News article

Brexit: Hops and hops products marketing standards

12 September 2019

Marketing standards for hops producers, manufacturers, retailers and distributors after Brexit

Currently, hops marketed in the EU (including the UK) must meet rules on marketing standards. This includes hops extracts, hop cones and ground, pellets or powdered hops cones.

To show that they meet these standards, imports to the UK:

  • from non-EU (third) countries, must have an Attestation of Equivalence
  • from the EU, must have an EU hops certificate

The Rural Payments Agency (RPA) inspects at least 5 per cent of hops imports from each non-EU country. The UK does not currently inspect imports of hops from the EU.

Hops produced in the UK are issued with EU hops certificates from hops certification centres. With some exceptions, the certificates are needed for:

  • marketing hops in the EU (including the UK)
  • exporting hops

Hops produced in the UK after Brexit
Certification centres will still issue hops certificates for hops produced in the UK if there’s a no-deal Brexit.

UK hops certification centres must remove all EU branding (including references to the EU and the EU emblem) from certificates from exit day. The form of the certificate and the process for getting a certificate will not change.

Importing hops to the UK after Brexit
Hops imported into the UK must be accompanied by one of the following as evidence that they meet UK marketing standards:

  • the new UK Attestation of Equivalence issued by an authorised third country agency for hops imported from non-EU countries
  • EU Attestation of Equivalence issued by an authorised third country agency for hops imported from non-EU countries (can be used until 31 October 2021)
  •  EU certificate for hops imported from the EU (can be used until 31 October 2021) - this must comply with EU rules and can be issued by a body authorised by an EU member state

Any authorised agency listed in Annex I of EC Regulation 1295/2008 can issue UK or EU Attestations of Equivalence. Other agencies can apply for authorisation in due course.

UK Attestation of Equivalence
After 31 October 2021, all hop imports from the EU and other third countries must be accompanied by a new UK Attestation of Equivalence. This must be issued by an authorised third country agency. A list of these agencies will be published on GOV.UK when they are available. Agencies currently registered with the EU will be registered with the UK when the UK leaves the EU.

The UK may stop accepting EU Attestations of Equivalence and EU certificates before 31 October 2021 if EU marketing standards for hops fall below UK standards.

The RPA will inspect 5 per cent of hops imported from the EU if there’s a no-deal Brexit. These checks will take place inland at processing centres. This is the same as the inspection process for imports of hops from non-EU countries.

Exporting hops to the EU after Brexit
There may be a period during which the UK cannot export hops to the EU if there’s a no-deal Brexit.

This is because the EU only accepts imports of hops accompanied by an EU Attestation of Equivalence, issued by an authorised agency in the exporting third country.

The UK government will apply to register the Rural Payments Agency (RPA) as the hops authorised agency, however it cannot start the registration process until exit day. The RPA will not be able to issue Attestations of Equivalence until the registration is complete.

Labelling rules
If you export hops and hops products to the EU after Brexit, you must include the following information on each unit of packaging:

  • description of the product
  • variety or varieties
  • country of origin
  • marks and numbers indicated in section 9 of the Attestation of Equivalence or the extract

How to apply for an EU Attestation of Equivalence
Once the application process opens, you can apply for an EU Attestation of Equivalence by sending the RPA:

  • the RPA Attestation of Equivalence application form (coming soon)
  • the EU Attestation of Equivalence template (coming soon)
  • the hops certificate issued by a UK hops certification centre for that consignment

Exporting hops to third countries via the EU
Hops consignments will need an Attestation of Equivalence and any documents requested by the third country if they:

Exporting hops to non-EU countries after Brexit
There will be no changes to the process of exporting hops from the UK directly to non-EU countries.
Some non-EU countries may require an export certificate for each consignment. You should check with the individual country that you’re exporting to on its rules.