Advice about imports
It's important to control imports to protect the health of people, animals and plants. That's why there are restrictions on the food products that can be imported into the UK and why food imports are checked as they enter the country.
It is the responsibility of the importer to ensure that there are sufficient quality controls in place in the country of origin where the product is produced. It is also the importer’s responsibility to ensure that the food they import to the UK is fit for human consumption and that no-one will become ill if they eat it.
The controls on imported food vary depending on the type of food and the part of the world it comes from.
Import licences are required for certain products of animal origin not covered by EU Regulations prior to the products arriving into the UK. Further information can be found on Defra’s website. You can also contact Defra’s Animal Health by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 01245 358383 for more information.
Also you may need a licence to import certain Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) commodities into the EU. For more information on CAP licences please contact Defra’s Rural Payments Agency’s Trade Enquiry Line on 0191 2265050 or Email them at: email@example.com
Apart from the above products you do not need to apply for an import licence to bring in food products to the UK. Further information on other kinds of licences can be found at the Businesslink website
It is important to check if the goods you want to import has a commodity code and If it does it will be liable for tax. Importers should therefore contact the Customs Tariff Classification Helpline on 01702 366 077 or Email them at: firstname.lastname@example.org
HMRC also runs a helpline giving advice on import duties/tax for some food items. For further information and advice you should contact HMRC on: 0845 010 9000 (this helpline is open Monday to Fridays between 8am and 8pm).
Further information on the roles and responsibilities for these departments and others can be found at the links at the bottom of the page.