On the 31 January 2020, the UK left the EU and has now entered a transition period until 31 December 2020.

The HTA is monitoring updates during this period and will update this webpage as information is released.  

Any historical information from this page is available in the dropdown below:

28 January 2019

4 years on from the referendum, 2 general elections, 3 Prime Ministers, 3 extensions, 4 exit days: The European Union Withdrawal Act 2019 has now reached Royal Assent and is on the statute book.

The UK will be leaving the EU on 31st January 2020 – this Friday, and will now enter a transition period until 31st December 2020.

Defra has stated that there will be no changes to plant health requirements for trading with the EU during the transition period and businesses should continue to use their current processes to trade in plants and plant products with other EU countries until the end of 2020.

However, as trade negotiations progress and further details are made available over the coming months, the HTA will keep you up to date on any changes to the requirements for importing & exporting after the transition period.

During the transition period, importers and exporters should ensure they meet all plant health biosecurity requirements prior to engaging in trade between the UK and the EU, including the new SRSF Plant Health Regulations that came in to force last December. These regulations apply across all EU member states and the UK is similarly applying these in line with the overarching commitment to maintaining the highest standards of biosecurity.

Further information can be found on the Plant Health Portal https://planthealthportal.defra.gov.uk/smarter-rules-for-safer-food-srsf/

Also, EU legislation implementing CITES will continue to apply in the UK during the transition period.

Regarding customs requirements through HMRC, there will be no changes to the terms of trade with the EU or the rest of the world during this time.

From 1 Ja‌nu‌ar‌y 2021, the way businesses trade with the EU will change and preparations will need to be made for life outside the EU, including new customs arrangements.

If you import and export between the UK and the EU, you can start your preparations in readiness for 2021 by:

  • making sure you have a UK Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI) number
  • preparing to make customs declarations.

Further information on customs requirements can be found on the Governments website at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/letters-to-businesses-about-trade-arrangements-after-the-uk-has-left-the-eu

29 October 2019

As you are probably aware, the UK and the European Union have now agreed to an extension to the Brexit deadline until 31 January 2020. This means that the UK will not be leaving the EU on Thursday 31st October 2019.

It is, however, possible that the UK could leave the EU before 31 January if the UK parliament agrees to the Withdrawal Bill, and so leave with an agreed deal in place.

During the extension period up to 31 January, you should continue importing and exporting goods as you do now, using all the current processes and systems in place. There will be no additional checks taking place during this time either in the UK or the EU.

However, it is important that you continue to be aware of what it is that you need to do to get ready for all potential Brexit scenarios during this period.

All of the relevant guidance will remain on the website and GOV.UK and we will continue sending out communications to ensure you can stay up to date with what you need to know and actions that you will need to take.

The information below is still relevant. 

Brexit – Preparation Guidance

Businesses need to understand fully the implications of a No Deal Brexit, both for bringing goods into the UK from the EU and also sending them out of the UK. The HTA has prepared a ‘Quick Fact’ information sheet to point you in the right direction.

If you buy products from companies outside of the UK then you will be an importer and will need to a) make customs declarations and b) know if goods require further paperwork (eg. plant health certificates)

The Government has also updated their ‘what to do’ pages for importing and  exporting:

HTA recommends that you apply for Transitional Simplified Procedures if you import from the EU and that you employ a Customs Agent who will help you with the paperwork.

Transitional Simplified Procedures (TSP) are temporary simplified customs procedures designed to make importing easier, and have been specially designed for those businesses who are unfamiliar with customs procedures.

The full list of HMRC advice can be found here.

Importing Plants and Plant Products if there’s a no deal Brexit flow diagrams

With the Brexit extension now in place we hope to leave with a deal. Below you can find information to prepare for a no-deal which could still happen. 

Importing Exporting Plants and Plant Products if there is a No Deal Brexit flow diagrams


How much has Brexit cost your business so far?

DEFRA’s EU Exit team have sent a communication to the HTA requesting information about the effects Brexit has had on businesses, in particular no deal planning.

They wish to take this time to understand what the impacts of No Deal preparation have had on business, and how you are intending to prepare over the coming months.

In particular, questions they would like answers to are; -

  1. What preparations for a potential No Deal exit did you undertake?
  2. What were the impacts of these on your business, e.g. costs etc. This could include costs, the implication of bringing material in early, resultant biosecurity concerns, planning time taken, extra staff costs, how the uncertainty affected you and your business, basically anything that is Brexit related.
  3. How you intend to continue EU Exit preparations & planning. Explain briefly what the plans will be and over what time period you will conduct them.

In addition to sending your response to DEFRA (please send to businessreadinessagrifoodchain@defra.gov.uk) would you please copy the HTA in to your reply (policy@hta.org.uk ) . Your response will be treated in the utmost confidence. (For those of you wondering at DEFRA's food-related e-mail address, ornamental horticulture is included under DEFRA’s agri-food EU Exit department)

We will provide an update to this information as major situations develop. General Brexit & Brexit-related political information can be found on the BBC News Brexit Pages.

Please use the downloadable information below to assist you with planning.

Brexit Information

Latest News - In order of publication

Update from HMRC - 19 September 2019

The Government has said that the UK will be leaving the EU on 31 October. Leaving the EU without a deal means there will be immediate changes to the way UK businesses trade with the EU that may impact your business.

Brexit - What to do Now?

Now we have all enjoyed a “Brexit breather” for a little time, the Government has written to all stakeholders with an interest in DEFRA to explain what to do now.

EU temporary leave to remain

Government provisions for EEA citizens and their family members arriving in the UK after we leave the EU in the event the UK leaves without agreeing a deal announced.

APHA No-Deal Brexit workshop on plant varieties

APHA extend an invite to all businesses involved in plant & seed variety and propagating material work processes to take part in a No Deal EU Exit Seminar on 28th November. The workshop will work through what may happen in the event of a no deal for Brexit, based on the recent No Deal Technical Notice on Plant Variety Rights.

Is your business Brexit ready?

A recent Chambers of Commerce survey has found that 62% of British businesses have not undertaken any planning for Brexit. Here the HTA gives you some tools to help you plan.