How will food and drink labelling requirements change when we leave the EU?

How will food and drink labelling requirements change when we leave the EU?

Guest writer Isabel Lawson looks at the changes coming in EU labelling requirements for UK producers.

Once the ‘transition period’ ends on 31st December 2020, the UK will be subject to different labelling requirements.

Sectors, of course, will have different requirements but key changes applying to the export of all products will be:

  • Rules of origin– companies will have to demonstrate the originating status of goods traded into the EU.
  • Authorisation markings – marketing authorisations issued by UK authorities will no longer be valid for placing products on the EU market.

Some sectors have smaller changes while others will have to undergo more significant and large-scale changes in their requirements.

Focusing more specifically at the food and drink sector, smaller but more numerous changes will need to be made.

All food placed on the EU market from 1st January 2021 will have to meet EU rules.

‘Placed on the EU market’ refers to when a written or verbal agreement (or offer of an agreement) is made to transfer ownership, or possession, or other rights in the product.

It is helpful to note that, all food placed on the EU market PRIOR to this date will NOT be subject to the new requirements.

Things to avoid

  • Using the EU emblem
  • Labelling of food as ‘origin EU’
  • The EU organics logo*

*The EU organics logo may be used, but only if you have been authorised by the EU to do so.


New requirements

As of the 1st January 2021, the new requirements call for all pre-packaged food and caseins to have an EU or NI address for the FBO (Food Business Operator). Additionally, new health and identification marks must be used for POAO (Products of Animal Origin) produced and placed on the market. The new GI logo (Geographical Indication), which the UK will set up from 1st January 2021, must be used on products registered after the transition period. Products registered prior to 1st January 2021 will have until 1st January 2024 to change their packaging display logo.

CE marking

It is important to note that CE marking WILL remain the same for trading into the EU and the UKCA marking only applies to goods traded within the UK market.

This information is only a brief overview of the changes, for a more extensive coverage and understanding head to or get in touch with the International Trade Matters team today for helpful advice from experienced specialists.

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