Skip to main content
Environment and agriculture

In this section

What sectors will be affected?
Air quality

What sectors will be affected?

After 31 January, existing laws, regulations and procedures stay in force, but leaving the EU will change how you do business in the future. When these changes occur as a result of negotiations and agreement, we will publish information, guidance and advice here.

We remain committed to implementing our policies and legislation, including protection of our marine environment and improving 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.


With the 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.

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

Information and tools are also available from the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board and Hybu Cig Cymru (Meat Promotion Wales).

Further information

Employing EU seasonal workers during the transtition period on GOV.UK
The farming sector and preparing for 1 January 2021 on GOV.UK
Hatching eggs and chicks marketing standards on GOV.UK

Trade in animals and animal products

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

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

Leaving the EU will change how you do business in the future. When changes occur as a result of negotiations and agreement, we will publish information, guidance and advice here.

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

Further information

Exporting animals, animal products, fish and fishery products to the EU from 1 January 2021 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
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
Export food for animals on GOV.UK

Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD) information

The VMD's communications on the transition period.

VMD 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 before 1 January 2021. This includes those rights held by UK businesses.

Further information

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 farmers will stay the same in 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

Well-being support

There are many support services available for those affected by stress in rural communities.

Farming Community Network is a voluntary organisation and charity. It supports farmers, agricultural workers and families within the farming community. 

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

Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution provides financial support, practical care and guidance to farming people of all ages, including farmers, farmworkers and dependants, across Wales and England. Support is personally tailored to suit individual need.

Visit the Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution website
Email or 
call the helpline free on 0808 2819490

The Addington Fund provides disaster relief to farmers on a national, regional and individual basis. It also 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

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

Tir Dewi is a charity supporting farmers and their families through a network of volunteers.

Visit the Tir Dewi website
Freephone helpline 0800 121 4722


Leaving the EU is likely to impact your business whether you trade solely in the UK or import/export. We recommend you plan for change. 

We advise food and drink businesses to read in detail about the  changes which will occur after we have left the EU. We will publish updated guidance, information and advice here when available.

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

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.

Food and drink in Wales

We are committed to helping those working in the industry import/export their products.

The food and drink produced in Wales is outstanding, and it competes on the world stage. It’s our intention to keep it that way, and make it even better, supporting our producers and retailers in their efforts to tempt us with even more amazing creations.

Visit Food and Drink Wales for more information.

Food Innovation Wales helpline

In this time of increased volume and stress on the food supply chain, Food Innovation Wales has opened a helpline in each of its geographical areas. For food safety, technical or supply chain continuity (e.g. raw material suppliers), please contact the following numbers: 

South Wales ZERO2FIVE Food Industry Centre, Cardiff Metropolitan University:

Mid Wales Food Centre Wales, Horeb:

North Wales Food Technology Centre, Coleg Menai:

Further information

The food and drink sector and preparing for 1 January 2021 on GOV.UK
Changes to food labelling from 1st January 2021 on GOV.UK

Chemicals (including pesticides)

Regulations and trade within the chemicals sector remain unchanged as we leave the EU. Latest information, support and guidance will be posted here when available.

Further information

Latest guidance on CLP, REACH, export and import, biocides, mercury, POPs and pesticides on
How to comply with pesticide regulations after Brexit on GOV.UK
Register for a fluorinated (F gas) account on GOV.UK
Regulating Pesticides after the Transition Period on HSE.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.

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

continue to apply during the transition period.

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

Decarbonisation and Energy

We are working within our 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 ensure 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 and energy security, are the responsibility of the UK government as they are not devolved to Wales.

Further information

Energy and climate after 1 January 2021 on GOV.UK

After the transition period, 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.

Next: fisheries and trade >

Join us on social media

Share this page