UK unilaterally extends SPS checks on goods moving from GB to NI until 1 October 2021

Mar 23, 2021

The grace period available to supermarkets and their trusted traders and suppliers was due to expire on 1 April 2021.  However, the UK announced earlier this month that it would be unilaterally extending the grace period for goods moving from GB to NI until 1 October 2021.  Some paperwork is still required, however. The EU has launched legal action against this move.

According to guidance released by the UK, during this grace period, shipments of Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) goods do not need Export Health Certificates, phytosanitary certificates, or marketing standards certification.  

SPS goods include products of animal origin, composite products, food, and feed not of animal origin, and plants and plant products moving from GB to NI.  More information can be found here.   However, despite these changes traders do still need to: 

  • complete the declarations as required by the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA) / Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) and submit your declarations via the Trader Support Service (if applicable)
  • register on the European Commission’s TRACES system before any movement of goods begins (which needs to be completed for each journey) at least 24 hours in advance of arrival at the port of departure.Full details of how to register and what information is required can be found here.

Th European Commission has launched legal action against the UK oner this move, saying it is an infringement of the Withdrawal Agreement.