible for the prolific output of content on the company's blog and social media. I'm based in Bristol where I run and host regular events with the local small business community and have strong connections to major business organisations in the south west region. In total, I've hosted over 50 events; from intimate meet-ups to conferences with an audience of hundreds including events for international brands like Facebook and Xero. I'm also a big fan of podcasts having hosted Enterprise Nation's Small Business Sessions as well as lots of online events including Facebook Live interviews, webinars and three live web chats from inside 10 Downing Street. With my partner, I co-run Lifestyle District, a lifestyle blog focused on culture, art, theatre and photography. I'm here to help. I'm volunteering free advice calls of up to an hour as part of the Recovery Advice for Business scheme, over the next 6 months. Please get in touch to see how I can help your business. 

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