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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. 


Currently Irish based business can register for IPAFFS system.  Please see the attached link for details of IPAFFS system Import of products, animals, food and feed system (IPAFFS) https://www.gov.uk/guidance/import-of-products-animals-food-and-feed-system


I would encourage you to register for IPAFFS in preparation for 1 October and as soon as a decision is made on this by DEFRA we will update this FAQ document. 


In addition, please note the requirements for POAO, high risk food not of animal origin, certain ABP consignments imported into GB post 01 January 2022 to enter GB via a designated BCP.

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. 

What further SPS requirements are being introduced for exports to Great Britain in January 2022 and March 2022?

1 January 2022 -

A Phytosanitary Certificate must accompany all regulated plants and plant products.

The onus is on the Irish Exporter to arrange and obtain this from the Irish Competent authority.   https://www.gov.ie/en/publication/520f6-how-to-export-to-the-uk/#exporting-plants-and-plant-products


The Irish Exporter must provide a colour scanned copy of the Phytosanitary Cert to the GB Importer.  The original Phytosanitary Cert must accompany the consignment. 

Pre-notification must be provided to GB competent authority, this must be completed using the appropriate GB notification system. 


Entry through a designated Border Control Post

  • products of animal origin (POAO),
  • animal by products,
  • germinal products
  • fish and fishery product
  • high priority plants
  • high risk foods not of animal origin



1 March 2022

All regulated plants and plant products must enter via designated BCP.

Live animals must enter via designated BCP when sufficient capacity allows.

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. 

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.