Guidance

Egg marketing standards

Marketing standards for egg producers, manufacturers, retailers and distributors.

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

Importing eggs from the EU to Great Britain (GB)

If you’re importing eggs from the EU to GB (England, Scotland and Wales), you need to ensure that exporters provide specific information depending on the class of egg you’re importing.

Egg marking

Exporters must mark Class A eggs with the producer code.

Exporters must mark Class B eggs with either:

  • the producer code and the Class B indication
  • the Class B indication

Class B indications must be either:

  • a circle of at least 12mm in diameter around the letter ‘B’ and at least 5mm high
  • an easily visible colour spot of at least 5mm in diameter

Eggs imported from EU member states must also be clearly and legibly marked in the country of origin with its ISO (International Organisation for Standardisation) 3166 country code.

Where the member state reference in the producer code is identical to the country’s ISO code, there is no need to add a separate ISO code as well.

Importing eggs from the EU to Northern Ireland (NI)

There is no change to the marketing standards requirements for importing eggs from the EU to NI.

You should mark eggs imported and sold in NI that do not meet EU egg marketing and trade regulations as ‘non-EC standard’. Read about NI egg marketing standards.

Moving eggs from NI to GB

There is no change to the marketing standards requirements for moving eggs from NI to GB.

Exporting eggs from GB to the EU

If you export eggs from GB to the EU, you need to follow third country import requirements (PDF, 772KB) in the EU marketing standards regulations.

The EU has confirmed that GB egg marketing standards are equivalent to the EU egg marketing standards.

Egg marking

Exporters must mark Class A eggs with the producer code.

Exporters must mark Class B eggs with either:

  • the producer code and the Class B indication
  • the Class B indication

Class B indications must be either:

  • a circle of at least 12mm in diameter around the letter ‘B’ and at least 5mm high
  • an easily visible colour spot of at least 5mm in diameter

You must also mark individual eggs with one of the UK’s ISO 3166 country codes. You can mark eggs with the ISO code at any point before export.

The UK has 3 variations of the ISO code:

  • GB
  • GBR
  • 826

GB is the most used ISO code. Eggs without an ISO code may be delayed or rejected at an EU border. This requirement applies to both Class A and Class B eggs.

You do not need to mark eggs and egg packs with the UK’s oval health and identification marks. For more information, read the Food Standard Agency’s guidance on the new health and identification marks.

You cannot move eggs directly from farm to the EU food industry. They must be graded before export.

Checks and controls

If you’re exporting eggs to the EU, there may be extra customs checks.

If you’re exporting Class A eggs, EU officials may carry out marketing standards checks at customs. See EU marketing standards for eggs.

EU officials may carry out customs checks to verify your Class B eggs are going to the processing industry.

Class B eggs must have documentation with them showing the processing industry as their final destination. Without this information EU customs officials may stop your eggs from entering the EU.

Eggs and egg products, along with all products of animal origin (POAO), should enter the EU via a Border Control Post (BCP), accompanied by a signed export health certificate. You must include the class of eggs in box 1.18 of the EHC.

Find details of the most used BCPs in the EU:

For more information, see guidance on importing and exporting live animals or animal products.

Exporting eggs from NI to the EU

There is no change to the marketing standards requirements for exporting eggs to the EU from NI.

Eggs produced in NI do not need to be marked with the UK’s ISO code.

Moving eggs from GB to NI

If you’re moving eggs from GB to NI, you need to meet EU marketing standards.

Class A eggs must be marked with the producer code.

Class B eggs must be marked with either:

  • the producer code and the Class B indication
  • the Class B indication

Class B indications must be either:

  • a circle of at least 12mm in diameter around the letter ‘B’ and at least 5mm high
  • an easily visible colour spot of at least 5mm in diameter

You must also mark individual eggs with one of the UK’s ISO 3166 country codes. You can mark eggs with the ISO code at any point before moving them.

The UK has 3 variations of the ISO code:

  • GB
  • GBR
  • 826

GB is the most used ISO code. Eggs without an ISO code may be delayed or rejected at an EU border. This requirement applies to both Class A and Class B eggs.

You do not need to mark eggs and egg packs with the UK’s oval health and identification marks. For more information, read the Food Standard Agency’s guidance on the new health and identification marks.

You cannot move eggs directly from farm to the NI food industry. They must be graded before export.

Checks and controls

POAO, including eggs and egg products, moving from GB to NI must enter through designated points of entry.

For more information, read guidance on moving goods into, out of, or through NI.

Labelling of eggs and packs of eggs produced in NI

No labelling changes are required for eggs and packs of eggs produced in NI, regardless of their final destination.

Producers and packing centres from NI are identifiable through the reference ‘UK9’ as part of existing, statutory codes.

Importing eggs from non-EU countries to GB

You cannot import eggs into GB from non-EU countries until the equivalence of egg marketing standards is agreed.

Contact poultry.mailbox@defra.gov.uk before you plan to import eggs from non-EU countries.

You must mark eggs from countries that are assessed as not meeting domestic egg trade regulations with ‘non-EC standard’ or ‘non-UK standard’ until 30 September 2022. From 1 October 2022, you should mark these eggs as ‘non-UK standard’.

Exporting eggs from the UK to non-EU countries

Eggs for export to non-EU countries may need to comply with different requirements for:

  • quality
  • marking
  • labelling

You should check the import requirements of the country you’re exporting to.

If you need help

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

Published 31 December 2020