Guidance

Beef and veal marketing standards

Marketing standards for veal and beef importers, exporters, producers, manufacturers, retailers and distributors.

You must follow beef and veal marketing standards and guidance on importing and exporting live animals or animal products.

Exporting beef and veal from Great Britain (GB) to the EU

The UK is classed as a third country.

The UK has notified the EU of its competent authorities and approved businesses for beef and veal labelling to allow exports to the EU to continue.

There is no change to the process if your business either:

  • already exported beef and veal (from animals aged under 12 months at the time of slaughter) from GB (England, Scotland and Wales) to the EU before 31 December 2020
  • was already approved as a red meat slaughterhouse or cutting plant before 31 December 2020

There are changes for new businesses who want to start moving beef and veal (from animals aged under 12 months at the time of slaughter) from GB to the EU.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has to inform the European Commission of new businesses which are approved as red meat slaughterhouses or cutting plants.

Once you have been registered by the UK authorities as an approved red meat slaughterhouse or cutting plant, wait one month from the date of your registration before sending your first consignment. This time allows for the completion of the required notification to the European Commission.

Labelling

You should label beef and veal (from animals slaughtered under 12 months of age) that’s exported to the EU with one of the following:

  • ‘age on slaughter: less than 8 months’
  • ‘age on slaughter: from 8 to less than 12 months’
  • category V
  • category Z

Exporting beef and veal from Northern Ireland (NI) to the EU

There is no change to the marketing standards requirements for exporting beef and veal from NI to the EU.

Moving beef and veal from GB to NI

There is no change to the process if your business either:

  • already moved beef and veal (from animals aged under 12 months at the time of slaughter) from GB to NI before 31 December 2020
  • was already approved as a red meat slaughterhouse or cutting plant before 31 December 2020

There are changes for new businesses who want to start moving beef and veal (from animals aged under 12 months at the time of slaughter) from GB to NI.

Defra has to inform the European Commission of new businesses which are approved as red meat slaughterhouses or cutting plants.

Once you have been registered by the UK authorities as an approved red meat slaughterhouse or cutting plant, wait one month from the date of your registration before sending your first consignment. This time allows for the completion of the required notification to the European Commission.

Importing beef and veal from the EU to GB

The EU has provided Defra with a list of competent authorities and approved establishments for beef and veal labelling. These businesses can continue exporting from the EU to GB. See the competent authorities for identifying and labelling cattle in each EU member state. Check the approved operator details for each member state.

EU legislation and retained law in GB apply the same legal framework for labelling and traceability of beef and veal. Read guidance on origin labelling for animals slaughtered at all ages.

Labelling and carcass checks

Inspections at processing plants check that imported beef and veal complies with marketing standards.

Inspections are carried out by:

  • the Rural Payments Agency in England and Wales
  • the Scottish Government in Scotland

Checks are carried out on unprocessed meat in businesses such as:

  • abattoirs
  • cutting plants
  • catering butchers

Local authorities, under the authority of the Food Standards Agency and Food Standards Scotland, carry out marketing standards checks in retail businesses such as:

  • supermarkets
  • butchers
  • farm shops

Certification

There are no new certification rules for beef and veal imported from the EU to GB.

Follow the guidance on importing and exporting live animals or animal products.

Importing beef and veal from the EU to NI

There is no change to the marketing standards requirements for importing beef and veal from the EU to NI.

Moving beef and veal from NI to GB

There is no change to the requirements for moving beef and veal (from animals slaughtered under 12 months of age) from NI to GB.

Importing beef and veal from non-EU countries to the UK

There is no change to beef and veal marketing standards for imports from non-EU countries to the UK.

Follow the guidance for importing products of animal origin (POAO) from non-EU countries.

Labelling and traceability

Follow rules on labelling and traceability for beef and veal:

If you need help

Contact dairy.team@defra.gov.uk if you have any queries. You’ll receive a response within 5 working days.

Published 31 December 2020