Movement Assistance Scheme: get help with moving agrifood goods to Northern Ireland

Movement Assistance Scheme: Advice for traders

Guide

Last updated 25 October 2021

The Movement Assistance Scheme means that if you're a trader moving agrifood goods from Great Britain to Northern Ireland, you do not need to pay for:

The scheme will close at the end of December 2023.

The following types of goods are included in the Movement Assistance Scheme:

There is separate guidance if you inspect and certify these goods (for example if you're an official veterinarian).

The scheme also covers movements to Northern Ireland via the Republic of Ireland.

You can get advice from a helpline on moving agrifood goods from Great Britain to Northern Ireland.

Live animals and animal products
If you move live animals or animal products from Great Britain to Northern Ireland, you do not need to pay the full amount for export health certificates (EHCs).

Support attestations
If you’re a trader and have been told by your certifying officer to get a support attestation (SA) you can get reimbursed for some of the costs from 27 September 2021.

You’ll need to pay the invoice and then apply to MAS to be reimbursed. The government will reimburse you up to £150 excluding VAT for each SA. Follow guidance on how to get reimbursed for support attestations.

If you need help with costs of SAs
For queries related to SAs, please contact APHA by email or phone.

Email: MAS_SAinvoices@apha.gov.uk
Telephone: 0208 026 5644

Test for scrapie disease
To get an EHC for sheep, you must carry out the test for scrapie disease. The OV will need to see the results of the tests before they can authorise the certification. You do not need to pay the full cost of the scrapie genotype test.

OVs and other official certifiers will not charge you for inspecting and certifying your goods. Instead, they can invoice the government for the costs of the certificate and scrapie test, up to a set amount.

Guidance on moving animals and animal products
Read guidance on the requirements you need to meet when moving animals and products of animal origin:

Plants or plant products

If your business is moving plants or plant products from Great Britain to Northern Ireland, you do not need to pay for the phytosanitary certificates (PCs). Government inspectors will not charge you for inspecting and certifying your goods.

If you move fruit, vegetables or cut flowers from Great Britain to Northern Ireland, you may be eligible for the plant health exports audited trader scheme (PHEATS). This means you’ll be able to do your own inspections and apply for phytosanitary certificates to be issued.

You do not need to pay for:

  • an inspection fee when you first register with PHEATS
  • auditing or monitoring fees (charged per audit)

You can get financial support for International Seed Testing Association (ISTA) sample testing and certification. You need both of these to move individual seed lots from Great Britain to Northern Ireland

Read guidance on the requirements you need to meet when moving plants and plant products.

Organic products

If your business moves organic products from Great Britain to Northern Ireland, you do not need to pay for a certificate of inspection (COI). Organic control bodies will not charge you for inspecting and certifying the goods. Instead, they can invoice the government for the costs.

Use the Trade Control and Expert System NT (Traces NT) to apply for COIs.

You’ll pay a registration fee when you register with an organic control body that’s based in the UK. If you intend to move goods outside of Great Britain, you’ll need to pay for an exporter licence. If you’re a business based in Northern Ireland and you receive goods from Great Britain, you’ll need to pay for an importer licence.

You may receive financial help from the government for importer and exporter licensing costs you incur to:

  • move organics from Great Britain solely to Northern Ireland
  • receive organics in Northern Ireland solely from Great Britain

This is because before the UK and EU implemented the Northern Ireland Protocol, you would not have incurred these costs.

You’ll need to pay the full registration fee to an organic control body and then claim back the importer and exporter cost one year after you paid your registration fee.

Read guidance on the requirements you need to meet when moving organic products.

If you need help moving organic products
If you’re moving organic products from Great Britain to Northern Ireland, you can contact the MAS helpline or your organic control body.

High risk food and feed not of animal origin (HRFNAO)

If your business moves the following categories of high risk food and feed not of animal origin from Great Britain to Northern Ireland you do not need to pay for a certificate or lab sampling costs:

Local authorities will not charge you for inspecting and certifying the goods.

Read guidance on the requirements you need to meet when moving high risk food not of animal origin products.

Contact the MAS helpline

Contact the MAS helpline for advice on paying for certificates or inspections.

Telephone: 0330 0416 580

Monday to Friday, 09:00 to 17:00 on weekdays (excluding bank holidays)

Find out about call charges.


First published 8 April 2021