The UK left the EU on January 31, 2020. Under the terms of UK-EU Withdrawal Agreement the UK entered into a Transition Period that ran until December 31, 2020 whereby the UK essentially remained within the EU Customs Union and was subject to EU customs legislation. Since January 1, 2021, there is a customs border between the EU and Great Britain (“GB”) and goods including horses are subject to custom duty and VAT obligations.

    Since January 1, horses are no longer able to move freely between Ireland and Britain, and through Britain. There is extra certification needed to move horses and these movements can only take place through a Border Inspection Post at which, at a minimum, there are documentary checks.

    Officials from the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) will be hoping to do these electronically to ensure physical inspections will be rare.

    In essence, this now means that there is an extra cost to your business through increased veterinary costs for certifications, and the engaging of logistics companies to handle the international travel and Customs requirements.

    If moving horses for racing, sales, or breeding purposes, you should be registered with DAFM and Revenue. You should also be in communication with your private veterinary practitioner in relation to the extra certification that is required, and you will also need to understand who will carry out the various roles in the transporting of your horses and the Customs duties that will be attached to it.

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