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Defra EU Exit Advice

As plans are underway for the UK to leave the EU, Defra has provided important information for everyone to be aware of what changes could affect the day-to-day running of business operations.

Agri-Food businesses should ensure that they are prepared for EU Exit and visit GOV.UK for guidance.

Specific information for the food and drink sector is available, including advice for importers and exporters of animal products, and advice about food labelling, tariffs, data protection and more. It also includes advice for employers.

Here are some useful additional Defra and industry links:

Farming is Changing

AHDB Brexit

Business finance support - your business can get advice and financial help from government-backed schemes.

Government ‘Get Ready for Brexit’ events – registration now live

To help businesses prepare for Brexit and find out what actions they need to take, government is holding 30 free face-to-face Brexit Business Readiness Events across the UK between Monday 16 September and Friday 18 October.

The events will include support and advice stands, and in-depth sessions led by subject matter experts. They will provide attendees with specific advice and help on how they can prepare their business for Brexit.

Register to attend an event at:

Further dates and locations will be announced as they are confirmed.

You can also view a typical event agenda and some Frequently Asked Questions at the address above.

DIT Get ready for Brexit business-facing workshops

As part of ongoing support for businesses, the Department for International Trade are running a series of events to help exporters to get ready for Brexit on 31 October. These events will be particularly useful for businesses who are exporting to the EU.

You’ll leave the event with a personalised action plan to prepare your business for Brexit. DIT will talk about impact to supply chains, changes to regulations and contracts, where to find tariff information, and what you might need to speak to customers and employees about, among a range of other topics.

See dates, locations and sign up - limited registration place available.    

Association of Labour Providers Brexit Readiness events

The Association of Labour Providers (ALP) is hosting a number of free Brexit workshops across the country. These are open to all UK recruiters, HR professionals and employers, and will provide specific, practical guidance on the actions that businesses need to take in respect of their existing and future EU workforce. Sign up to the events here.

HMRC Getting ready for Brexit webinars

HMRC are running a number of webinars for UK businesses involved in the movement of goods between the EU and the UK.

Find out what you need to know to keep importing and exporting by signing up for a webinar. 

Defra e-alerts

A Defra e-alert system will help individuals and businesses get ready for Brexit, inform them about broader Defra news and also wider Government initiatives relevant to Defra stakeholders. You can subscribe to Defra e-alerts to receive the latest information about Brexit from Defra as well as broader Defra news. 

Visit and press the Defra e-alert icon under Follow Us.

Export horses and ponies: special rules

Updated rules for exporting horses and other equines, including ponies and donkeys, and what you need to do in a no-deal Brexit. 

The way we trade with the EU and other countries

The UK benefits from trade agreements with other countries through membership of the EU. When we leave the EU some of these agreements won’t apply. Be ready and prepare your business with these steps:

  • Check GOV.UK to see if the countries you trade with are affected here
  • See if tariffs will apply to the goods you import into the UK here
  • See if your international customers will have to pay tariffs on the products you are exporting to them here

Immigration arrangements for EU citizens arriving after 31 October

French customs guidance

Food labelling

The food labelling awareness campaign has re-launched to remind businesses to make changes to their product labels to be ready for Brexit

  • The EU emblem must not be used on goods produced in the UK unless a company has been authorised by the EU to do so. 
  • If you are a domestic producer: It will be inaccurate to label UK food as origin ‘EU’. For the UK market additional information such as signage in shops and online information can help clarify to the consumer the origin of the food. 
  • If you are exporting to the EU: 
  • You must include an EU address for the food business operator (FBO) or EU importer on pre-packed food.
  • Health and ID mark prefixes used to label UK products of animal origin must carry either: the official two-digit ISO Code (‘GB’) or the full country name in capital letters (‘UNITED KINGDOM’).
  • It will be inaccurate to label UK food as origin ‘EU’. 
  • If you are importing from the EU: You must include a UK address for the food business operator (FBO) or UK importer on pre-packed food sold in the UK. The UK government is aiming to give businesses 21 months from exit day to make this change. 

Food and drink showcase Dropbox with shareable resources

Our Dropbox link has resources that you can access. Click here or copy this link into a compatible browser (Chrome, Edge, Firefox, Safari):

Temporary tariff regime update (published 8th October)

On Tuesday 8 October the Government published a statement re-confirming the temporary tariff rates that would apply to the agri-food and other sectors if the UK leaves the EU without a deal on 31 October.

There are three specific changes affecting HGVs, bioethanol and clothing. Further information about these tariff rates can be found here

News and resources 

Brexit readiness report (published 8th October)

This week, The Government has published the Brexit readiness report detailing the UK's preparedness ahead of Brexit on 31 October. This report has been published to inform businesses and citizens on what they need to do to get ready for Brexit on 31 October. Please find the report here.  

Information videos for traders in a no-deal Brexit (updated 9th October)

HMRC have published information videos for traders in a no-deal Brexit. Find further information about Transitional Simplified Procedures, Exporting using the Common Transit Convention and a webinar about the five main areas that UK businesses must be aware of to keep trading goods when the UK leaves the EU. Please find these videos here

Farming Help

Access free, impartial and confidential support from four charities via one ‘phone number: 03000 111 999

The Farming Help partnership at is a collaboration between the Addington Fund, the Farming Community Network, Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution and RSABI.

If you have further questions, please contact:

General trade queries

Brexit Import and Export Helpline: 0300 3301 331

Product and agreement specific queries 

Defra Helpline: 03459 33 55 77

The Department for International Trade also has an online enquiries service here.  


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