Guidance

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.

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.

Law and standards changes from 1 January 2021

The UK will have its own laws for the production, processing, labelling and trading of organic food and feed from 1 January 2021.

Organic standards will remain similar to the EU’s.

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

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

Certificates and labels

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

Organic food you produce, process, sell or import must be labelled with details of your organic control body.

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

Find out about food labelling changes from 1 January 2021.

Importing organic food

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

You will use a manual UK organic import system until a new digital system is in place from 1 January 2021.

All imports from non-EU countries (known as third countries) must have a certificate of inspection (CoI).

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 and the UK is negotiating trade agreements to continue trading with these countries from 1 January 2021. The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) will contact importers and food manufactures 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 25 September 2019 + show all updates
  1. 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.

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

  3. First published.