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Agricultural Holdings Brexit Crofting Crops Dairy Environment & Land Use Food Supply Chain Legal Livestock Pigs and PoultrySupport Payments & Grants

Step 2: Further information for agricultural businesses

Further tailored guidance for agricultural businesses is available from government and agencies.  Please find further information below which may be relevant to your business.

Recipients of agricultural support under the Common Agricultural Policy

Employers of seasonal, temporary or permanent workers from the EU

Regulatory regimes

Certification

Plant Protection Products

Plant variety rights

Seed potatoes

Breeding animals

Movement of goods between GB and NI

Health Marks

Importers and Exporters of live animals, plant products and other inputs with third countries

Organics

Travelling to the Republic of Ireland and the EU


Recipients of agricultural support under the Common Agricultural Policy

Following the UK’s departure from the EU, the EU Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) will cease to apply, however the existing CAP architecture and rules have been transferred into domestic law, via the EU (Withdrawal) Act 2018 and the Direct Payments to Farmers (Legislative Continuity) Act 2020. Support will therefore continue from 1 January 2021.

The Agriculture (Retained EU Law and Data) (Scotland) Act 2020 gives Scottish Ministers the opportunity to modify that retained EU law. This Act ensures the ability of Scottish Government to continue to operate CAP schemes from 2021 with work underway to streamline, simplify and free up resources to pilot and test activities likely to feature in a future farming and rural support policy beyond 2024.  

The Scottish Government has set out this approach to provide Scottish farmers, crofters, foresters, rural businesses and rural communities a transition period (2021-2024) to provide as much stability and security, with the majority of CAP schemes continuing but subject to simplification and improvements.

The Act does not set out the future direction of Scottish rural support policy post 2024, or completely reform existing policy. This work is being undertaken by the Farming and Food Production Future Policy Group - https://www.ruralpayments.org/topics/all-schemes/farming-and-food-production-group/


Employers of seasonal, temporary or permanent workers from the EU


The UK Government’s EU Settlement Scheme ensures that any EU citizen who does not already have indefinite leave to remain and who was living and working in the UK in a seasonal, temporary or permanent capacity before 31 December 2020 can retain their rights to live and work.

Settled and Pre-Settled Status ensures that EU citizens can stay in the UK indefinitely, and can also go on to work in the UK, travel in and out of the UK, use the NHS, enrol in education or continue studying, and apply for British citizenship (if eligible).

Employers of seasonal workers from the EU who worked in the country in 2020 or before can encourage returnee workers to register for pre-settled status. Individuals who achieve pre-settled status can stay in the UK for a further 5 years from the date that pre-settled status is achieved. Pre-settled status also entitles individuals to up to 2 years in a row outside the UK without losing their status.

An employers’ toolkit on the EU Settlement Scheme is online here: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/eu-settlement-scheme-employer-toolkit

You can apply for the EU Settlement Scheme online here: https://www.gov.uk/eusettledstatus

For any staff who required more tailored advice, the Citizens Rights Project provides free and regulated immigration advice in various European languages across Scotland. The Citizens Advice Project can be contacted at: info@citizensrightsproject.org / 07518926137. For more information visit: www.citizensrightsproject.org

Further assistance can also be sought from the Citizens Advice EU Citizens support service.  The national helpline can be contacted Mon-Fri 9am-5pm on 0800 916 9847, out of hours voicemail available, leave your name and contact number for call-back.

All non-UK citizens who arrive to work in the UK from 1 January 2021 will need to make an application via the UK Government's new Points Based System of immigration. The new immigration system features salary, skill and language requirements that significantly change the way new recruits cn be hired, whether they are from the EU or outside the EU.

All employers looking to source workers from outside the UK will need to become a licenced sponsor. Therefore all members who plan to undertake recruitment of new permanent staff should consider applying to become a licensed sponsor.  More information is available here: https://pbisemployers.campaign.gov.uk/ 

The UK Government has also produced a podcast on the new system, entitled ‘Business and the Future of Immigration in 2021’ which handily summarises the features of the system. You can download the podcast on the following platforms:


An NFUS Business Guide Update outlining further details on the future Points-Based System and arrangements for seasonal workers is online here: https://www.nfus.org.uk/nfuscontent/business-guides/17542/update-employing-non-uk-nationals-after-eu-exit


NFU Scotland hosted a webinar on immigration policy for permanent workers on Tuesday 25 May 2021.  President Martin Kennedy was joined by Jacqueline Moore, Director of Immigration Law at Shepherd and Wedderburn, John Vassiliou, Specialist UK immigration and Nationality Lawyer at Shepherd and Wedderburn, and Lucile Giriat, EU Citizens Support Scheme Adviser at Citizens Advice Scotland.  A recording of the webinar is available here

A handout to participants who attended the webinar is available here


Regulatory regimes

The UK’s legal framework for enforcing domestic environmental legislation has been transposed from EU into UK law and environmental targets currently covered by EU legislation are already covered in domestic legislation.  Permits and licenses issued by UK regulatory bodies will continue to apply as now.  However, over time, changes may start to emerge – look out for future advice from Scottish Government and NFU Scotland.

Certification


All existing UK products registered under the existing EU GI scheme will remain protected under a new UK GI scheme. The new scheme will be managed by Defra and will continue to use the designations of:

-    Protected Designation of Origin (PDO)
-    Protected Geographical Indication (PGI)
-    Traditional Speciality Guaranteed (TSG).

Any new product applications made from 1 January 2021 will require an application to the relevant UK scheme to protect a new product name in Great Britain, as well as the EU scheme to protect a new product name in Northern Ireland and the EU.

More information is available here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/protecting-food-and-drink-names-from-1-january-2021

As of 1 January 2021, EU organic standards will no longer apply in the UK.  To ensure continued acceptance of UK certified organic food and drink products by the EU, various routes to equivalency are currently being pursued as part of the negotiations on the future relationship with Europe.  Further government information is online here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/trading-and-labelling-organic-food-from-1-january-2021#history

The Soil Association’s certification updates can be found here: https://www.soilassociation.org/certification/certification-updates/2020/july/24/brexit-update-for-organic-food-and-drink-businesses/

Plant Protection Products

From 1 January 2021, the UK will introduce a new independent pesticides regulatory regime with the current legislative framework being retained in national law. The UK will have no formal role in EU decision-making processes. For more information, please find the NFUS Business Guide Update here: https://www.nfus.org.uk/nfuscontent/business-guides/17633/regulating-pesticides-after-the-transition-period

Further guidance from UK Government is available here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/how-to-comply-with-pesticide-regulations-after-brexit

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is hosting a series of podcasts to help businesses that make, use or supply chemicals understand what actions they need to take now that independent GB chemical regimes have come into place. To listen to the podcast, just search ‘The HSE Podcast’ on your chosen platform. Audiences can also register to receive notifications for each episode released. Please find more information here: https://public.govdelivery.com/accounts/UKHSE/signup/18867?utm_source=pressrelease&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=EU-Exit&utm_content=podcast-signup

Plant variety rights

The EU will continue to recognise EU plant variety rights granted to all breeders before 1 January 2021.  From 1 January 2021, plant variety applications have changed.  Breeders must now apply separately in the UK (via APHA) and the EU (via the CPVO).

UK Government has published a catalogue of information on what businesses need to do to apply for plant variety rights and to market plant reproductive material.  View the resources online here:  https://www.gov.uk/guidance/plant-variety-rights-and-marketing-plant-reproductive-material-from-1-january-2021


Seed potatoes

From 1 January 2021 seed potatoes cannot be exported from the UK to the EU. This is a highly disappointing outcome and NFUS is working closely with the UK Government for a more positive outcome.

Information and guidance for growers are available at: https://www.sasa.gov.uk/eu-exit-guidance/potato-eu-exit-guidance


Breeding animals

There will be new rules and standards you must follow if you trade purebred breeding animals, hybrid breeding pigs or germinal products like semen or embryos.  Traders to the EU now need a new zootechnical certificate.  View the information online here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/lists-of-recognised-animal-breeding-organisations/guide-to-zootechnical-rules-and-standards#changes-if-theres-a-no-deal-brexit


Movement of goods between GB and NI

The UK Government has launched the Movement Assistance Scheme, to assist businesses moving agrifood goods to Northern Ireland. More details can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/movement-assistance-scheme-get-help-with-moving-agrifood-goods-to-northern-ireland

On 8 December 2020, agreement was reached on the Protocol on Ireland and Northern Ireland. There will be a six-month grace period that will enable chilled meat products that would otherwise not be able to move from GB to NI to continue to do so. Further details are online here or goods movements from NI to GB, qualifying NI goods will receive unfettered market access from 1 January 2021, which means no declarations, tariffs, new regulatory checks or customs checks, or additional approvals for NI businesses to place goods on the GB market. Direct trade from NI to GB will continue as it does now. The only exceptions to these arrangements will be goods falling within the extremely limited number of procedures relating to specific international obligations binding on the UK and the EU, e.g. the CITES convention on the movement of endangered species.

Information on the NI Protocol and official certifications is online here

Information on the NI Protocol and goods not at risk is online here

The NI Protocol itself is online here

If you move goods between Great Britain and Northern Ireland the Trader Support Service will guide you through any changes due to the implementation of the Northern Ireland Protocol. More information on the Trader Support Service is online here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/trader-support-service

Importers and Exporters of live animals, plants, plant products and other inputs with third countries

General information

If you trade to third countries (non-EU countries), then check if the UK has negotiated a trade agreement with the non-EU country you will be trading with. You can find out about trade continuity agreements that the UK has signed and agreements that are still under discussion here

If you trade in to the EU, there will be a number of changes and new requirements even with or without a deal. 

  • To support businesses and industry to get ready for the end of the transition period, the EU Transition Trader and Industry Forum has been launched. This is designed so that you can ask questions about preparations you need to make now for the new rules to EU trade which will apply from 1 January 2021. You can access the Forum here: https://transition-forum.service.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/
  • Business who don’t already have an EORI number will need to register for one.  Register online here: https://www.gov.uk/eori

Knowing the International Terms and Conditions of Service will help you set the right contract terms to reflect potential changes of status (becoming an importer or exporter) following the transition period. More information on International Terms and Conditions of Service can be found online here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/international-trade-paperwork-the-basics#international-trade-contracts-and-incoterms

  • Check if customs guarantees and simplified procedures will be helpful for your business and if so, complete the application process. More information is online here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/using-simplified-declarations-for-imports
  • VAT-registered companies that have moved or received goods to or from the EU in the last calendar year must register for Intrastat. More information on Intrastat and how to register is online here: https://www.gov.uk/intrastat
  • Check what prohibitions and restrictions might be in place for goods you export. Please see the attached annex for initial details of which P&R will potentially affect you.

Guidance on importing and exporting live animals or animal products is online here:  https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/guidance-on-importing-and-exporting-live-animals-or-animal-products

If you import live animals and germinal products into the UK from the EU, you will need to use IPAFFS from 1 January 2021. More information is online here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/import-of-products-animals-food-and-feed-system

Guidance for importers and exporters of plants and plant products is available here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/importing-and-exporting-plants-and-plant-products-from-1-january-2021#exporting-plants-and-plant-products-from-england-scotland-or-wales-to-the-eu

For importers, there will be a three-stage process which will include importers obtaining a phytosanitary certificate.

For exporters, all regulated plants and plant products exported from England, Scotland or Wales to the EU will be subject to EU import controls and will require plant variety rights. Please also refer to the section on Plant Variety Rights above.

Some food and drink exporters may require Export Health Certificates. More information on getting an export health certificate is online here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/get-an-export-health-certificate  

Most of the existing standards and rules that apply to manufacturing, importing and marketing fertilisers in the UK will remain as they are currently, but importers of fertilisers should have regard to the following guidance, which is available here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/manufacturing-and-marketing-fertilisers-from-1-january-2021


Health Marks

Changes to health and identification marks will occur as a result of the end of transition and manufacturers of products of animal origin (POAO) should be aware of the changes.

Guidance on this is available on the Food Standards Scotland website: https://www.foodstandards.gov.scot/business-and-industry/safety-and-regulation/eu-exit-health-and-identification-marks


Organics

The UK will have its own laws for the production, processing, labelling and trading of organic food and feed from 1 January 2021.  Organic standards will remain similar to the EUs.

Food and feed registered as organic in the EU will continue to be accepted as organic in the UK.  The EU will decide whether to continue accepting food and feed registered in the UK as organic.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/trading-and-labelling-organic-food-if-theres-no-brexit-deal

Guidance on plant health controls are online here: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/guidance-on-importing-and-exporting-live-animals-or-animal-products


Travelling to the Republic of Ireland and the EU

If there is no agreement found on the future relationship between the UK and the EU then there will be changes to insurance for any motorists, including commercial fleet operators, when travelling into the Republic of Ireland and elsewhere in the EU. More information is available from the Association of British Insurers, online here: https://www.abi.org.uk/products-and-issues/topics-and-issues/travelling-to-the-eu-in-the-case-of-a-no-deal-brexit2/

Further information on transporting goods out of the UK by road from 1 January can be found on the government advice pages here: https://www.gov.uk/transport-goods-from-uk-by-road

More general information on visiting the EU from 1 January is online here: https://www.gov.uk/visit-europe-1-january-2021



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