Brexit: Food labelling changes

News article

Advice for food businesses on the changes to food labels from 1 January 2021

The rules for what you must show on food labels will change for some food and drink products from 1 January 2021.

If you export food products to the EU

The EU has issued guidance on labelling changes required from 1 January 2021.

Check with your EU importer how the EU’s new labelling requirements affect your products.

Food products placed on the EU market before 1 January 2021 can continue to be sold, distributed or transferred in the EU without labelling changes. In EU law, ‘placed on the EU market’ means they’re:

  • held in the EU for the purpose of sale, including offering for sale or any other form of transfer, whether free of charge or not
  • sold, distributed or transferred to the EU in another way

Food business operator (FBO) address
Pre-packaged food and caseins must have an EU address for the FBO or EU importer on the packaging or food label.

EU organic logo
You must not use the EU organics logo from 1 January 2021 unless:

  • 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.

If the UK does not reach an equivalency deal with the EU, you cannot export organic food or feed from the UK to the EU.

You can continue to use your UK organic control body logo.

Read more about trading and labelling organic food from 1 January 2021.

EU emblem
You must not use the EU emblem on goods produced in the UK from 1 January 2021 unless you have been authorised by the EU to do so.

EU health and identification marks
On products of animal origin (POAO), you must replace the EU oval health and identification marks with new UK health and identification marks.

Country of origin labels
UK food must not be labelled as origin ‘EU’ from 1 January 2021.

Goods sold in the UK

EU health and identification marks
You can continue to use the EU oval health and identification mark on products of animal origin (POAO) produced and sold in the UK until 1 January 2021.

From 1 January 2021, you must use the new UK health and identification marks for POAO to clearly show the UK product has been subjected to strict health and welfare checks.

Read the Food Standards Agency’s guidance on the new health and identification marks.

Food business operator (FBO) address
You must include a UK address for the FBO on pre-packaged food or caseins sold in the UK. If the FBO is not in the UK, include the address of your importer.

EU organic logo
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 approved UK organic control body logo.

Find out more about trading and labelling organic food from 1 January 2021.

Country of origin for mixed foods and eggs
Some foods must be labelled with the specific country or countries of origin.

You must continue to include this from 1 January 2021.

You can label the food as EU origin if it’s from a remaining member state.

Food produced in the UK must not be labelled as ‘EU origin’ from 1 January 2021.

You can read about egg marketing standards from 1 January 2021.

Minced meat
You must change references to the EU with UK when the label does not list each country of origin. For example, ‘origin EU and non-EU’ changes to ‘origin UK and non-UK’.

Fruit and vegetables
You must replace references to the EU with UK on the label for mixes of UK fruit and vegetables. For example, ‘a mix of EU and non-EU origin’ changes to ‘a mix of UK and non-UK origin’.

If you’re part of the Approved Trader Scheme, you must remove the EU emblem from your UK food labels. You can use the replacement UK label instead.

Blended honeys and olive oil
You must list each country of origin on the label, or state ‘blend of [honeys/olive oils] from more than one country’ (or similar wording) on the label.

Beef and veal
Your label must state ‘Origin: non-UK’ if the animal your beef or veal came from was born, reared or slaughtered outside of the UK and EU.

You should replace ‘live import into the EC’ with ‘beef from a live import into the UK’ where you do not know the origin country of the animal.

Eggs
You should mark eggs from non-EU countries that do not meet UK egg trade regulations as ‘Non-UK standard’ rather than ‘Non-EC standard’.

Geographical Indication (GI) logo
GI-protected food or drink products (except wine or spirits) must use the relevant UK logo. Guidance on the UK schemes, including the new logos, will be released before 1 January 2021.

The logo use is optional for GI-protected wine or spirits.

The UK will set up its own GI schemes from 1 January 2021. You’ll have 3 years from the launch of the UK schemes to adopt the relevant UK logo on food and agricultural product packaging.

Find out more about protecting food and drink names from 1 January 2021.