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Bord Bia’s London Office Brexit Update: 15th January 2021

18th January 2021



Michel Barnier has warned that many of the new regulatory frictions hampering cross-Channel trade will be impossible to smooth over, as the inevitable consequences of Brexit begin to manifest themselves for businesses across Europe.  The EU’s Brexit negotiator said that some things have “changed for good” as a result of the UK’s policy choices, noting that “there are mechanical, obvious, inevitable, consequences when you leave the single market and that’s what the Britain wished to do”. In an interview with a group of reporters, he underlined that Britain risks losing its tariff-free and quota-free trading rights with the EU if it diverges too far below European regulatory standards, singling out a recent controversy over a UK government decision to authorise a previously banned pesticide.


Two weeks after the end of Britain’s Brexit transition period, industries are still coming to terms with changes to their trading conditions, amid concerns in Whitehall that port disruption threatens supermarket supply shortages, and British sectors including seafood exporters struggling to navigate the new barriers to accessing the EU. 


Since the end of the transition period, there have been issues reported by Irish Food and Drink companies regarding the new trading regulations. There have been reported delays from an export and import perspective in the first weeks of January as the new IT and custom systems have come into effect. Other issues reported by have been the changes to selling directly to consumers in the UK through their online shops, increased shipping and delivery costs, acquiring the necessary customs requirements to continue trading with the UK. For many Irish suppliers there hasn’t been significant disruption to trading and this is due to the investment in preparing and planning for the customs and regulatory controls on trade which were implemented on January 1st.


While reported issues so far have been limited, it is important for Irish Food & Drink companies to be as prepared and informed as possible as the current levels of border controls will change in both April and further implementation again in July. Bord Bia’s Brexit Actions to Take, with input from BDO and Bank of Ireland, is still an important resource and outlines information for companies both for the immediate changes regarding customs and trade controls, as well as those that will be introduced from April 2021. To view the recording of the webinar, please follow the below link:


Bord Bia’s Brexit Actions to Take Webinar


Bord Bia are available to discuss any issues that suppliers are experiencing as the year progresses. We encourage you to reach out to your sector managers with any concerns that you may have.


What’s next – Key Dates:

1st Apr 2021: Introduction of SPS controls

1st July 2021: Full customs and SPS border controls in place