Reviewed in November 2020. Content will be updated as negotiations develop.

Northern Ireland will leave the European Union single market in services on 1 January 2021 together with the rest of the UK.  At present, producers across Europe (including the UK) adhere to a common set of standards in terms of labelling – this includes use of EU emblems and logos as well as compliance and conformity marking. However, from the end of the transition period, there are several changes that Irish businesses will need to be cognisant of when seeking to continue trading with UK firms.

Labelling – Useful Links

Food Labelling

Useful UK (NI) Links:

This UK  link provides further information on Food and Drink labelling changes from 1 January 2021. Key topic areas include, Exporting to the EU, Food Business Operator (FBO) Address, EU Organic Logo, EU Emblem, EU Health and Identification Marks as well as Country of Origin Labels. We would encourage you to take time to identify where these are relevant in your business. 

Useful Ireland Links:

This link provides more information on food labelling in Ireland as well as Brexit. Some of the areas covered include addresses and origin labelling. We encourage you to avail of this information to prepare your business for the end of the transition period. 

Food producers in Ireland will continue to use EU labelling when exporting food products to the UK, however there are additional responsibilities on Irish importers of food products when bringing in food from non-EU countries. 

Reach Regulations

Useful UK (NI) Links:

To keep updated on Reach Regulations in the UK following the end of the transition period, click here.

For more information on how to comply with Reach Chemical Regulations, click  here.

Useful Ireland Links:

Guidance from the Health and Safety Authority can be viewed  here.

Organic Production Logo

Useful UK (NI) Links: 

One area where there will be some changes following the transition period is in labelling organic food products. If you are a business wishing to register a food product as organic, you are required to register with an organic control body.

For further information, we recommend visiting this link. Additionally, if you would like additional information regarding Organic Standards, click here.

Ireland:

Due to continued membership of the EU, Ireland food producers will continue to use the EU Organic Logo on pre-packaged organic food. However, from 1 January 2021, businesses in Northern Ireland will no longer be able to use the EU Organic Logo unless the control body is authorised by the EU or there is an agreement between the UK and the EU whereby they recognise each other’s standards. 

We would encourage you to visit this link if you require further information. 

CE Marking

Useful UK (NI) Links:

For further information on CE Marking, we encourage you to follow this link to the UK Government website.

Useful Ireland Links:

For businesses based in Ireland, more information on CE Marking can be found here.

Declarations of Conformity

Useful UK (NI) Links:

The UK Declaration of Conformity is a document which must be drawn up for most products lawfully bearing a UKCA marking. For businesses based in NI, we suggest visiting this link for further information.

Useful Ireland Links:

For businesses based in Ireland, we encourage you to click here for more information. 

Key Tips

Below are some important key points to remember: 

  • Additional Responsibilities: Food producers in Ireland will continue to use EU labelling when exporting food products to the UK, however there are additional responsibilities on Irish importers of food products when bringing in food from non-EU countries.
  • Addresses: Any producer who wishes to export food or beverages from the UK into the EU (including Ireland) from 1 January 2021 will need to have either an EU or a Northern Ireland address on their products’ labels. There may therefore be a requirement for Irish importers to supply this information to UK based suppliers in order for trade to continue, particularly if the supplier does not have any operations within the EU.
  • Food that has already been placed in the EU market prior to the end of the transition period can continue to be sold without requiring updated labels.

When exporting products to another EU country in addition to CE Marking it is important to consider the following:

  • Ensure all labelling meets the requirements of the individual country you are exporting to. Whilst most rules apply EU wide some countries may have specific requirements for certain products.
  • Labelling should be the language of the country the product is sold in.
  • Adapt your packaging to suit the needs of customers in a specific country.
  • Ensure your product can cope with transport to reach to place of sale.