CITES and UK leaving the EU without a withdrawal deal - 16 January 2019

An urgent message from Paul Bleazard at DEFRA about possible implications of a no-deal Brexit.

Guidance which set out how people who trade in, or travel with, endangered animals or plants, or their products, would be affected if the UK leaves the EU in March 2019 without a deal is available here

We have also been reviewing where CITES goods can come into and leave the UK (points of entry and exit).

Trade in CITES goods between the UK and the EU can currently be done through any UK port or airport due to free movement within the EU. In the event of a No Deal, this will not be the case and we will designate specific ports and airports of entry and exit for the import/export of CITES goods. This designation means that you may be more restricted in the routes you can use. 

Currently there are just 10 ports and airports for CITES trade with countries outside the EU but we will increase this to 25 in the event of a No Deal scenario. 

Please see further information on the new list of CITES designated ports here:

You will note that Eurotunnel, Dover and Holyhead are not currently proposed for designation for Day 1 (29 March 2019). This is to avoid potential delays at these ports as they experience large volumes of traffic passing through and any critical blockages caused by the new checks required on CITES goods could compromise access to food and other key commodities. 

Please consider this when making arrangements for any CITES movements/trade between the UK and the EU on or after 29 March 2019. If you regularly use these routes, you may need to make alternative arrangements as there will be no facilities at these ports to get your CITES permits stamped.

We are aware that Dover and Eurotunnel are key routes for CITES trade between the UK and mainland Europe and we will be working with them and Border Force to enable future designation for handling CITES goods.

Please note that the designation of ports will be reviewed (and amended as necessary) as we gather more data post March 2019 on the actual levels of CITES trade between the UK and the EU. 

We will continue to update you on  EU Exit related developments and if you have any queries please send them to this mailbox: