Brexit / Pets and Food

Hamburg and Brexit Pets and Food

Shipping animal products and livestock across the EU's outer borders requires detailed checkups. This may soon apply for the UK.

Brexit: Pets, animal products, livestock. See how Brexit will affect bringing animals across the EU/Uk border.

In the event of a 'no deal' situation, Great Britain would be treated as a third (non-EU) country as of 30 March, 2019. This results in the following: all animal products imported into the EU from third countries are required by law to undergo border controls. Moreover, advance notifications as well as detailed document check-ups would be required. In Hamburg’s port and airport, the Veterinär- und Einfuhramt (the 'Veterinary and Import Agency') would be responsible for carrying out these checks. Accordingly, animal products and livestock from the UK would have to be registered with the above-mentioned authorities. The exact overhead is hard to assess, as traffic of goods within the EU is unlimited and thus lacks reliable numbers. Delays will likely be caused by increasing counselling efforts and adjustments to new regulations on the part of importing businesses.

Importing into the EU

It is important to note that border control authorities in Hamburg's port and airport have no or very limited ability to grant permissions to residents, visitors and business when it comes to animal imports. Horses, for example, cannot be imported into the EU, and border control agents do not have the authority to grant permission. Pets, however, can generally still be brought in via the Hamburg airport and port as long as they meet the requirements and have been subjected to checkups in their country of origin. A substantial increase in controls for all kinds of animal imports is to be expected.  

Generally, controls will not occur when exporting livestock and animal products into third countries. It is uncertain whether Great Britain’s import regulations will digress form this rule.

The Behörde für Gesundheit und Verbraucherschutz (the 'Agency for Health and Consumer Protection') in cooperation with Handelskammer (Chamber of Commerce), customs, and Behörde für Wirtschaft, Verkehr und Innovation (the 'Agency for Economy, Transportation and Innovation') all plan to conduct information events in due time. 

Pets and Animal Products