Brexit No Deal

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The Government department DEFRA (Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) is anxious that our members are notified about possible changes to the movement of CITES-listed animals and products in the event of a No-deal Brexit. The following information is therefore attached -


DEFRA has been looking at the implications of the UK leaving the EU with regards to the trade in endangered species under the Convention for International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES).  In the event of a no deal EU exit, there are over 30,000 endangered species and their products that will need permits and must travel through designated ports.  

Guidance which sets 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 without a deal is available here: 

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 (Exit Day).  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 Exit Day.  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 exit on the actual levels of CITES trade between the UK and the EU.  If you have any queries please send them to this dedicated mailbox:

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