Hops and hops products marketing standards if the UK leaves the EU without a deal

Advice for hops producers, manufacturers, retailers and distributors on the changes to marketing standards for hops if the UK leaves the EU without a deal.

There will be some changes to processes for importing and exporting hops if the UK leaves the EU without a deal on 29 March 2019.

Importing and exporting hops and hops products before 29 March 2019

Hops marketed in the EU (including the UK) must meet rules on marketing standards. This includes hop extract, hop cones and ground, pellets or powdered hops cones.

To show that they meet these standards, imports from non-EU (third) countries to the UK must have an Attestation of Equivalence. Hops imports from the EU must have an EU hops certificate.


The Rural Payments Agency (RPA) inspects at least 5% of hops imports from each non-EU country. The UK does not currently inspect imports of hops from the EU.


Hops produced in the UK are issued with EU hops certificates from hops certification centres. Subject to limited exceptions, they’re needed for:

  • exporting hops to the EU
  • selling hops in the EU
  • selling hops in the UK

Hops produced in the UK

If the UK leaves the EU without a deal, certification centres will still issue hops certificates for hops produced in the UK.

UK hops certification centres must remove EU branding of any kind (including references to the EU and the EU emblem) from certificates from 29 March 2019. The form of the certificate and the process for getting a certificate will not change.

Importing hops from the EU to the UK

Hops imported into the UK must be accompanied by one of the following as evidence that they meet UK marketing standards:

  • UK Attestation of Equivalence (to be released). This will be based on the current EU form of attestation, adapted for the UK.
  • EU Attestation of Equivalence (for two years after exit).
  • EU certificate for hops imported from the EU (for two years after exit). This certificate must comply with EU rules and can be issued by any body authorised to do so under EU rules.

EU and UK Attestations of Equivalence can be issued by any agency that is currently authorised to issue them. You can see a list of these in Annex I of the EU regulation. Other agencies can apply for authorisation in due course.

Two years after the UK leaves the EU, all imports of hops from the EU and other third countries must be accompanied by a UK Attestation of Equivalence issued by an authorised third country agency.

EU Attestations of Equivalence and EU certificates may stop being accepted before the end of the two year period if EU marketing standards for hops fall below UK standards.


The RPA will inspect 5% of hops imported from the EU from 29 March 2019. These checks will take place inland at processing centres. This is the same as the inspection process for imports of hops from non-EU countries.

Exporting hops to the EU and non-EU countries

The UK government is working to minimise delays and disruptions to UK hops exports. The government will keep you updated on this process.

Published 15 March 2019