Food labelling and packaging for export and import

Food labelling rules for fruit and vegetables in Northern Ireland and European Union


Marketing standards are enforced by the Rural Payments Agency (RPA).

General marketing standards require most fruit and vegetables to be labelled with their country of origin. The standard requires produce to be intact, clean, sufficiently mature, free from rot and free from pests and pest damage. However, several common products are not covered by the general marketing standard.

They include:

  • potatoes
  • coconuts
  • sugarcane
  • sweetcorn
  • wild mushrooms
  • chilli peppers
  • capers
  • Brazil nuts
  • bitter or shelled almonds
  • shelled hazelnuts and walnuts
  • olives
  • pine nuts
  • bananas
  • saffron
  • ginger
  • peanuts
  • sweet potatoes and yams

Specific marketing standards cover these products:

  • fruits - apples, citrus fruit, kiwi fruit, peaches and nectarines, pears, strawberries, and table grapes
  • vegetables and salads - lettuces, curly- and broad-leaved endives, sweet peppers and tomatoes

Labelling required includes country of origin, packer name and address, quality class and for some products a size/count and/or a variety/type.

If you import or export any of the fruit and vegetables listed above with specific marketing standards into or from Northern Ireland from or to any country outside of the European Union (EU) for selling fresh, you will require a Certificate of Conformity before your goods can be released into or from free circulation within the EU.

You do not require a certificate if the goods are to be used for processing, or for most other fruit, vegetables, nuts and herbs.

Traders in England and Wales must obtain a Certificate of Conformity through a Procedure for Electronic Application for Certificates (PEACH).

PEACH only applies to Scotland and Northern Ireland businesses whose imports arrive via either England or Wales. Importers from Northern Ireland should contact the DAERA Helpline on Tel 028 9052 4999 for further advice.