News article

Brexit: Developing genetically modified organisms (GMOs)

21 October 2019


How to market, trial and release GMOs if there’s a no-deal Brexit

The current controls on the environmental release of GMOs will apply after Brexit. They will be implemented by the competent authorities in the UK.

The competent authority in Northern Ireland is the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA). To get in touch, Email: biodiversity.policy@daera-ni.gov.uk

Get authorisation for trial release of GMOs
You must get authorisation before you carry out a trial release of a GMO.

You must apply to the competent authority for the country in which the GMO trial is proposed to take place.

Get approval for marketing GMOs
You must get approval before you market GMOs for environmental release.

You’ll need separate authorisation from each of the UK competent authorities that are responsible for the countries in which you intend to market the GMO.

You’ll only get approval for a trial or marketing release if there are no safety concerns. The competent authorities will apply a risk assessment using the current process.

Trading GMOs
All EU marketing authorisations for GMOs that are in force when the UK leaves the EU will continue to apply in the UK until they expire. Find details of the EU authorised GMOs on the GMO register.

You’ll only be able to export GMO products for commercial release into the EU environment if they are approved for marketing in the EU.

There will be no changes to the rules on exporting GMOs from the UK for environmental release in non-EU countries.

You’ll only be able to import GMOs for release into the UK environment if they’re approved for marketing in the UK.