Food labelling changes after Brexit
Advice for food producers, manufacturers, retailers and suppliers on the changes to food labels if the UK leaves the EU without a deal.
The UK government has published guidance for food manufacturers, producers, retailers and suppliers on possible changes to food labels, should the UK leave the EU without a deal.
If the UK was to leave the EU on 29 March 2019 without a deal, then some rulings are set to change. Of these, some will take effect from exit day, and others will have a longer period of time before food labels need to be updated. These proposals are subject to agreement with devolved administrations and Parliamentary process.
The UK government is aiming wherever possible to allow a transition period for labelling changes in relation to goods produced or imported and placed on the UK market after exit day.
Wherever a transition period is not possible, DEFRA will encourage pragmatic enforcement within the UK.
The UK has no control over how food labelling changes will be enforced outside the UK. EU and other non-EU countries may require the food labelling changes are made sooner than 29 March 2019 to export to their markets. It is recommended that companies get advice from their EU importing contact on the EU’s labelling requirements.
Certain changes must be made by the exit date if a companies UK food product is placed on the UK or EU market after the UK leaves the EU on 29 March 2019.
The UK government is aiming to allow a transition period by encouraging pragmatic enforcement for these labelling changes in relation to goods produced or imported and placed on the UK market after exit day.
EU and other non-EU countries may require wholly accurate labelling for access to their markets, and companies EU importing contact should advise them on the EU’s labelling requirements.
Country of origin
It will be inaccurate to label UK food as origin ‘EU’. For the UK market, companies should display additional information online and on signage in shops to help clarify the origin of the food. For the EU market, UK food should not be labelled as origin ‘EU’.
Companies must not use the EU organic logo on any UK organic products, unless the UK and EU reach an equivalency arrangement – where both still recognise each other’s standards – before exit day.
Companies can, however, continue to use their approved UK organic control body logo if qualified to use it before Brexit.
The EU emblem must not be used on good that are produced in the UK, unless authorised by the EU to do so.
Click here for more details on other changes, and those necessary before 2020,