Important post-Brexit breakthrough achieved on customs treatment of temporary thoroughbred movements

16 Aug 2022 BHA Features Brexit

Issued on behalf of the Thoroughbred Industries Brexit Steering Group

The Thoroughbred Industries Brexit Steering Group has today welcomed a change to customs arrangements making the movement of horses into Britain for racing and breeding simpler.The change, which will serve to facilitate international competition and movement, follows significant representations by the Thoroughbred Industries Brexit Steering Group to Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC).Previously, in the majority of cases, thoroughbreds entering Great Britain on a temporary basis had to be accompanied by a financial guarantee, equivalent to 20% of its value. While this guarantee would be refunded once the thoroughbred had returned home, this was posing significant cashflow challenges and acting as an inhibitor for international participation in British thoroughbred racing and breeding.A new, industry-specific, facilitation has now been agreed by HMRC to the Temporary Admission procedure. This allows intermediaries (such as a transporter or shipper) to apply for an authorisation enabling them to move thoroughbreds under multiple ownerships, without the need for a financial guarantee to be provided on these movements.This change follows facilitations which were enacted by the Irish Revenue for movements of thoroughbreds into Ireland for racing purposes earlier this year.Julian Richmond-Watson, Chair of the Thoroughbred Industries Steering Group, said:

“The Thoroughbred Industries Brexit Steering Group has been engaging and offering proactive solutions on this matter, which has been causing significant industry concern, in discussions with HM Treasury and HMRC.“We are therefore very grateful to HMRC for this industry-specific facilitation which recognises both the financial value and importance of international movement of thoroughbreds, and the challenges which the requirement for a guarantee was posing to owners and breeders looking to run their horses or breed them in Great Britain.”Although over eighteen months have now passed since the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union, the Thoroughbred Industries Brexit Steering Group has continued to meet regularly and is working on the ongoing challenges and opportunities created.The Group’s overall objective is to secure a settled future framework in which there are reduced administrative burdens on the movement of high-health and welfare thoroughbreds, underpinned by biosecurity and facilitated by digital technology. This will enhance trade, traceability and welfare outcomes, while demonstrating international leadership for the UK and British thoroughbred industry.Julian Richmond-Watson said:

“There remain significant challenges around the practicalities of post-Brexit thoroughbred movement, which while our industry has adapted, can be improved through Government working with industry on solutions which are clearly available.“We are committed to improving the situation and delivering a lasting settlement under which movement of thoroughbreds for international competition and breeding, underpinned by the highest standards of equine health and welfare, is realised.”For further information on the ongoing work of the Thoroughbred Industries Brexit Steering Group, please visit the BHA Brexit webpage.

Notes to editors:1. The HMRC guidance on the Temporary Admission Procedure can be found here.