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Brexit licensing and certification changes

Following the signing of the Free Trade Agreemnet (FTA) between the UK and the EU there are changes to some of the certifications and processes regarding the movement of controlled goods between the EU and the UK.

Controlled goods and those falling under these categories are summarised below. 

- Imports
- Exports
- Further information from HMRC


Animals, plants, food and agricultural products

The Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) processes and procedures apply to all biological goods imported from the EU. The SPS controls include the requirement for import pre-notifications, health certificates, entry via an established point of entry with an appropriate border control point plus identity and physical checks at the control points. These controls were originally planned to be phased in during 2021 but some were delayed until 2022.  

New controls coming in 
1 Jan 2022 UK importers must pre-notify enforcement authorities in Great Britain about imports of HRFNAO (high risk food or feed not of animal origin) and imports of ABPs using IPAFFS (Import of products, animals, food and feed systems).
1 Jul 2022: Additional documentation will be required (export health certificates) and relevant imports must come through a border control point for additional checks.

Researchers planning fieldwork that may involve the collection of genetic material

Researchers have a legal obligation to also consider the Nagoya Protocol before undertaking the field work. The Nagoya Protocol on access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilization to the Convention on Biological Diversity ('the Prtocol') is an international agreement to ensure the fair and equitable access and benefit sharing in using genetic resources. More information is available from the Research Operations Office.



Drugs, chemicals and waste


All goods will require a Safety & Security Declaration, regardless of their destination, from 1 October 2021.

You will also need to get a licence or certificate to export some types of goods from the UK.

  • Controlled goods : non-proliferation controls
    We have an obligation to ensure that goods, technology or software that can be used for a military purpose or contribute towards the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction are not exported into the wrong hands. To meet this obligation, and also to implement UN or EU sanctions, anyone who exports goods or technology must comply with export control legislation. This activity is co-ordinated by the Research Office please see their Export Control Policy and guidance.
  • Animals, plants, food and agricultural products  as listed for imports.   


Further details are available from HMRC:


Page updated 17 Feb 21



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