Trading and labelling organic food from 1 January 2021

How rules for producing, processing, labelling and trading organic food will change from 1 January 2021.

New rules for January 2021

The UK has left the EU, and the transition period after Brexit comes to an end this year.

This page tells you what you'll need to do from 1 January 2021. It will be updated if anything changes.

You can also read about the transition period.

If you produce, process, label or trade in organic food and feed in Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales), you’ll have to follow GB rules from 1 January 2021.

GB organic standards will be similar to the EU’s.

GB will recognise the EU as equivalent for the purpose of trade in organics until 31 December 2021.

Food and feed registered as organic in the EU will continue to be accepted as organic in the UK until 31 December 2021.

The EU will decide whether to continue accepting food and feed registered in the UK as organic from 1 January 2021.

Certificates and labels

You’ll still need to be certified by an approved UK organic control body if you produce, process or import organic food for trade within the UK.

You must include details of your organic control body on the label of organic food you produce, process, sell or import.

Using organic logos

You must not use the EU organic logo on any UK organic food or feed from 1 January 2021, 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 UK organic control body logo.

Find out about food labelling changes from 1 January 2021.

Importing organic food to GB

You will no longer use the EU’s Trade Control and Expert System New Technology (TRACES NT) to import organic food and feed.

You’ll use an interim manual UK organic import system from 1 January 2021.

All your imported organic goods must have a certificate of inspection (CoI). You will not neeed a CoI if you’re moving goods from Northern Ireland to GB.

To request the forms for the manual UK organic import system, contact your organic control body.

Read the guidance on importing organic food or feed to find out the restrictions on organic produce imports.

Exporting organic food to the EU

You will not be able to export organic food or feed to the EU, unless either:

  • 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.

Exporting organic food to non-EU countries

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

Trading rules should stay the same for countries that accept UK goods without an equivalency arrangement (an agreement to accept each other’s standards).

The EU has equivalency arrangements with some non-EU countries. This guide will publish details of any trade agreements that the UK agrees with other EU countries to continue trading from 1 January 2021.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) will contact importers and food manufacturers if any trade agreements change.

Different exporting rules may apply if equivalency is not agreed between the UK and non-EU countries from 1 January 2021. Contact the exporting control body in the country you’re importing food from. Defra will publish any changes in this guide.

Published 18 February 2019
Last updated 26 October 2020 + show all updates
  1. Updated with guidance on importing organics from the EU to Great Britain from 1 January 2021.

  2. Explained users might need to contact export control bodies in countries they're importing from, and if any rules change following a no-deal Brexit they will be published in this guide.

  3. No factual changes to content, but a new notice about staying up to date with Brexit has been added, and some rewording throughout.

  4. First published.