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Detailed guide: Trading CITES-listed specimens through UK ports and airports if there's a no-deal Brexit

Animal Plant Health Agency

November 8
14:55 2019

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The UK will continue to comply with the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).

Your trade routes may change if theres a no-deal Brexit. Youll need to import (bring in) or export (take out) CITES specimens through the designated land, sea and air ports.

CITES-designated points of entry and exit

The customs offices at the following points of entry and exit will be designated for CITES trade if theres a no-deal Brexit.

You can use these airports:

  • Belfast International
  • Birmingham International
  • Bristol International
  • Cardiff International
  • East Midlands
  • Edinburgh
  • Gatwick
  • Glasgow International
  • Glasgow Prestwick
  • London Heathrow (worldwide distribution centre)
  • London Luton
  • London Stansted
  • Manchester
  • Southampton International

You can use these ports:

  • Belfast Seaport
  • Dover
  • Eurotunnel - present documents at Ashford (for imports) or Ebbsfleet (for exports)
  • Felixstowe
  • Harwich international
  • Holyhead
  • Liverpool Seaforth Container Terminal
  • London Gateway (Port of London)
  • Plymouth
  • Poole
  • Portsmouth International Port
  • Southampton Eastleigh
  • Tilbury (Port of London)

You can use these post offices (for import only):

  • Coventry International Parcel Post Hub
  • Heathrow International Distribution Centre

Read more about importing and exporting CITES specimens by post.

Gibraltar will not be included as a UK-designated port for CITES trade.

Additional port arrangements for CITES specimens

There are additional arrangements if youre using roll on roll off (RoRo) services, Eurotunnel, or moving specimens between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.

Using roll on roll off (RoRo) services

Youll be able to use RoRo services, for example car ferries, at the following ports:

  • Dover - present documents at Dover Western Docks
  • Eurotunnel
  • Felixstowe
  • Harwich
  • Portsmouth

Youll need to stop and present your CITES documents to a customs official for endorsement.

Read more about importing goods to the UK or exporting to the EU through roll on roll off services.

Importing and exporting CITES specimens through Eurotunnel

To import CITES specimens into the UK through Eurotunnel you must present your CITES documents for endorsement at Ashford. You must make a customs declaration on the CHIEF system before you transport them.

If youre exporting specimens from the UK through Eurotunnel, you should prepare for it to be very busy. You may present your CITES documents to Border Force at Ebbsfleet, but if possible present it at another suitable designated point of entry and exit away from Kent before you travel through Eurotunnel.

Moving specimens between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland

To import CITES specimens into Northern Ireland from the Republic of Ireland over land, you must make a customs declaration on the CHIEF system before you transport them.

CITES checks must be carried out at Belfast Seaport. You must present your CITES documents for inspection and endorsement by Border Force when you import or export over the land border.

Read more about trading goods between Northern Ireland and Ireland if theres a no-deal Brexit.

CITES specimens entering the UK from the EU

You must use one of the CITES-designated points of entry and exit to move CITES specimens from the EU to the UK.

Live or temperature-controlled specimens can only pass through designated points of entry or exit with the facilities or expertise to handle them. You must contact your chosen point of entry or your freight handler to check that they can handle your CITES specimens.

CITES species coming into the UK from outside the EU

For all CITES species that enter the UK from outside the EU, different animal and plant health conditions apply. You must check the guidance and use the correct point of entry and exit if youre importing live animals, animal products and high-risk food and feed not of animal origin.

Moving live animals and animal products

The following airports will be designated to handle live CITES animals coming directly from non-EU countries after Brexit:

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