Sanitary and phytosanitary controls

Will the United Kingdom continue to produce food with the same guarantees as those applicable to EU Member States?

If there is an agreement, the United Kingdom will continue to produce food in accordance with the regulations established by the European Union.

If there is no agreement, it may reasonably be assumed that following Brexit the United Kingdom will wish to continue offering its consumers the same guarantees as before its departure, taking into account that EU food regulations are among the most demanding worldwide. In any case, the competent authorities in the European Union will continue to ensure that all imported food is safe and of good quality.

Will EU standards on products originating in the United Kingdom, in terms of quality and food safety, cease to be applied? What controls will be applied to products originating in the United Kingdom?

If there is an agreement, the United Kingdom will continue to apply EU regulations during the transition period.

If there is no agreement, the United Kingdom will apply its own quality and safety standards regarding the production and processing of food products. However, EU regulations stipulate that to enter the EU space, these goods must comply with EU requirements for the protection of human and animal health, the environment and consumer rights.

What is the exact scope of the contingency measures on veterinary and phytosanitary legislation and when will they be applied?

If there is an agreement, no contingency measures will be needed as EU regulations will continue to apply.

If there is no agreement, EU standards in the areas of public health and animal health will no longer apply to the United Kingdom. Therefore, the entry of animals and animal products from the United Kingdom will only be authorised if the United Kingdom is included in the list of countries authorised in this respect in the corresponding sectors of EU legislation.

According to the contingency measures announced in the Commission Communication of 13 November 2018, the United Kingdom will be included in the above list with respect to live animals and animal products, provided that all the applicable conditions of veterinary and/or health legislation are met. If no agreement is reached, the inclusion of the United Kingdom in these lists will take effect on 30 March 2019.

In the phytosanitary sector, after Brexit, the United Kingdom will become a third country, and therefore all its exports of plants, plant products and other objects regulated by EU legislation will be subject to inspection at the first point of entry into the European Union.

If there is no agreement, will live animals and animal products be controlled at the border when they enter the European Union from the United Kingdom after 29 March 2019?

If there is no agreement, each consignment of live animals and animal products from the United Kingdom would be subject, from the date of departure, to checks at the corresponding Border Inspection Posts of the European Union.

Does the European Commission have flexibility to approve the necessary Border Inspection Posts for sanitary and phytosanitary controls, and how quickly would such approvals be granted?

The EU legislation in this respect allows a certain degree of flexibility. For example, temporary facilities may be created for inspection rooms, or commercial facilities may be used for the storage of consignments. To be in place by 30 March 2019, Member States must propose new or expanded Border Inspection Posts to the European Commission before 15 February 2019.

If there is no agreement, what phytosanitary requirements would be applied to plants and plant products exported from Spain to the United Kingdom?

If there is no agreement, the United Kingdom will establish its own phytosanitary requirements for the entry of these products. Such requirements may include a phytosanitary certificate or other specific requirements or pest control measures, to be applied at the points of entry.

Can plant varieties from the UK catalogue continue to be used and marketed?

When the United Kingdom becomes a third country, the registration in the EU Common Catalogue of plant varieties included only at the request of the United Kingdom will be cancelled. In consequence, these varieties may no longer be marketed in the European Union.

The 27 Member States and the European Commission have established simplified procedures so that producers can easily register plant varieties in at least one of the 27 Member States, so that the varieties in question will continue to be included in the Common Catalogue, thus allowing their commercialisation in the European Union after Brexit.

Further information about the requirements for the import and export of animals, plants and other goods, can be found in following websites of other ministerial departments with competence in the matter.

Ministry of Health, Consumer Affairs and Social Welfare

Ministry of industry, trade and tourism

Spanish Tax Agency



Agricultura, Pesca y Alimentación en España 2019

Memoria anual del MAPA

Fotografía fachada Ministerio. Cariátides. Foto: Valentín Álvarez.


Ministerio de Agricultura, Pesca y Alimentación


Acceso directo

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