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Exporting live animals, food and drink, plants and plant products to the European Union

This checklist will assist you to identify factors that will need to be considered in order to export live animals, food and drink, plants and plant products into Europe. It will also include information from the Department for Enterprise Brexit checklist and hyperlinks to provide further information.

If there are any areas that you would like further guidance and advice or have any queries in relation to exports into the European Union, please contact the Department of Environment, Food and Agriculture via

You may also be interest in reading the Isle of Man Government’s No-Deal Brexit guide.

Last edited: 12 April 2019

What does the extension of Article 50 mean?

Brexit Update

Following the most recent EU decision with an extension to Article 50 the Brexit date (the date we leave the EU) has been moved to the 31st October 2019.

If the UK Government agree a on a withdrawal deal before this time then another date, with transitional arrangements, will be put in place.

What does this mean to you as an exporter to the EU?

Your business can continue to trade freely in the way you have been with the EU.

You must continue using existing health/identification marks on products.

Your export documentation will remain the same.

What if there is a deal?

In the event of a deal new arrangements will be put in place to enable trade with the EU. It is expected that there will be a transitional period to facilitate changes in trade arrangements.

These arrangements may include new documentation for the products you export.

You may need to adapt your business to comply with new requirements to get your product into the EU, including the point of entry.

What if there is no deal?

If there is no deal before the 31st October then no deal planning will commence before exit day.

Customs Checks

Have you considered the customs arrangements and documents that may be required to export to the EU?
The IOM and UK as ‘third countries’ may mean that IOM and UK exporters to the EU may need to start making customs declarations on all goods destined for EU.

It is crucial to consider the EU Documents for clearance and EU Imports procedure.
Are you aware that you may have to apply for an Economic Operator Registration (a unique ID code used to track and register customs information in the EU)?                              Businesses that import from or export to the EU will need to apply for an EORI number. It is recommended that if you anticipate you will need an EORI number that you apply now to avoid any backlog.
Have you considered the potential delays that may occur at UK/EU borders?                                                                                                                                                                With potential customs checks between the UK and EU borders, there may be significant delays in shipments.

Its essential to consider:
  • the resilience of your supply chain to border delays
  • penalty clauses in your contracts for late delivery of your inbound goods
  • consulting your logistics provider regarding anticipated changes in arrangements
  • the need for finance additional buffer stocks and locating storage for these
Have you considered applying for an authorised economic status (also known as Trust Trader Scheme), which simplifies customs procedures and faster clearance at borders? There are a number of duty relief/deferral schemes available to IOM and UK businesses from Customs.

It is essential for you to consider any additional customs reliefs or trusted trader schemes you might use. AEO may be relevant if your supply chain is already party to it.

It is crucial for you to consider whether your staff are aware about customs matters, and if additional staff or training might be valuable.

IOM Customs and Excise can advise.
Have you considered the Commodity Codes for your consignment? Commodity codes classify goods so you can fill in export declarations.


Currency Risk

Have you considered the impact of currency fluctuation on the currencies you are paid and the impact on your cash flow/finances?

The Bank of England predicts major currency devaluation in the event of a 'no deal' Brexit and volatility even in the event of a deal.

Businesses could assess new contracts to be made more favourable to cover this, or if other hedging of currency risks can be employed.                                    


Have you considered the additional costs to be financed through
MFN tariffs that maybe applied?                                                                                                                                                                                                                         
In the event of a 'no deal' Brexit there will be tariffs between the UK and EU based on MFN (Most Favoured Nation) tariffs which apply when countries do not have any other special trade agreements.

It's essential to be aware of the HS codes (international classification codes) for your products or the EU MFN tariff that would apply to them.


Have you considered the flow and other implications of making earlier VAT
With the UK’s Brexit deal as it exists on the table, or in the event of ‘no deal’, both the UK and IOM would exit the EU VAT area. The UK proposes to permit import VAT to be declared on VAT returns for many VAT registered businesses. For those that are not registered, VAT may be payable at the border on goods imports from the EU.
Have you considered the impact of VAT changes on the business and any
financial and other planning implications?                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  
Businesses may need to have VAT registrations in EU countries in future if they want to hold stocks there.

Businesses may no longer be able to recover VAT incurred on supplies from EU countries which is presently possible under the EU refund scheme.

Traders may in future need to register under the MOSS Scheme (Mini One Stop Shop) in an EU country if the UK/IOM has to discontinue such a scheme, especially if future proposals for it to extend to goods as well as services come in.

Consult IOM Customs and Excise and VAT Office if uncertain of changes ahead.   
Are you aware that you could apply for a deferment account to allow for deferment of VAT and Customs Duty for up to one month? Deferment Accounts – (allowing for deferment of VAT and Customs Duty payment for up to 1 month) may be available to qualifying companies on application to IOM Customs and VAT Office.

Rules of Origin

Are you aware that you must provide proof of origin, if required?                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Even if the UK has a deal which includes a zero – tariff trade agreement with the EU, IOM and UK companies will need to prove that their products are of IOM/UK origin to benefit from this, though the exact terms are yet to be defined. (NB: origin rules generally mean greater than 50 – 55% of the product is locally sourced).

This may involve auditing all of your suppliers to prove the source of your goods.

The Isle of Man Chamber of Commerce is the official body in the Island for issuing European Certificates of Origin. The service is available to anyone exporting goods Members benefit from significant discount to the fees.

For more information on certification please call Julie or Rebecca on +44 1624 674941.

For more information on Isle of Man Chamber of Commerce please visit

EU Trade Agreements with Third Countries

Have you considered auditing all of your international contracts and whether any need renegotiation?                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Although the UK’s intention is to secure the benefits of existing EU trade deals (about 70) with other countries, these may take time to secure and in the event of ‘no deal’ or if not secured, preferential trade terms will no longer be available.

It is essential for you to consider whether you currently benefit from preferential duties and trade terms with third countries that are available through the UK’s EU membership (e.g. FTA with South Korea) and the costs and implications of losing these trade terms.

It is crucial to assess your critical markets and your customer’s potential reaction to the changes and possible ways to mitigate the additional costs of doing business with them.   

Contracts with Suppliers

Have you considered seeking expert legal advice regarding contracts with suppliers?                                    Terms of contracts with customers and suppliers in existing contracts may no longer be valid, relevant, or enforceable after Brexit.

New contracts may need expert advice on drafting.

Food Safety Requirements

Are you aware of your responsibilities as a food business operator? As a food business operator, you hold primary legal responsibility to ensure the safety of food.
Have you developed a traceability system for your products? Traceability is the capability to track food through all points of production, processing and distribution (including importation and at retail). Traceability refers to the movements that can be traced one step backwards and one step forward at any stage in the supply chain. EU legislation requires you to ensure traceability throughout the food chain.
Do you have a product recall system in place? Recalls are actions food business take for removing food from distribution, sale and consumption, in order to protect public health and safety.
Have you implemented a documented food safety management system based on the principles of HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point)?                          As a food business you must implement a documented system based on HACCP to make sure that products meet food safety, quality and legal requirements.
Are you aware of the limits regarding residues of pesticides stated in EU Legislation?                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Pesticides are used to control, repel or prevent the effects of harmful organisms in plant and animal products intended for human consumption, when exceeding levels, they leave residues that are a risk to human health. The EU has set maximum residue levels (MRL's) for pesticides in the EU. The MRL’s for pesticides are found on the EU - Pesticides database.
Are you aware of the limits regarding residues of veterinary medicines stated in EU Legislation? Food-producing animals may be treated with veterinary medicines to prevent or cure disease, which may leave residues in the food from treated animals. The EU have set maximum residue levels (MRL's) for veterinary medicines in food-producing animals. The maximum residue limits (MRL’s) for Veterinary Medicines that may be used are listed in Table 1 of the annex to Commission Regulation (EU) No 37/2010.
Are you aware of the limits regarding contaminants stated in EU Legislation? Substances that are not intentionally added into food are known as contaminants, the EU has set maximum levels for certain food contaminants. The maximum levels for certain contaminants in food are laid down in the Annex found in Commission Regulation (EC) No 1881/2006.
Are you aware of the EU microbiological criteria for your products? Foodstuffs of animal and plant origin could lead to a microbiological risk, the EU have laid down microbiological criteria for foodstuffs. The microbiological criteria for food are laid down in ANNEX I of Commission Regulation (EC) No 2073/2005.
Does the information given on the product label comply with the relevant EU legislation? The EU has specific requirements for governing food information to be displayed on the product for the consumer, which the Food Business Operator must follow accordingly. 

Post-Brexit the displaying of addresses on the product label maybe subject to change. 

Guidance in relation to displaying addresses on food labels is currently being developed, in the meantime please contact
Does your food packaging and all other items in contact with food comply with the EU requirements for food contact materials? All materials and items in contact with food are known as food contact materials (FCM). FCM's must meet the relevant EU requirements and guidance. 
Are you intending to export any of the following items?

Fishery products


Novel foods

Organic products

Nutrition and health claims

Preserved milk

Edible caseins and caseinates

Fruit juices and similar products

Wines and wine sector products

Aromatized drinks

Spirit drinks


Cocoa and chocolate


Food additives

Food flavorings

Food enzymes

Mineral waters

Food supplements

Gluten-free foodstuffs

Addition of vitamins & minerals

Dietetic foods

Foods for infants & young children

Foods for weight reduction

Foods for special medical purposes

Foods for sports people

Foods for diabetics

Quick frozen foodstuffs

Businesses that are intending to export any of the products listed must be aware of the specific EU compositional and labelling requirements in relation to those products.

Exporting Live Animals and Products of Animal Origin

If you are exporting products of animal origin, are they exported from an approved establishment? Food business establishments supplying and exporting food of animal origin will have to be approved by the competent authority (the Department of Environment, Food and Agriculture). 

Please contact
Are you aware that export health certificates will be required for exports of products of animal origin and live animals outside the UK?     Food businesses exporting products of animal origin and live animals into the EU will require an Export Health Certificate (EHC).

Guidance in relation to EHC’s for post-Brexit is currently under development, in the meantime please contact
If you export products of animal origin (POAO), are you aware that you need to use health or identification marks?                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Health marks confirm that the product of animal origin is fit for human consumption and it has been produced in an approved establishment.

Guidance in relation to health marks for post-Brexit can be found in this document, if you have any further enquiries please contact
Are you aware that live animals and products of animal origin will have to undergo customs and health checks carried out at border inspection post's (BIP) in the EU country of arrival?                                                                                                                                                                                   Exports of products of animal origin are controlled through a system of health checks to make sure that the products meet EU standards in terms of animal and public health. 

These checks are only carried out at EU Border Inspection Post (BIP). The location of each BIP can be found on the European Commission website  or it is listed in Commission Decision 2009/821/EC.  
Have you appointed an EU representative for transporting live animals into the EU?                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           If you are hoping to transport live animals into the EU, you would need to appoint a representative within the EU country and apply to their relevant government department to apply for a valid Transporter Authorisation, Certificate of Competence, Vehicle Approval Certificate and, if required, a Journey Log (which must be attained from the EU country that is the first point of entry for export into the EU). Exporters must present their transport documentation at a Border Inspection Post in the EU.

Guidance in relation to transport documentation for post-Brexit is currently under development, in the meantime please contact
Have you pre- notified the EU Borders Inspection Post? It is essential to contact your import agent in the EU to make sure that they notify the BIP through the EU's Trade Control and Expert System (TRACES) of the arrival of their consignment. EU BIP's requires an advanced notice of 24 hours.

These following questions are only applicable if you are exporting live fish or fish products.

Do you need a Multiple Vessel Schedule?                                                                                                       Consignments that are sourced from more than one vessel will require a Multiple Vessel Schedule to be completed and submitted within the catch certificate.
Do you need a Live Shellfish Registration Document?  A registration document must accompany each batch of live shellfish at all times, during transport from the area it was caught or harvested to a dispatch centre, purification centre, relaying area or processing plant. Both the gatherer and the person receiving the product (e.g. the processor) must keep a copy of the document for at least 12 months.Live shellfish includes, live bivalve molluscs (e.g. razors, mussels, cockles, scallops, clams, oysters), live marine gastropods (e.g. periwinkles, whelks), live echinoderms (e.g. sea urchins, sea cucumbers) and live tunicates (e.g. sea squirts).

The definition does not include lobsters, prawns or crabs and they do not require shellfish registration documents.

Blank registration documents can be obtained from Environmental Health, Thie Slieau Whallian, Foxdale Road, St. John’s, Isle of Man, IM4 3AS.
Tel: 01624 685894
If you export wild caught fish/ fish products into the EU, have you obtained catch certificates to ensure the product complies with the requirements of the relevant legislation?                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             It is a legal requirement for fishery products entering the EU market to be accompanied by catch certificates; this demonstrates they have been caught legally.

Guidance in relation to catch certificates for post-Brexit is currently under development, in the meantime please contact

Exporting Plants and Plant Products

Have you prepared a phytosanitary certificate for plant/ plant products you intend to export, this should be issued by the designated authorities?                                                                      Exportation of plants and plant products require phytosanitary certificates, which is a legal document confirming the phytosanitary standards of the importing country.

Guidance in relation to phytosanitary certificates for post-Brexit is currently under development, in the meantime please contact
Are you aware that your consignment may have to undergo customs and health checks on entering the EU?                                       All plants and plant products will be presented for plant health checks before entering the EU and must be found free from EU quarantine pests.

It is crucial to appoint registered importer via the Member State's official Register, as they are responsible for paying a fee for the documentary, identity and plant health checks to the EU country.
Have you notified the customs office before your consignment arrives to the point of entry?                                                                                                                                                Before your consignment enters the EU, you must be notifying the EU Customs Office with an Entry Summary Declaration (ENS), which declares the initial intended port of call within the customs territory of the EU.

Data Protection

Are you aware that you must take the appropriate steps required to ensure that EU organisations are able to continue sending personal data?
It is essential for businesses to remain aware of the legal framework for transferring personal information between UK/IOM and EU organisations, which is subject to change. 

Intellectual Property Rights

Do you currently hold an Isle of Man Protected Designation of Origin (PDO's) status for your product?

Geographical Indicators (GIs) are a form of intellectual property protection that identifies a product as originating in a country, region or locality where a given quality, reputation or other characteristic of the product is attributable to the place where it is produced.

EU rules govern the four GI schemes that currently apply in the UK/IOM. These cover i) agricultural products and foodstuffs ii) wines iii) spirit drinks and iv) aromatised wines. The schemes provide legal protection from imitation for both regional and traditional specialties, whose authenticity and origin can be guaranteed. This gives assurance to consumers that products are genuine and enables producers to better promote and market their products.

Currently the Island holds two GIs classified as Protected Designation of Origin (PDO's), for Manx Queenies and Manx Loaghton lamb which are registered under European Union law.

Currently the UK is seeking to ensure the UK GIs (including those in the IOM) registered under current EU schemes will continue to enjoy protections in the EU, however, this remains subject to negotiations. The UK is also working towards creating its own register and Scheme for future protection.

In the event of a no deal Brexit, the IOM will not automatically be able to seek registration of any new GIs under the UK Scheme. It is intended, however, that inclusion of the IOM and other Crown Dependencies in the Scheme could be progressed through legislation at some point in the future.  Any application for a GI from the IOM prior to this would have to be directly with the EU under the third country rules in place.  Dialogue continues with the UK on this matter.

No immediate action should be required, though businesses with PDO’s should monitor the situation for new legal developments ahead.
Do you currently or would you like to hold your copyright protection on your produce? Copyright protection is underpinned by international treaties and does not depend on the UK's membership of the EU, so will not be affected if the UK leaves the EU without a deal. There are a number of 'cross –border' EU mechanisms but only one of these, the sui generis database rights, applies in the Island. The sui generis database rights would however be 'lost' under a 'no deal' scenario.

Businesses relying on sui generis database protection rights may need to consider other protections such as restrictive licensing agreements.
Do you currently or would you like to hold trademarks or registered designs on your produce?                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Anyone in the world can apply for an EU trademark or registered Community design. These rights cover all EU member states, including the UK. These rights are also recognised in the IOM. However, in the event of Brexit, EU trademarks and registered designs will no longer cover the UK. The UK intends that equivalent UK protections will be granted to existing right holders when the UK exits the EU. The IOM will work with the UK Government to ensure that those rights also cover the Island in that event.

No immediate action should be required, though businesses with trademark registrations should monitor the situation for new legal developments ahead. 
Do you currently or would you like to hold patents on your produce? The IOM does not have its own Patent Office. Instead, patent applications to the UK Intellectual Property Office automatically cover both the UK and the IOM. UK and EU law on patents applies to the IOM. The UK's intention is that existing systems, such as that for supplementary protection certificates, will remain in place. The IOM will similarly work with the UK to ensure that those mechanisms continue in a 'no deal' scenario.

There should be no need for immediate action as the current rules remain in place at the point the UK exits the EU.

Employment and Staff

Are you aware of the steps needed to protect affected EU employees about their status?                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        If you employ EEA nationals, the IOM Immigration Office is planning to introduce a Settlement Scheme offering the same rights to them and their families to stay in IOM as in the UK (as negotiated by the UK in their proposed deal).  In the event of ‘no deal’, a modified scheme is expected, but offering similar rights.  
Are you aware of the process to make visa applications for recruiting new EU employees? The UK is planning future changes to the immigration rules for new applicants (including EEA and non-EEA Nationals) and the IOM’s position is expected to mirror these. 

You may wish to monitor the UK Immigration websites for developments.

You could also consult the IOM Immigration Office for further information. 
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