Agriculture, horticulture and fisheries


This guide provides an overview of the agriculture, horticulture and fisheries sector, the key regulations you will need to comply with as an exporter or importer and selected sources of further help and support.

This guide will show you how to apply for any licences and permissions you may need and how to work out tariffs and duties, so you can trade efficiently.

Export regulations in the UK agriculture, horticulture and fisheries sector

Regulations, charges or other restrictions may apply to agriculture, horticulture and fisheries exports as they leave the UK and when they arrive at their destination country. It is important that you research both sides of the transaction.

First, you need to classify your goods. Use of standardised classification codes makes it easier to check if any restrictions or charges apply. You can use the Integrated Tariff of the United Kingdom (the Tariff) to classify your goods. For more information, see our guide on classification of goods.

For more information on how the Tariff is important to your export business, see our guide for an introduction to the Tariff.

Access the UK Trade Tariff on the website.

Remember that in general it is much simpler to trade with other European Union (EU) countries than with countries outside the EU. This is because the goods are in free circulation. The EU is a single market and the UK is in a Customs Union, so you can trade with other EU countries without restriction (although some local charges may still apply).

Specific agriculture, horticulture and fisheries regulations

Some agricultural products, livestock, animal products and endangered plants or animals are regulated. See the page in this guide on export regulations for animals, animal products, plants and plant products. You must also comply with general export procedures. For information on export licences, read nibusinessinfo’s guide on Do you need an export or import licence

For details of food and drink regulations, see nibusinessinfo’s guide on food and drink.

Exporting goods for processing

You may be able to obtain relief from customs duties when you re-import EU goods that have previously been exported from the EU for processing. Outward Processing Relief (OPR) enables you to claim relief from customs duty if you can show that the exported goods were used in – or incorporated into – the products being imported.

Before you can claim duty relief under OPR, however, you must have the appropriate authorisation. For more information, see nibusinessinfo’s guide on outward processing relief (OPR).