Hops and hops products marketing standards after Brexit

Marketing standards for hops producers, manufacturers, retailers and distributors after Brexit.

Importing and exporting hops and hops products before Brexit

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

To show that they meet these standards, imports to the UK:

  • from non-EU (third) countries, must have an Attestation of Equivalence
  • 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. With some exceptions, the certificates are needed for:

  • marketing hops in the EU (including the UK)
  • exporting hops

Hops produced in the UK after Brexit

Certification centres will still issue hops certificates for hops produced in the UK if there’s a no-deal Brexit.

UK hops certification centres must remove all EU branding (including references to the EU and the EU emblem) from certificates from exit day. The form of the certificate and the process for getting a certificate will not change.

Importing hops to the UK after Brexit

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

  • EU Attestation of Equivalence for hops imported from approved third countries (can be used until 29 March 2021)
  • EU certificate for hops imported from the EU (can be used until 29 March 2021) - this must comply with EU rules and can be issued by anEU-authorised body

Any authorised agency listed in Annex I of EC Regulation 1295/2008 can issue EU Attestations of Equivalence. Other agencies can apply for authorisation in due course.

After 29 March 2021, all hop imports from the EU and other third countries must be accompanied by a new UK Attestation of Equivalence. This must be issued by an authorised third country agency. A list of these agencies will be published on GOV.UK when they are available. Agencies currently registered with the EU will be registered with the UK when the UK leaves the EU.

The UK may stop accepting EU Attestations of Equivalence and EU certificates before 29 March 2021 if EU marketing standards for hops fall below UK standards.


The RPA will inspect 5% of hops imported from the EU if there’s a no-deal Brexit. 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 after Brexit

There may be a period during which the UK cannot export hops to the EU if there’s a no-deal Brexit. This is because the EU only accepts imports of hops accompanied by an EU Attestation of Equivalence issued by an authorised agency in the exporting third country.

The UK government will apply to register the Rural Payments Agency (RPA) as the hops authorised agency. This means the RPA will issue Attestations of Equivalence for hops export consignments from the UK to the EU.

The UK cannot register the RPA as an authorised agency until exit day, and the EU may not accept Attestations of Equivalence issued by the RPA until the registration is complete. This means your consignments may be delayed or rejected at an EU border until the RPA’s registration is complete.

Labelling rules

If you export hops and hops products to the EU after Brexit, you must include the following information on each unit of packaging:

  • description of the product
  • variety or varieties
  • country of origin
  • marks and numbers indicated in section 9 of the Attestation of Equivalence or the extract

How to apply for an EU Attestation of Equivalence

Once the application process opens, you can apply for an EU Attestation of Equivalence by sending the RPA:

  • the RPA Attestation of Equivalence application form (coming soon)
  • the EU Attestation of Equivalence template (coming soon)
  • the hops certificate issued by a UK hops certification centre for that consignment

Exporting hops to third countries via the EU

Hops consignments will need an Attestation of Equivalence and any documents requested by the third country if they:

Exporting hops to non-EU countries after Brexit

There will be no changes to the process of exporting hops from the UK directly to non-EU countries.

Some non-EU countries may require an export certificate for each consignment. You should check with the individual country that you’re exporting to on its rules.

Stay up to date

Some of these requirements may change depending on the terms that the UK leaves the EU.

Visit Prepare your business for Brexit to find more guidance on changes relevant to your sector. You can also bookmark and revisit this page or sign up for Brexit email alerts to stay up to date.

Published 15 March 2019
Last updated 9 April 2019 + show all updates
  1. Guidance updated to include information on exporting hops if the UK leaves the EU without a deal.
  2. First published.