Food and drink businesses in Scotland who plan to export their produce across the EU need to follow trade rules as a “third country” exporter to the EU.
This page outlines the specific requirements for food industry exporters and stakeholders to be aware of.
Businesses approved to export to the EU
You can see an up to date list of businesses approved to export to the EU and check your TRACES number on the Gov.uk website:
Moving goods into Northern Ireland
If you move goods such as:
- live animals,
- products of animal origin (POAO),
- high-risk food not of animal origin, and
- plants and plant products,
From GB to NI, you must pre-notify the arrival of your consignment of goods into Northern Ireland by completing a CHED (Common Health Entry Document) document using the TRACES-NT online system. This needs to be completed 24 hours before your goods arrive in NI at your Point of Entry. TRACES.NT is the European Commission's online notification system for moving agri-food goods into Northern Ireland from GB.
If you do not pre-notify, it may result in additional checks on your goods at the point of entry and delay the movement of the goods through the point of entry in Northern Ireland.
- Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) has published guidance on using TRACES-NT.
- Visit the DAERA website for additional information about pre-notification of the arrival of consignments at a Northern Ireland point of entry.
- DEFRA trader showcase on moving goods from Great Britain to Northern Ireland
URGENT REQUIREMENT - Registration and Inspection of Fishing Vessels
Fishing vessel owners in Scotland are legally required to register their fishing vessels as food businesses, and be inspected by the relevant local authority to enable their catch to be exported.
If you intend to export your catch, either directly or indirectly to any EU Member State you must contact your Local Authority (LA) Environmental Health Department to register as a food business with them, and make arrangements to have your vessel/s inspected by LA officers. Here is a letter to all fishing vessel owners in Scotland explaining further.
The responsibility to register with, and have your vessel inspected by the relevant LA, rests entirely with food business owners, so fishing vessel owners should contact their relevant LA now.
Original news announcement and letter to fishing vessel owners.
Export Health Certificates (EHCs)
You need to apply for an EHC - a legal document confirming certain information, health standards and regulations have been met - so that your products of animal origin (POAO), including salmon, trout and seafood, can be exported from Scotland to the EU, including products going from Scotland to Northern Ireland.
Apply online for EHCs for export from Scotland to the EU and Northern Ireland using the Animal & Plant Health Agency (APHA) online service.
More information on exporting salmon and seafood to the EU.
Read guidance to help with ensuring you have the correct paperwork for live animal and animal products checks at the EU border.
On 8 January 2021, we hosted industry webinars with Scotland Food & Drink and Seafood Scotland to discuss the certification process and services, what’s happening now and how FSS is responding.
Guidance for certification hubs
The following guidance is effective as of 1 January 2021:
New EU EHC provision at logistics hubs
Scottish Government and FSS have developed a supplementary approach, specifically for the fishery trade at a number of logistics hubs in central Scotland, to complement the EHC provision undertaken by LAs in Scotland, and ensure trade from Scotland to the EU continues, as far as possible, without undue delay.
FSS staff are responsible for signing EHCs at these specific sites, following confirmation of compliance provided by the exporters’ relevant LA.
Why is there an additional approach?
The anticipated scale of demand for salmon and seafood exports EHCs to be signed by Scottish LAs was highly unlikely to be met. This additional approach – of using existing logistics hubs to sign certificates for consolidated loads - will allow a significant proportion of salmon and seafood to be exported with the necessary signed EHCs, therefore, relieving some of the pressure on LAs and supporting Scotland’s food and drink industry.
Exporters who are unable to use, or choose not to use, one of the hubs will still be able to request a signed EHC from their own LA. LAs will also continue to sign EHCs for exports to non-EU (third country) destinations.
Businesses do not need to use the logistics hubs to access the EU market
LAs will also provide the Certifying Officers located at the logistics hubs with attestations of compliance from food businesses within their area. In addition, LAs will also continue to be responsible for providing EHCs for food businesses who export to third countries (as occurs presently), and to food businesses exporting to the EU who choose not to, or are unable to, utilise the service provided by the hubs.
Where are the hubs?
There are three logistic hubs where Scottish salmon and seafood exports can pass through; one in South Lanarkshire and two in North Lanarkshire.
If you are a LA or food business looking for further information on fishing vessel registration or the new logistic hubs, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Industry suppliers can contact the APHA helpdesk for export enquiries: email@example.com.
Visit Scottish Government’s EU Exit seafood sector guidance page for additional guidance.
Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs has recorded industry webinars available online: