Prepare your farming business for a no-deal Brexit

The changes you need to make to prepare your farming business for a no-deal Brexit.

Last updated 9 September 2019 — see all updates

Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs


  1. Stay up to date
  2. Farm and rural payments: EU funding
  3. Importing and exporting
  4. Your employees
  5. Employing seasonal workers
  6. Food and drink labelling including organic produce
  7. Marketing standards
  8. Genetically modified organisms (GMOs)
  9. Fertilisers
  10. Pesticides regulations
  11. Chemical regulations
  12. Water regulations

Stay up to date

The UK will leave the EU on 31 October. This page tells you how to prepare for Brexit. It will be updated if anything changes, including if a deal is agreed.

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Farm and rural payments: EU funding

In 2019, EU funding for rural payment schemes including the Basic Payment Scheme will continue, whether the UK leaves the EU with or without a deal.

To get payments, you’ll need to follow the same standards as you do now. This includes on-site inspections to UK farms. The Rural Payments Agency (RPA) will continue to administer the schemes.

You’ll continue to receive Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE) funding that comes from the EU until your project closes.

Importing and exporting

To continue importing or exporting products between the UK and EU you must:

  1. Get a UK Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI) number.

  2. Decide if you want to hire an import-export agent, or make the declarations yourself.

  3. Contact the organisation that moves your goods to find out what information they need to make the declarations for your goods, or if you will need to make them yourself.

Read the guidance on simplified customs procedures for trading with the EU if we leave without a deal.

Further information is provided in HMRC’s advice for businesses trading with the EU.

Preparing to move goods between Ireland and Northern Ireland

Goods moving between Ireland and Northern Ireland will have different procedures compared to other UK-EU trade.

Read the guidance on customs procedures and VAT for goods moving between Ireland and Northern Ireland.

Preparing for changes to existing trade agreements

The way you access existing favourable arrangements with non-EU countries may change.

Read the guidance on changes to trading with non-EU countries that have a free trade agreement with the EU.

Preparing for changes to import tariffs

The UK would implement a temporary tariff regime for up to 12 months.

Most UK imports would be tariff-free, but in certain sectors, such as agriculture, tariffs would be maintained.

Check the temporary rates of customs duty on imports after Brexit.

Arable and horticulture: plants and plant products

Plants and plant products (for example, vegetables, seeds and fruit) managed under the EU plant passport scheme will be subject to UK import controls.

There is a new process you must follow for imports and exports.

Read the guidance on importing and exporting plants and plant products if there’s no withdrawal deal and plant health controls.

Seed exports

You’ll need to list the seed variety you’re exporting on the EU Common Catalogue via a member state.

Livestock, animal products and high-risk feed

The way you import and notify the UK authorities of these imports will change.

If you export animals or animal products from the UK to the EU, you’ll need to follow a new process.

Read the guidance on importing high-risk food and feed not of animal origin if the UK leaves the EU with no-deal and importing and exporting live animals and animal products.

Animal breeding imports and exports (zootechnics)

Unless the EU lists UK breed societies and studbooks you will not be able to export animals to the EU on zootechnical terms.

Imports from the EU, and domestic UK zootechnical trade, will not be affected.

Read the guidance on changes to zootechnical rules if the UK leaves the EU with no-deal.

Organic imports and exports

To import from third countries from day 1, you must use the interim paper-based system that will replace TRACES NT.

Unless the EU gives the UK official recognition for our organic standards (known as ‘equivalency’), you cannot export UK organic products to the EU.

Find out more about trading and labelling organic food if there’s no Brexit deal.

Your employees

There are certain schemes and processes you should be aware of if you employ people.

Find out more in Employing EU, EEA and Swiss citizens and their family members after Brexit.

Employing seasonal workers

You’ll still be able to employ seasonal workers from the EU. European Temporary Leave to Remain will allow EEA citizens arriving in the UK after 31 October 2019 to live, work and study in the UK if there’s no Brexit deal.

You can use the EU seasonal worker information for employers to give further details to your employees.

Food and drink labelling including organic produce

If you’re involved in the agri-food business, labelling rules will change for some food and drink.

Read more in the guidance food labelling changes after Brexit.

Marketing standards

Products that may be subject to changes include:

UK exports to the EU

Marketing standards inspections on exports will continue.

Until more information is available, exports will need to follow the third country requirements set out in the EC marketing standards regulations.

EU imports to the UK

EU imports to the UK will need to follow the UK’s third country processes for marketing standards. To minimise delays, there will be no inspections on EU imports at the border, however, there will be an increase in checks carried out inland.

Genetically modified organisms (GMOs)

The same controls on the environmental release of GMOs will apply and will be implemented by the competent authorities in the UK.

For more information, see developing genetically modified organisms (GMOs) if there’s no Brexit deal.


You’ll still be able to buy the same amount and quality of fertiliser. For 2 years after the UK leaves the EU, all products can still be sold under:

  • the domestic framework
  • the EC fertiliser label

For more information, see manufacturing and marketing fertilisers if there is no Brexit deal.

Pesticides regulations

You must meet any new regulations for producing or placing pesticides on the market.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) will continue to operate as the UK’s regulator. Read their guidance on regulating pesticides if there’s no-deal.

Chemical regulations

If your business uses chemicals, you should:

Water regulations

You must still meet the conditions in your permits or licences that relate to water. Regulations using the same processes and standards will remain after Brexit.

For more information read the water management guidance.