Guidance

Food and drink labelling changes if there's a no-deal Brexit

How food and drink producers, manufacturers, retailers and suppliers must change labels if there's a no-deal Brexit.

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The UK will leave the EU on 31 October. This page tells you how to prepare for Brexit. It will be updated if anything changes, including if a deal is agreed.

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Exporting to the EU

The EU has issued guidance on labelling changes required after exit day.

Check with your EU importer how the EU’s new labelling requirements affect your products.

Food products placed on the EU market before exit day can continue to be sold, distributed or transferred in the EU without labelling changes. In EU law, ‘placed on the EU market’ means they’re:

  • held in the EU for the purpose of sale, including offering for sale or any other form of transfer, whether free of charge or not
  • sold, distributed or transferred to the EU in another way

Food business operator (FBO) address

Pre-packaged food and caseins must have an EU address for the FBO or EU importer on the packaging or food label.

You must not use the EU organics logo after exit day unless:

  • your UK control body is authorised by the EU to certify UK goods for export to the EU
  • the UK and the EU agree to recognise each other’s standards (called equivalency)

Contact your control body to stay up to date.

If the UK does not reach an equivalency deal with the EU, you cannot export organic food or feed from the UK to the EU.

You can continue to use your UK organic control body logo.

Read more about trading and labelling organic food if there’s no-deal Brexit.

EU emblem

You must not use the EU emblem on goods produced in the UK after exit day unless you have been authorised by the EU to do so.

EU health and identification marks

On products of animal origin (POAO), you must replace the EU oval health and identification marks with new UK health and identification marks.

Country of origin labels

UK food must not be labelled as origin ‘EU’ after exit day.

Goods sold in the UK

The UK will have a 21-month transition period for labelling changes after exit day.

Where a transition period is not possible (for example use of the EU organic logo), Defra is encouraging a pragmatic approach to enforcement within the UK.

EU health and identification marks

You can continue to use the EU oval health and identification mark on products of animal origin (POAO) produced and sold in the UK during the 21 month transition period.

After the transition period, you must use the new UK health and identification marks for POAO to clearly show the UK product has been subjected to strict health and welfare checks.

Read the Food Standards Agency’s guidance on the new health and identification marks.

Food business operator (FBO) address

You must include a UK address for the FBO on pre-packaged food or caseins sold in the UK. If the FBO is not in the UK, include the address of your importer.

EU organic logo

You must not use the EU organic logo on any UK organic food or feed after exit day , unless either:

  • your control body is authorised by the EU to certify UK goods for export to the EU
  • the UK and the EU agree to recognise each other’s standards (called equivalency)

Contact your control body to stay up to date.

You can continue to use your approved UK organic control body logo.

Find out more about trading and labelling organic food if there’s a no-deal Brexit.

Country of origin for mixed foods and eggs

Some foods must be labelled with the specific country or countries of origin.

You must continue to include this if there’s a no-deal Brexit.

You can label the food as EU origin if it’s from a remaining member state.

Food produced in the UK must not be labelled as EU origin after exit day.

You can read about egg marketing standards if there’s a no-deal Brexit

Minced meat

You must label minced meat (excluding beef and veal) made, for example, with meat from the UK and EU as ‘UK and non-UK’.

Fruit and vegetables

You must replace references to the EU with UK on the label for mixes of UK fruit and vegetables. For example, ‘a mix of EU and non-EU origin’ changes to ‘a mix of UK and non-UK origin’.

If you’re part of the Approved Trader Scheme, you must remove the EU emblem from your UK food labels. You can use the replacement UK label instead.

Blended honeys and olive oil

You must list each country of origin on the label, or state ‘blend of [honeys/olive oils] from more than one country’ (or similar wording) on the label.

Beef and veal

Your label must state ‘Origin: non-UK’ if the animal your beef or veal came from was born, reared or slaughtered outside of the UK and EU.

You should replace ‘live import into the EC’ with ‘beef from a live import into the UK’ where you do not know the origin country of the animal.

Eggs

You should mark eggs from non-EU countries that do not meet UK egg trade regulations as ‘Non-UK standard’ rather than ‘Non-EC standard’.

GI-protected food or drink products (except wine or spirits) must use the relevant UK logo. Guidance on the UK schemes, including the new logos, will be released before exit day.

The logo use is optional for GI-protected wine or spirits.

The UK will set up its own GI schemes if there’s a no-deal Brexit. You’ll have 3 years from the launch of the UK schemes to adopt the relevant UK logo on food and agricultural product packaging.

Find out more about protecting food and drink names if there’s no a no-deal Brexit.

Published 5 February 2019
Last updated 23 August 2019 + show all updates
  1. No factual changes to content, but major headings have been rewritten to differentiate between exporting to the EU and goods sold in the UK.
  2. Guidance updated to include links to the new UK health and identification marks.
  3. First published.