Mar 10th, 2022
8 mins

Following recent technical discussions with the European Commission, Defra has issued updated Notes for Guidance with additional information in relation to triangular trade.  Triangular trade is when a product is imported from one country into Great Britain and then re-exported to another.

The UK Government has updated the guidance to articulate the EU’s current interpretation in respect of this type of movement, given the risk of refusal of consignments at EU Border Control Posts (BCPs).

WE are informed that, the UK will seek to raise this issue at the Trade and Cooperation Agreement’s SPS Trade Specialised Committee for an explanation of how this interpretation is consistent with obligations under the TCA.

The guidance applies to exports to the EU from GB, but does not apply to movements to Northern Ireland, which can continue as they have done since 1 January 2021 under the existing ‘standstill’ arrangement, announced on 10th September 2021.  

The guidance has been updated to show the EU’s position that conditions apply to two specific types of triangular trade involving products of animal origin (POAO):

  1. To re-export Rest of World origin POAO that has been imported into GB, the product must undergo further processing unless the EHC does not require animal health attestations.

This means that POAO from outside of the EU, for example New Zealand lamb, cannot be re-exported to the EU unless it has been subject to a process as defined in the Notes for Guidance – such as heating, drying, marinating, etc. New Zealand origin lamb could be processed into meat preparation or meat product in GB (e.g. cooked lamb) and re-exported to the EU.

A small number of EU EHCs contain no animal health attestations – for example honey. These products, if they originated in the Rest of the World, can be re-exported without further processing in GB.

This does not affect your ability to use Rest of World origin POAO in the production of an entirely new composite product in GB. For example, putting cooked chicken imported from Thailand into a chicken pie produced in GB.

Movements from Great Britain to Northern Ireland can continue as they have since 1 January 2021 for the duration of the current ‘standstill’ arrangements, and any changes to this arrangement will be subject to a reasonable notice period to allow businesses time to prepare. For example, while the ‘standstill’ remains in place, New Zealand Lamb not subject to processing in GB can continue to move to Northern Ireland using EHC 8369; EU or NI origin fresh meat can continue to move to NI using the P&R EHC for EU origin fresh meat; cooked chicken from Thailand (i.e. a meat product) not subject to processing in GB can continue to move to Northern Ireland using EHC 8254 (until April 2022) or EHC 8384


  1. To re-export EU origin POAO that has been imported into GB the product must either undergo further processing, or it must have undergone no other handling beyond unloading, storage, reloading and transporting.

This means product that has been taken out of its original packaging and subject to a process which does not meet the definition of further processing in the Notes for Guidance (such as slicing and/or re-packaging) cannot be re-exported.

This requirement for EU origin product results from the wording of the EU EHCs introduced in line with the Animal Health Regulation. Where pre-AHR EHCs have been retained during the period of EU requested flexibility, this trade will be able to continue until they are withdrawn.

EU origin POAO can be imported into GB and processed into a new product. For example, Danish pork cured in GB to become bacon can be re-exported using the Meat Product EHC (8384). EU origin POAO that remains in its original packaging can be re-exported using the re-export EHC (8461).

Movements to Northern Ireland can continue as they have previously. For example, EU origin meat products subject to slicing and re-packaging in GB but not further processing (for example Danish bacon subject to slicing) can continue to be moved to Northern Ireland either under STAMNI, subject to the status of the trader and destination of the movement, or by using EHC 8254 (until April 2022) or EHC 8384.

Processing is generally defined as any process that substantially alters the initial product including heating, smoking, curing, maturing, dying, marinating, extraction, extrusion or a combination of these processes.

Further information on specific commodities impacted are available in the Notes for Guidance. Further guidance will be issued in relation to fishery products in due course.

Contact details for enquiries please contact APHA at:


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