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I am selling goods to UK customers on DDP terms, what does it mean?

From a customs perspective, when you sell the goods on DDP terms, the exporter from Ireland should also act as the importer into GB.

The Irish exporter will need to fulfil all the customs and SPS requirements on the export side (i.e. Ireland)

The Irish exporter as mentioned earlier, will also act the GB importer and will need to fulfil any import requirements into GB.

This will include any customs and SPS requirements, including prenotifications to relevant authorities etc.

In short, when you have agreed DDP delivery terms with your customers, they should not be involved in customs process and you have full responsibility for Import Compliance along with any Import taxes.


In order to be able to import the goods into the UK you will need to have:

  1. A GB EORI number
  2. You may need to be VAT registered
  3. A customs agent to act on your behalf
    • If you are not established in GB, the customs agent must act indirectly on your behalf
What is the main difference between DDP and DAP incoterm?

DAP – delivered at place – The seller delivers when the goods are placed at the disposal of the buyer on the arriving means of transport ready for unloading at the named place of destination.
The seller will fulfil export requirements, but the buyer (importer) will fulfil any import requirements including SPS requirements for import.

DDP – delivered duty paid - The seller delivers the goods when the goods are placed at the disposal of the buyer, cleared for import on the arriving means of transport ready for unloading at the named place of destination. The seller bears all the costs and risks involved in bringing the goods to the place of destination.
They must clear the products not only for export but also for import, to pay any duty for both export and import and to carry out all customs formalities.

What documents do I need to have when exporting from Ireland to GB
  1. You will need to have at least one invoice:
    1. A commercial invoice if you are selling the goods to the customer in GB
    2. A proforma invoice – if the goods are sold but the final commercial invoice will be issued after the arrival
  • An invoice for customs purposes only – when there is no sale at the point of import (i.e. if you are moving your own stock across the border)
  1. A Transport document – those are issued by the carriers

Depending in the means of transport, you will need to provide:

  1. AWB – for airfreight shipments
  2. CMR – for road freight shipments
  3. BoL for sea freight shipments
  • Certificates or licences: (if applicable) - phytosanitary certificates or export licences for export purposes may be needed as well.
    1. Check in the TARICto see if you need an export licence for your product;
    2. Check export restrictions on the EU Sanctions Map
What is returned goods relief (RGR)?

You can re-import goods into the EU without payment of Customs Duty and VAT but you need to comply with General rules for duty relief on returned goods.

You will also need to provide the Proof that the goods re-imported were exported from the European Union (EU) This may be:

  • The MRN and copy of the export declaration - For Goods originally exported from Ireland
  • A copy of the export declaration authenticated by the competent customs office of export - For goods originally exported from another Member State
  • Returned goods information sheet (Form INF 3)
    • used when the exporter is aware at the time of export that the goods may be re-imported into another European Union (EU) Member State


  • completed by the competent authorities in the exporting Member State.


The relief from VAT is only allowed if the person that re-imports the goods is the same person who originally exported them.

My Company exports goods to the UK. The EU and the UK have signed a free trade agreement, so why are Customs duties being charged?

The Trade and Cooperation agreement (TCA) was finalised on the 24th of December 2020. This agreement provides for zero duties and zero quotas on goods being traded between the Great Britain and the European Union.

In the context of the TCA, it is important to note that a claim for the preferential tariff treatment:

  • for imports into Ireland can be made only where the goods are of UK origin.
  • for imports into the GB can be made only where the goods are of EU origin.


It is very important to understand that the preferential treatment afforded by the TCA is not automatically applied. It must be actively claimed.


The GB importer of EU originating goods can avail of the tariff benefits provided for by the TCA by instructing their customs agent to ‘claim preference’. The agent will then fill the appropriate boxes on the import documentation.


When claiming preference, the importer is avoiding an import tax, and to do so legitimately, they must demonstrate that they have fulfilled the criteria.


One of the ways of doing this is by using the Statement on Origin.


The wording for the Statement on Origin is set out in the legal text to the TCA and can be literally cut and paste onto the commercial invoice.



For consignments worth more than €6,000 being exported from the EU to Great Britain, assuming the goods being traded qualify for preferential treatment, preference can be claimed by using the Statement on Origin.

In this instance, there is a requirement for the exporter to be registered on the REX system and for the REX number to be quoted on the Statement on Origin. REX registration can be done via the EU Traders Portal.


For goods moving from GB to the EU, the GB exporter would reference their EORI number on the Statement on Origin rather than a REX number.


For consignments worth less than €6,000, assuming the goods being traded qualify for preferential treatment, a statement on origin can be used without quoting a REX number i.e. the exporter in this case does not need to be REX registered


Alternatively, a claim for preferential tariff treatment may be made on the basis of ‘importer’s knowledge’. This allows the importer to claim preferential tariff treatment based on:


  • information in the form of supporting documents


  • records provided by the exporter or manufacturer but which are in the importer’s possession.


This method of declaring preference may seem expedient, but Customs Auditors will require significant reassurance by means of supporting documentation that this provision is being used properly.


As origin is a factor that influences customs duty liability, good procedures in relation to the acquisition and maintenance of supporting documents that prove the preferential status of the goods being traded is critical. The good news is that businesses operating in the agri-food sector will normally have excellent tracing systems in place which potentially can double up as documentation for supporting preferential origin.

Where an Irish exporter exports to GB under the DDP Incoterms (delivered duty paid) incoterms, the Irish Food Business Operator are listed as both exporter and importer. Is the GB importer obliged to complete IPAFFS pre-notification requirements even in the case where the Irish exporter is recorded as the importer in Great Britain with responsibility for the customs documentation?

As you have stated that you are exporting to GB on delivered duty paid incoterms, you therefore are acting as the GB Importer.

The Department of Agriculture Food and the Marine have sought clarification from DEFRA as to whether an Irish exporter acting as the importer in GB can complete the IPAFFS pre-notification or if they must be based in Great Britain?   Unfortunately, we still await clarification on this matter, I fully appreciate this is not an ideal scenario, however we have sought clarification on this matter for a number of months now.  This is a decision which needs to be taken by DEFRA. 

What is a Composite Product?

A composite product is defined Article 2 (a) of retained EU Decision 2007/275 as

a foodstuff intended for human consumption that contains both processed products of animal origin and products of plant origin and includes those where the processing of primary product is an integral part of the production of the final product


FBOs need to distinguish between composite products and processed animal products.


Adding a plant product during the processing of an animal product does not automatically mean that the final food is a composite. If the addition of the plant product does not modify the main characteristics of the final product then adding this plant product does make the product a composite. For example, a cheese with herbs or a yogurt with fruit are classed as dairy products. Similarly, canned tuna with added vegetable oil is classed as a fishery product.

When exporting a shelf stable composite product (which does not contain meat) to Great Britain can the GB importer complete a private attestation document as opposed to the requirement for the consignment to be accompanied by an export health certificate?

Retained EU Decision 2007/275/EC and Regulation No. 28/2012 sets out import conditions for importing composite products from approved countries to Great Britain.

Import requirements apply to composite products containing any processed meat product, or half or more of their content of other processed products of animal origin such as

  • Milk products
  • Egg products
  • Fishery products

Requirements include that the composite product must come from a country listed in the legislation as approved for the product of animal origin contained in the composite product.

The meat product, milk product, egg product and fishery product content of the composite product must also have come from an approved country and where appropriate from an approved establishment.

The composite product must be accompanied by the relevant export health certificate where subject to official controls. 

Composite products where less than half their content is processed milk product are also subject to these requirements except where the conditions in Article 6 of Decision 2007/275/EC are met.

Please refer to the attached for further details




Imports of composite products into the EU from third countries are subject to a different set of requirements since 21/04/2021.  Hence the use of a private attestation document does not apply to the export of composite products to Great Britain. 

When the FBO applies for an EHC to the appropriate competent authority, how long before the EHC is processed?

It is recommended that you now engage with your regional veterinary office/ competent authority in order to determine the exact process requirements.  Determine the number of days pre - export that the EHC should be requested, how you physically obtain the original EHC, will you be relying on the postal system, or will you physically collect the original EHC, or will the certifying officer come to your premises to inspect the consignment.  All these elements will play a vital part in determining your standard operating procedures timelines in arranging the EHC for the export. 

What does the announcement of the 14th of September mean for my products of animal origin exports to Great Britain?

The UK Government announced on the 14th September delays to the implementation of sanitary and phytosanitary controls for EU goods imported into Great Britain. 

In practical terms you can continue to export your SPS goods to GB without the requirement: -

  • to obtain an Export Health Certificate (EHC) and
  • IPAFFS pre-notification requirements.

from now until the 31st December 2021.

The following amendments have been confirmed;

  • IPAFFS pre-notification requirements of agri-food imports will be introduced on 1 January 2022 as opposed to 1 October 2021.
  • The new requirements for Export Health Certificates, which were due to be introduced on 1 October 2021, will now be introduced on 1 July 2022.
  • Phytosanitary Certificates and physical checks on SPS goods at Border Control Posts, due to be introduced on 1 January 2022, will now be introduced on 1 July 2022.
  • The requirement for Safety and Security declarations on imports will be introduced as of 1 July 2022 as opposed to 1 January 2022.

The timetable for the removal of the current easements in relation to full customs controls and the introduction of customs checks remains unchanged from the planned 1 January 2022. 

What are the key dates for the introduction of SPS requirements on agri- food imports into Great Britain?

SPS Requirement

Implementation Date

Pre-notification requirements

1 January 2002

Export Health Certs

1 July 2022

Phytosanitary Certs

1 July 2022

Border Control Post entry

1 July 2022

Identity and Physical Checks at the BCP

1 July 2022

As an Irish Food Business Operator intending to export agri – foods to Great Britain what should I now be doing to prepare for the 2022 requirements?

a. Pre-notification requirements on IPAFFS for 1 January 2022

From 1st  January, 2022, the GB importer must provide advance notice to the relevant regulatory bodies in GB of a consignments arrival into GB. This pre-notification must occur in advance of arrival of the consignment through the GB IT pre-notification system.  This is called the  Import of Product Animal Food and Feed System (IPAFFS). Import of products, animals, food and feed system (IPAFFS) - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk) 

Recent clarification from UK Department of the Environment Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) provides that EU companies with no physical presence in the UK cannot register and complete IPAFFS pre notification.  However nothing has been published by DEFRA to this effect. 

Action: You should now identify who in the supply chain will be responsible for completing the IPAFFS pre-notification. 

Goods can enter GB through any port of entry between 01st  January 2022 and 30th June  2022. 


This pre-notification requirement is required for the following:

  • Products of Animal Origin 
  • Some Composite Products 
  • Fish and Fishery Products 
  • High Risk Food and Feed Not of Animal Origin

It is not clear from the announcement on the 14/09/2021 if this IPAFFS pre-notification will also apply to Regulated plants and plant products from 01 January 2022.  

Further written clarification is required from DEFRA as to -

  • What information will be required to be included on the IPAFFSs pre-notification from 1 January 2022 and
  • If any documents will need to be uploaded to the system
  • What checks will be completed on the pre-notification in GB from 01 January to 01 July 2022
  • Can EU companies with no physical presence in GB complete the IPAFFS pre- notification, how is physical presence defined




b. Export Health Certs (EHC) and Phytosanitary Certs(PC) from 1 July 2022

From July 1st 2022, where required, your products must have been certified as meeting the health requirements of Great Britain.  The onus is on the Irish exporter to obtain the certified EHC or PC from the appropriate Irish competent authority.


Review your export product register with your competent authority in order to ensure that you have correctly:

  • Categorised your products and correctly identified the product lines which will require an export health certificate/ phytosanitary certificate
  • Identified the correct EHC/ PS template for your products for export
  • Can meet the traceability requirements for your products
  • Seek understanding from your competent authority on the end-to-end process for your products which require EHC/ PC from 1 July 2022.
  • Understand the EHC/PC request process, system to be used and documentation to be provided to the competent authority
  • Will the competent authority physically inspect your consignments or will this be completed remotely via submitted documentation on EHC/PC system?  
  • How and where do I collect the signed certified EHC/PS from?   


Action: It is recommended that you now engage with your competent authority and ensure you understand the end-to-end process for requesting an EHC.

The Department of Agriculture Food and the Marine hosted a series of webinars on generating EHC, recordings of these webinars are available https://www.gov.ie/en/service/046a44-register-with-traces/

Which goods are subject to Sanitary and Phytosanitary controls?

The goods that require sanitary and phytosanitary controls are live animals, food of animal origin (such as meat, fish, dairy, honey and some composite products containing products of animal origin), animal by products, plant and plant products, certain food contact materials and some food products of non-animal origin which are subject to additional controls.

Live animals, germinal products, high risk ABP and high priority plants and plant products have required the SPS controls on imports to Great Britain since 01 January 2021.   These requirements will continue to apply:-

  • Export Health Certificate / Phytosanitary Certificate as appropriate
  • Import pre-notification on IPAFFS/ PEACHES system
  • Physical inspection at the place of destination
Are there any changes to the import of SPS from Great Britain to the European Union?

SPS controls which are in force since 1 January 2021 on imports into Ireland from GB will continue to operate as they have since January.

Such imports will continue to require an EHC, creation of a CHED on TRACES and DAFM INIS portal notification. 

Will the Border Operating Model be updated?

The UK government’s Border Operating Model (BOM) details the processes and systems that will be used at the borders of Great Britain from 1 January 2021 and the subsequent implementation dates.  The Border Operating Model - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

The Border Operating Model will be further updated to reflect the time table for import controls announced on 14 September in due course.


It is important that companies responsible for UK customs formalities (this is determined by your Incoterms) understand the requirement for each import stage and comply with the associated guidelines.

Where can I get further information on the revised SPS dates and requirements?

The UK Government will publish further industry guidance on Gov.uk. 

In addition, the Department of Agriculture Food and the Marine will also publish further guidance on Irish Exporter requirements upon receipt of further detail from DEFRA.  Please refer to the following: https://www.gov.ie/en/campaigns/af50d-agriculture-and-brexit/

What is the position on the export of chilled minced meat and meat preparation from Ireland to GB from 1 October, must it be frozen?

GB have extended the derogations so chilled minced meat and meat preparations, of EU origin, can continue to be imported into GB.  The extension of this derogation is until midnight 31st December 2021. https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2021/972/made

Do I need an ENS (Safety and Security Declaration) for import into GB?

You do not need to Submit Safety and Security declarations on imports into GB from the EU until July 2022.

After that date it will be necessary to make an entry summary declaration (also known as an ENS) before the goods arrive if you’re transporting goods:

  • into Great Britain from the EU?
  • into Northern Ireland from where?
  • from Great Britain into Northern Ireland


The entry summary declaration will have safety and security information about your goods.

You do not need to make an entry summary declaration for goods if you are either:

  • bringing or receiving them into Northern Ireland from an EU country
  • moving qualifying Northern Ireland goods from Northern Ireland to Great Britain
Who must submit an ENS (Safety and security) declaration?
  • The legal requirement to submit a declaration lies with the operator of the active means of transport on, or in, which the goods are brought into the Customs territory. We will refer to these as ‘the carrier’.
  • Goods travelling by rail

If your goods are travelling by rail, the carrier will be the Rail Freight Operator.

  • Goods travelling by air

If your goods are travelling by air, the carrier will be the airline.

  • Goods travelling by maritime

If your goods are travelling by maritime, the carrier will be the shipping company.

  • Goods travelling by roll on roll off

If your goods are travelling by roll on roll off, the:

  • haulage company is responsible for submitting the declaration for ‘accompanied’ goods
  • ferry operator is responsible for ‘unaccompanied’ goods


Who else can submit an ENS declaration?

A third party may lodge a declaration as long as this is done with the carrier’s knowledge and consent. It is the carrier’s responsibility to make sure that:

  • an entry summary declaration is submitted
  • declarations are submitted within the legal time limits

The third party must also make sure that the information given by the carrier is accurate.


Note: In order to make S&S declarations a GB EORI number is required.

Is an ENS mandatory for Transit procedure via UK landbridge?

Safety and Security requirements still apply for goods being moved using transit, although Entry Summary declarations (ENS) are only required for movements from the EU to GB from 1 January 2022 as part of the staging-in of controls. Combined transit and Safety and Security Declarations (TSADs) cannot be used to meet Safety and Security Requirements in GB from 1 January 2021, so traders moving goods under transit need to ensure that the appropriate Safety and Security Declarations are made via other means where necessary.

Is a Safety and security declaration required for exports from GB
  • The Safety & Security requirements needed, when you’re exporting goods in RoRo vehicles from Great Britain to the EU which require an Exit Summary declaration (EXS) to be submitted from 1st October 2021.
  • The Safety & Security requirements needed, when you’re exporting empty pallets, containers and vehicles under transport contract from Great Britain to the EU which require an Exit Summary declaration (EXS) to be submitted from 1st October 2021.
Which HMRC service should be used for Safety and security declarations?
  • From 1st July 2022, ENS declarations are required to be submitted via the S&S GB service.
  • This service is used only for goods moving into Great Britain.
  • You will need a GB EORI number to be able to submit your Safety & Security information into S&S GB.

Northern Ireland to GB imports

  • Qualifying goods moving from Northern Ireland into Great Britain do not need Safety & Security information.
Can an EU company register for GVMS?

There are no restrictions in terms of EU hauliers obtaining a GB EORI. If EU hauliers already hold an EU EORI this does not prevent them from being able to apply now for a GB EORI.

Once registered Hauliers can access GVMS in 2 ways:

  • Online service via GOV.UK
  • Direct link from software they use into GVMS (API)

Accessing GVMS enables a haulier to create a Goods Movement Record (GMR) so customs and transit declaration references, and any safety and security declaration references can be linked together into one GMR for each goods vehicle crossing the border.

What is required to access GVMS?

In order to use GVMS, Hauliers who will register for GVMS and create a Goods Movement Reference Number will need the following in place: 

  • A Government Gateway Account (this can be a new account or an existing account, however this must be the account used to create the GB EORI)
  • Access to GVMS (customers can register for this service now – encourage them not to leave it to December)
  • If moving goods between EU>GB:
  • Trader – Requires access (via CSP/3rd Party Software) to CHIEF, NCTS, S&S GB
  • Haulier – Requires access to GVMS, S&S GB
  • Carrier – Required to develop GVMS specific ‘Carrier API’ – also requires access to S&S GB
What is a REX number and how do I get one?

Registered Exporters System (REX)

The REX system provides for certification of origin on imports into the European Union (EU) from certain countries. It also provides for the certification of origin on preferential origin exports from the EU under preferential agreements with the UK, Canada Japan and Vietnam. It allows a registered exporter to certify preferential origin. 

If your consignment has a value of below €6,000, the statement on origin can be made with no obligation to be registered.

How to apply for Registered Exporter System (REX):
You should submit your REX applications electronically through the REX system. You can access the REX system through the EU Trader Portal.

Before you apply for REX, you will need the following:

  • A valid Revenue Online Service (ROS) Certificate - please make sure your ROS Certificate is still valid. 
  • Be registered for Customs and Excise in ROS.
  • Have a valid Economic Operators' Registration and Identification (EORI) number.

For more information, click here.

Contact Us

If you have any questions or concerns that cannot be addressed through the available supports, please contact your Bord Bia sector manager or email brexit@bordbia.ie to discuss additional support requirements.