Irish agri food co-ops told to prepare for new Brexit import controls

The UK will introduce sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) measures on 31 October

The Irish Co-operative Organisation Society (Icos) is advising members to reactivate their Brexit planning following a warning from the agriculture minister Charlie McConalogue.

In 2020, the UK postponed post-Brexit sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) controls but is introducing new measures on 31 October as part of its Target Operating Model.

Irish officials are urging exporters to get ready for the changes, including a requirement to pre-notify all exports using the UK’s food and feed import system (Ipaffs) – regardless of the risk category – and an export health certification for “medium risk” animal and plant products.  

“While clarity is still needed, Icos understands that dairy products, such as cheese are designated ‘low risk’, meaning no export health certificates will be needed and lower border entry checks will apply,” Icos said in a statement, adding that dairy products containing raw milk, infant formula and meat products are classified as “medium risk” under the new rules.

From 31 January the UK will also introduce Border Control Posts (BCP) checks for high and medium risk foods from the EU but, according to Icos, these checks for Irish exports “will not start until April 2024, at the earliest, due to preparedness levels at Welsh ports”. 

Businesses wishing to get advice on the issue can contact the Department on any Brexit-related issues via its dedicated email address:  [email protected], or by telephone on (01) 607 2830.