News article

Brexit: Egg marketing standards

4 February 2020

Marketing standards for egg producers, manufacturers, retailers and distributors from1 January 2021

Certain changes to the egg marketing standard will apply from 1 January 2021. This is relevant to egg producers, manufacturers, retailers and distributors.

Importing eggs to the UK from the EU and non-EU countries
The marketing standards requirements for egg imports have not been published yet. Check the GOV.UK guidance for updates. 

Exporting eggs from the UK to the EU
The UK is no longer a member of the EU and from 1 January 2021 will be classed as a ‘third’ country. This means there may be a period during which the UK cannot export eggs to the EU. This is because the EU may want to carry out an assessment called ‘an evaluation of equivalence’ to see:

  • whether the UK is meeting requirements under the EU egg marketing regulations
  • the UK’s rules for marking, labelling, controls and farming methods
  • how the rules are being put into practice

You will need to follow the EU’s regulations for eggs from non-EU (third) countries, however, your exports may be delayed or rejected at an EU border until after the evaluation. This guidance will be updated as soon as more information is available.

EU regulations for eggs imported from non-EU (third) countries
If you export eggs from the UK to the EU, you will need to follow EU regulations for eggs imported from third countries into the EU.

Under these regulations, you must mark individual eggs with one of the UK’s ISO 3166 country codes. The UK has three variations of the ISO code:

  • GB
  • GBR
  • 826

GB is the most commonly used. Eggs without the correct code may be delayed or rejected at an EU border.

You must also continue to mark UK eggs with the:

  • producer code for Class A eggs
  • producer code or another indication as specified in the regulations for Class B eggs

You can continue to use codes which contain the letters ‘UK’.

You must mark eggs exported directly from a UK production site to the food industry in the EU with the ISO code.

Customs checks
If you are exporting eggs or egg products to the EU after the UK leaves the EU, there may be extra customs checks.

Eggs and egg products, along with all products of animal origin, should enter the EU via a border inspection post (BIP), accompanied by a signed export health certificate.

For more information see exporting animals, animal products, fish and fishery products.

Class A eggs
If you are exporting Class A eggs, EU officials may carry out EU marketing standards checks at customs. EU marketing standards for eggs are the regulations currently in force in the UK.

Class B eggs
EU officials may carry out marketing standards checks at customs to verify your Class B eggs are going to the processing industry.
Class B eggs must have documentation with them showing the processing industry as their final destination. Without this information, EU customs officials may stop your eggs from entering the EU.

All other marketing requirements for eggs will remain the same.

Trading between Northern Ireland and Ireland
Find out how to trade between Northern Ireland and Ireland.

Exporting eggs from the UK to non-EU countries
Eggs for export to non-EU countries may need to comply with different requirements for:

  • quality
  • marking
  • labelling

You should check the import requirements of the country you’re exporting to.