New information has been published by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) to ensure import and export trade in animals, animal products, fish and food can continue in the event that the UK leaves the EU without a deal.

This guidance is designed to help minimise disruption for users and allow the continued movement of goods, while helping to maintain biosecurity, food safety and high standards of animal welfare.

In the event of no deal, to continue to export to the EU the UK will need to be listed by the EU as a third country. Negotiations are under way to secure this listing.

In a no-deal exit, the process for exporting and importing certain products will change in the following ways.

Businesses exporting all animals, animal products and fish to the EU will now need to apply for an Export Health Certificate (EHC) before they export.

This will make them the same as businesses who export these goods to the rest of the world who already have to apply for EHCs.

They will also need to make sure their trade route passes through Border Inspection Posts when entering Europe as well as being aware of wider customs requirements.

The guidance and certificates are available to download ahead of use on exit day. For those businesses importing to the UK, guidance is available here.

Food and Animal Welfare Minister David Rutley.

There will not be any new checks or requirements, but importers will need to notify authorities using a new process. Businesses will need to use a new system called the Import of Products, Animals, Food and Feed System’ (IPAFFS).

Businesses importing animals and animal products from within the EU will need to use a separate interim system until the summer.

Food and Animal Welfare Minister David Rutley said: “Our top priority remains delivering a negotiated deal, but it is the job of a responsible Government to ensure we are prepared for all scenarios, including no deal.

“If you or your business export or import animals and animal products or imports high risk food and feed you will need to prepare for a number of changes in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

“Our new guidance pages on make clear what you need to do to be ready to continue to trade after we leave the EU.”