News article

Brexit: Export composite food products to the EU

4 February 2020

What counts as a composite food product, and the rules you’ll need to follow to export these products from 1 January 2021

There are certain EU standards you will need to comply with to export composite food products to the EU from 1 January 2021. 

What is a composite food product?
Composite food products are for human consumption only.
They contain a mix of:

  • processed products of animal origin (POAO)
  • plant products used as a main ingredient - not just added for flavouring or processing

Examples are:

  • lasagne
  • pork pies
  • pepperoni pizza
  • cream liqueurs
  • chicken burritos

You can continue to export these composite products to the EU from 1 January 2021.

What does not count as a composite food product?
These products do not count as composite foods:

  • food made from unprocessed POAO, such as fresh chicken
  • plant-based food products with no POAO content
  • food not intended for human consumption

Food with small amounts of plant products, such as oil or herbs, are not composite products. This is because the oil or herbs are only added for processing purposes or to give extra flavour.

Some examples are:

  • cheeses with added herbs
  • sausages with garlic
  • yogurts with added fruit

These foods would be classed as dairy, meat or plant products. You should use the following guidance to export:

If a product does not meet the composite product definition but has several types of POAO in its contents, you’ll need an export health certificate (EHC) for each individual POAO component in the product.

How to export composite food products from 1 January 2021
Before you start, you’ll need to check if your product is exempt from EU border post inspections.

If you do not have an exemption, you’ll need to follow these steps.

Find out how export composite foods exempt from inspection at an EU border post