Environment and agriculture

In this section

What sectors will be affected?
Air quality

What sectors will be affected?

A no deal Brexit will have a significant impact on our food, farming, fishing and environment sectors. These are important to the rural economy and also support the sustainability of the Welsh language.

Assess your business on 6 key areas to measure your readiness for Brexit on Business Wales.

Immediately after the referendum vote, we established the Brexit Ministerial Roundtable Group, made up of key stakeholders to work together to achieve the best outcome for Wales.

In February 2018, we published the EU scenarios report developed by the roundtable group. This set out how a number of scenarios, including a no deal Brexit could potentially impact our sectors. Since then, the Welsh Government has taken a number of actions to prepare for all scenarios, including no deal.

These include:

  • investing in new, state-of-the-art vessels ready for the additional marine enforcement requirements post-Brexit.
  • launching a new Business Wales portal to assess your business’ readiness for Brexit.
  • working to develop our food and drink industry post-Brexit, including a new Food and Drink Action Plan.
  • consulting on Brexit and our Land, which sets out our proposals for support to farmers post-Brexit.
  • a number of EU Transition Fund projects, including training more vets to undertake the extra paperwork that may be necessary and a benchmarking project for our red meat industry.

Even in the event of a no deal scenario, some things will not change.

The Welsh Government remains committed to implementing our policies and legislation to protect our marine environment and improve air quality. We have worked to transfer EU legislation that will work for Wales from day one. We are continuing to work with stakeholders to ensure we achieve the best outcome for Wales.


If there is a no deal Brexit, some regulations and processes will change. With a deal and a transition period, things will not change in the short term.

We have worked closely with the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra). As a result, the information in its technical notices is relevant to Wales.

You will need to make business decisions about matters such as:

  • sourcing ingredients
  • extra costs associated with tariffs
  • customs requirements
  • supply issues

There may also be delays to travel routes that affect your businesses.

Visit Business Wales and  Farming Connect for more support and advice.

Information and tools about Brexit are also available from the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board.

Further information

Employing EU seasonal workers after the UK leaves the EU on GOV.UK
Farming Connect: Is your business prepared for Brexit?
An update on existing trade agreements if the UK leaves the EU without a deal on GOV.UK
The farming sector and preparing for EU exit on GOV.UK
Hatching eggs and chicks marketing standards when the UK leaves the EU on GOV.UK
Identify livestock for export to the EU in a no-deal Brexit on GOV.UK 

Farming land after Brexit

We have looked at how the use of agricultural land and fisheries could change after Brexit. This includes scenarios of an agreement with the EU,  and no deal.

Evidence and Scenario Planning Sub-group

Trade in animals and animal products

All current regulations relating to animal health and welfare will remain the same.  This includes all legislation covering:

  • animal health and welfare in farming,
  • slaughterhouses
  • transport of live animals.

We will continue to focus on our TB eradication programme and remain prepared for any potential animal disease outbreak.

There will be no extra checks and requirements on imported animals and animal products. However there will be changes if you export live animals or products of animal origin, including:

  • additional export health certification from suitably-qualified vets
  • changing rules around the movement of horses
  • requirements for labelling
  • changes in the route to market. Animal and product exports will also have to enter the EU through Border Inspection Points (BIPs).

Further information

Exporting UK livestock to the EU in the event of a no deal Brexit
Preparing for changes at the border if there's no Brexit deal on GOV.UK 
Exporting animals, animal products, fish and fishery products to the EU after EU Exit on GOV.UK
Apply for an Export Health Certificate on GOV.UK
Moving live animals or animal products as part of EU trade on GOV.UK
Export horses and ponies: special rules on GOV.UK
Check GOV.UK regularly for the latest advice on equine movements in advance of the UK leaving the EU.
Prepare your business for the UK leaving the EU if your business deals in food or animal feed on FOOD.GOV.UK
Moving live animals or animal products as part of EU trade on GOV.UK
Importing animals, animal products, high-risk food and feed not of animal origin if there's a no-deal Brexit on GOV.UK
Export food for animals on GOV.UK
Farmers and livestock exporters: steps to export live animals to the EU after Brexit on GOV.UK
Chief Veterinary Officer for Wales on pet and livestock transport after Brexit

Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD) information

The VMD's communications on Brexit, including guidance on how you can prepare.

VMD Brexit Information Hub on GOV.UK

Plant health, seeds and plant propagating material

The remaining 27 EU countries will continue to recognise EU plant variety rights granted up to the Brexit date. This includes those rights held by UK businesses. All regulations on pesticides will also remain valid.
If there is a no deal Brexit , the following will change:

  • requirements for importing and exporting plants
  • arrangements for trading endangered species
  • arrangements for genetically-modified organisms
  • arrangements for plant variety rights and marketing of seed and propagating material

Further information

Plant variety rights and marketing plant reproductive material if the UK leaves the EU without a deal on GOV.UK
Importing and exporting plants and plant products if there's no withdrawal deal on GOV.UK
Moving prohibited plants, plant pests, pathogens and soil on GOV.UK
Plant breeders' rights: application form on GOV.UK
National List: application to add a plant variety on GOV.UK
Protecting plant health: topical issues on GOV.UK

Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) and Rural Development Programme (RDP) 2014-20

All existing schemes under the CAP and RDP will continue to operate as normal.

This means the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) for our farmers will stay the same in 2019 and 2020. All RDP land-based contracts (Glastir and Woodland) will need to operate under the existing rules and regulations.

All grant offers under the RDP socio-economic schemes will also continue to function with existing rules and regulations.

Further information

Rural Payments Wales on GOV.WALES
Farm Payments if there's no Brexit deal on GOV.UK

Well-being support

It’s important that everyone takes care of their personal wellbeing. There are 3 main charities working together as Farming Help that offer support:

Call Farming Help on 03000 111999 between 9am and 11pm every day of the year, or visit the Farming Help website

Farm Community Network is a voluntary organisation and charity. It supports farmers and families within the farming community. 

Visit the Farming Community Network website or phone 03000 111999 to talk to someone.

Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution helps farming people in financial difficulty. It operates throughout England and Wales.

Visit the Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution website
Email info@rabi.org.uk or 
call the helpline free on 0808 2819490

The Addington Fund provides homes for farming families in England and Wales who have to leave the industry, through no fault of their own, and by doing so will lose their home.

Visit the Addington Fund website or contact the helpline on 01926 620135.

The DPJ Foundation supports people in rural communities with poor mental health, especially men in the agricultural sector. They offer counselling to farmers at their homes, via the internet or telephone.

Visit the DPJ Foundation website 
Call 0800 587 4262 or 
Text to  07860 048799

Mind Cymru provides advice and support to empower anyone experiencing a mental health problem. Information is available on a range of topics including:

  • types of mental health problems, 
  • where to get help and
  • medication and alternative treatments.

Visit the Mind Cymru website

Call the information line on 0300 123 3393, lines are open 9am to 6pm, Monday to Friday (except for bank holidays).

Text 86463
Email info@mind.org.uk

Contact The Samaritans 24-hours a day free on 116 123.


Brexit is likely to impact your business whether you trade solely in the UK or import/export. We recommend you plan for change. Advice on business preparation for Brexit and a self-assessment tool is available on businesswales.gov.wales.

We strongly advise food and drink businesses to read in detail about the many changes which will occur on the day that we leave the EU. Failure to prepare and make the required changes may put your business at severe risk.

Food and drink businesses can access tailor-made self-assessment and advice. To request a diagnostic by the Cywain project, email: cywain@menterabusnes.co.uk

An advisor will then arrange a visit to complete the diagnostic. This will aid your business resilience and ensure that all your business areas are considered before Brexit.

Further information

The food and drink sector and preparing for Brexit on GOV.UK
Partnership pack: preparing for changes at the UK border after a no deal EU exit on GOV.UK
Vitamins and minerals in foods if there’s a no-deal Brexit on GOV.UK
Safety of food and animal feed if there's a no-deal Brexit on GOV.UK
Changes to nutrition legislation if there’s a no-deal Brexit on GOV.UK
Exporting GM food and animal feed products if there is a no-deal Brexit on GOV.UK
Farmers and food producers: steps to export meat and dairy to the EU after Brexit on GOV.UK
The Anglesey Sea Salt Company (Halen Môn) on preparing for Brexit
Hallets Real Cider on preparing for Brexit
Sabor de Amor on preparing for Brexit


The Welsh Government supports remaining within EU REACH. However, we are working with the UK government to plan a separate UK regime for chemicals regulation if there is a no deal Brexit.

This will inevitably create new burdens for companies trading in the UK and the EU, which will have to comply with 2 regulatory systems. The following areas will change if there is a no deal Brexit:

  • classification, labelling, and packaging of chemicals (CLP)
  • registration, evaluation, authorisation and restriction of chemicals (REACH)
  • export and import of hazardous chemicals
  • regulation of biocidal products, mercury, persistent organic pollutants (POPs), pesticides, fertilisers, and ozone-depleting and fluorinated gases

Further information

The chemicals sector and preparing for EU Exit on GOV.UK
Latest guidance on CLP, REACH, export and import, biocides, mercury, POPs and pesticides on HSE.gov.uk
How to comply with pesticide regulations after Brexit on GOV.UK
Manufacturing and marketing fertilisers if there’s no Brexit deal on GOV.UK
Using and trading in fluorinated gases and ozone depleting substances if there’s no Brexit deal on GOV.UK
Register for a fluorinated (F gas) account on GOV.UK
Trading in drug precursors if there’s no Brexit deal on GOV.UK

Air quality

The Welsh Government has worked to transfer EU legislation to ensure it works for Wales. Work to improve air quality in Wales will continue as normal, as will the work with Defra and the other devolved administrations to tackle air pollution across the UK after EU exit.

Further information

Industrial emissions standards (‘best available techniques’) if there’s no Brexit deal on GOV.UK

Shipping waste into and out of the EU

Businesses in the waste sector need to know that controls on the disposal or recovery of waste including:

  • issuing of permits (permitting) 
  • registration of carrier requirements
  • the duty of care
  • waste hierarchy

will continue to apply after we leave the EU.

If you are a UK business and want to export waste from the UK to the EU, you will need to take the following steps:

  • Familiarise yourself with EU Customs Guidelines on the import and export of waste: Waste: import and export on GOV.UK 
  • Complete waste notification forms with details of the EU Customs Office of Entry and, where relevant, EU Customs Office of Exit
  • Ensure your waste carrier has a copy of the waste movement document to pass to the Customs Office of Entry into the EU, hauliers are advised to carry multiple copies of the Movement Document so that a copy can be provided at other borders if requested.
  • Ensure your waste carrier is suitably authorised to carry waste in the relevant EU countries. Authorisation for carrying waste in the EU may change between Member States.

We recommend that you develop a plan to be prepared for any disruption at ports that you (or your contractors) use. You should also prepare for any wider disruption at waste sites.

Where necessary you should:

  • review your own capacity and how long you can store waste on your site
  • identify alternative storage facilities that could accept your waste
  • assess if there are other export routes to market that avoid affected ports
  • identify any alternative recovery or disposal routes for your waste.

If you do change your export route, you will also need to change your export notification. Permits or licences will still apply and you will have to meet all permit conditions.

If you have any concerns about the impact on your site, or feel there may be a need to:

  • amend your permit or 
  • identify new or extra waste recovery or disposal capacity

contact Natural Resources Wales for advice: 

Visit: Natural Resources Wales
Phone: 0300 065 3000
Email: enquiries@naturalresourceswales.gov.uk

Further information

Importing and exporting waste if there’s no Brexit deal on GOV.UK
Partnership pack: preparing for changes at the UK border after a no deal EU exit on GOV.UK

Decarbonisation and Energy

Welsh Government is working within its devolved areas of responsibility to ensure existing policy objectives, including delivering on our low-carbon ambitions, are not impeded by exiting the EU. We are working with the UK government to plan for a no-deal Brexit, including on ensuring that the replacement legislation, as well as the approach to future policy-making works for Wales. However, most aspects of energy policy, such as energy pricing & energy security, are the responsibility of the UK government as they are not devolved to Wales.

Further information

Energy and Climate after Brexit on GOV.UK
Meeting climate change requirements if there's no Brexit deal on GOV.UK
Generating low-carbon electricity if there's no Brexit deal on GOV.UK
Running an oil or gas business if there's no Brexit deal on GOV.UK
Trading gas with the EU if there's no Brexit deal on GOV.UK
Trading electricity if there's no Brexit deal on GOV.UK

Further information on the Carbon Emissions Tax can be found on GOV.UK:
HMRC Carbon Emissions Tax Policy Paper
HMRC Carbon Emissions Tax Supplementary Document

Following Brexit, the rules about how personal data flows between the EU and the UK will change. Visit the Information Commissioner’s website to find out more about how these changes will affect you or your organisation.

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