The UK has left the European Union (EU) and become a ‘third country’, which means UK products will become imports into the EU.
If you have customers in the EU they will become importers and will need to be assured that the products you supply meet EU importation requirements.
Most UK food regulations are the same as EU regulations and the UK Government plans to convert EU law into UK law when we exit the EU. However, you may need to make some changes so that you can continue to export your products to the EU.
Food business will have 21 months to make any labelling changes for products being sold in the UK except where a transition period is not possible, for example use of the EU organic logo.
The government has provided guidance on how to prepare if the UK leaves the EU without a deal. This includes information on importing and exporting, labelling products and making them safe.
The Food Standards Agency and other parts of government have published extensive advice on the steps that businesses may need to take to prepare for our exit from the EU. Businesses should visit the EU exit page of the GOV.UK website to check how they will be affected and what actions they can take to prepare.
The Food Standards Agency’s advice can also be found on their website at: Prepare your business for the UK leaving the EU
You must include a UK address for the Food Business Operator (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.
- See Food labelling changes after Brexit on the GOV.UK website .
- See Preparing for the EU exit if you're a business in the food and drink sector on the GOV.UK website .
Health and identification marks
Use of the term ‘EU’ in origin labelling would no longer be correct for food or ingredients from the UK.
Importing animals, animal products and high-risk food and feed not of animal origin after EU Exit.
If you're importing high-risk food and feed not of animal origin, ensure that those consignments enter the UK at a Designated Point of Entry (DPE). Find out more on the FSA website .
If importing from the rest of the world via the EU, make sure that those consignments enter the UK at a Border Inspection Post (BIP) or a DPE.
If importing most fish and fish products between the UK and EU, you will need a catch certificate. Guidance is available on exporting and importing fish if there’s no Brexit deal.
Preparing your business
If your business deals in food, or animal feed, your responsibility to make sure it is safe will remain a requirement of law from day one of the UK leaving the EU. For most businesses, the current requirements of food and feed law will continue to apply with no or limited changes.
- Read more about preparing your food business for the UK leaving the EU on the Food Standards Agency website .
- Visit GOV.UK to access an online tool for helping businesses to prepare for Brexit .
- See Preparing businesses for EU Exit on the Best Growth Hub website for information that will help you understand how leaving the EU may affect your business.
Please contact the Environmental Health Food Safety Team if you require an export certificate or “Health attestation” . We charge businesses for this service – visit the Exported and Imported Foods page for further details.