On 24 December 2020, the European Union and the United Kingdom reached an agreement in principle on the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement. Content on the site is being monitored to reflect this and the changes.

Under the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland there are to be no tariffs or Customs controls on the island of Ireland, regardless of the outcome of the EU-UK Free Trade Agreement (FTA) negotiations. Goods moving between Northern Ireland and the rest of the EU will also continue to move freely. Great Britain (GB) will be outside the EU Single Market and Customs Union.

Content on the site is being monitored to reflect the new Trade Agreement and any changes to the content below will be updated in the coming days

Content

·        Food labelling (address of the Food Business Operator).

·        Country of Origin labelling.

·        Nutrition-related labelling.

·        Organic product logo.

·        Chemicals classification, labelling and packaging.

Food Labelling – Address of the Food Business Operator 
Ireland and Northern Ireland

Goods sold in Northern Ireland will continue to follow EU rules for food labelling. Pre-packaged food that is placed on the market in the EU or sold in Northern Ireland, must have the EU or Northern Ireland address of the food business operator or importer on its packaging.

Companies selling pre-packaged food to GB can continue to use an EU, GB or Northern Ireland address for the food business operator until 30 September 2022. From 1 October 2022, a UK address will be required for the food business operator or importer.

For further information, please see FSAI and HMRC guidance.

Country of Origin Labels 
Ireland and Northern Ireland

Food from GB must not be labelled as ‘origin EU’. However, food from Northern Ireland can continue to use ‘origin EU’. Where EU law requires the Member State origin on the product, food from Northern Ireland should be labelled as ‘UK(NI)’ or ‘United Kingdom (Northern Ireland)’. Where EU law does not require an EU Member State to be indicated, food from and sold in NI can continue to use ‘origin EU’ or ‘origin UK’.


Useful Information

Food from Northern Ireland which is sold in GB may be labelled ‘UK(NI)’, ‘United Kingdom (Northern Ireland)’ or ‘UK’.  GB has also said that food from and sold in GB can be labelled as ‘origin EU’ until 30 September 2022.   There are particular rules for beef & veal, eggs, fruit & vegetables, honey blends, minced meat and olive oils – available here.


Organic Product Logo
Ireland and Northern Ireland

Ireland will remain a member of the EU, with food producers in Ireland continuing to use the EU organic logo.

From January 2021, goods from GB will not be able to be exported as organic food or feed to the EU, unless the control body is authorised by the EU to certify UK goods for EU export or if the EU and UK agree an equivalency deal (to recognise each other’s standards) as part of the ongoing trade negotiations.

GB businesses can still export their products using non-organic labelling if they meet all other marketing standards and if organic labelling is removed or covered.

Great Britain will recognise the EU as equivalent for the purpose of trade in organics until 31 December 2021 (i.e. organic products from Ireland can continue to enter GB until this date).

Northern Ireland

Organic products placed on the market in Northern Ireland will need to comply with EU regulations. Organic products moving from Northern Ireland to the EU will be treated as Single Market goods.

However, organic products shipped from GB to Northern Ireland will be treated as imported organic products and will have to comply with EU organic product import rules.

Control bodies established in Northern Ireland will continue to be considered as control bodies established in an EU Member State and may provide certification.

EU guidance on this subject is available here, Food Safety Authority of Ireland guidance here, and UK guidance here.

Nutrition-Related Labelling
Ireland and Northern Ireland

EU law on food composition, ingredients and limits for contaminants/residues applies to all food placed on the EU market – no matter where it was produced.  

EU legislation relating to nutrition-related labelling will apply in Northern Ireland

Trade from Northern Ireland to GB can continue to take place as it does now without new nutrition-related labelling restrictions.

Useful information

GOV.UK guidance here.

For more information, see EU guidance here and UK guidance here.

Chemicals Classification, Labelling and Packaging
Chemicals Classification, Labelling and Packaging

Chemicals (substances or mixtures) placed on the market in Northern Ireland must continue to comply with the EU Chemicals Classification, Labelling and Packaging Regulation .

Where notification is required of the hazard classification and labelling of substances placed on the Northern Ireland market, businesses in Northern Ireland should do so to through the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA).

Downstream users and distributors in Northern Ireland who are supplied by businesses in the EU/EEA won’t face new requirements.

For chemicals traded from GB to Northern Ireland, the responsibility for the classification, labelling and packaging of chemicals will rest with the Northern Ireland-based business that places the chemical on the Northern Ireland market, even if it is currently a downstream user or distributor.

Further guidance is available here for Northern Ireland, and here for Great Britain.

Key Tips
Key Tips

Below are some important key tips 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.