Minister of State Martin Heydon has called on all food businesses to continue to prepare for the introduction of import controls on export of certain food and agricultural goods to Great Britain.

The minister stressed that the UK government has just postponed and not cancelled the introduction of import controls.

Following the 24th meeting of the Consultative Committee of Stakeholders on Brexit, the minister urged those working in the Ireland-Great Britain food supply chain to use this time wisely.

The additional time can be used to intensify and refine preparations for the new import controls on Irish exports.

The changes will now apply from 1 January and 1 July 2022.


The minister commended the agri-food sector for its resilience and said: “Given the volume and value of trade in both directions, and the integrated nature of agri-food supply chains, the UK choice to leave the single market and customs union has had a profound impact on the trading environment, and has meant unavoidable new burdens on companies through the additional requirements and controls now in place.

“It is now over nine months since the end of the transition period, and we see evidence of businesses adapting to the permanent changes brought about by the UK’s withdrawal from the EU.

“The Government is committed to continuing to support the sector in adapting to these new trading arrangements and in preparing for the further Brexit-related changes coming in 2022.”

The committee also learned about recent developments at EU level in respect of the EU-UK relationship to the ongoing engagement on the implementation of the Ireland/Northern Ireland protocol.