A Festive Look at Food Labelling After Brexit

A Festive Look at Food Labelling After Brexit

If you’ve come to the Linguistica Translation and Recruitment blog in search of some sort of festive jamboree, complete with reindeers, elves and the big man himself, then you’re going to be disappointed. I’m afraid it’s been that kind of year. Instead, we’ve laid on a wonderfully festive platter of post-Brexit food labelling tips for you. Granted, they may not be particularly jolly, but they could prove to be jolly useful.

Whether or not a deal with the EU is in place, on 31 December 2020, the transition period will end and everything (in regard to food labelling) will change. Here’s what you need to know.

Food labelling after Brexit: What do you need to do?

Any business that exports goods to the EU of any kind will have to make a few changes to comply with the relevant import/export rules. All UK products that are exported to the EU/EEA will have to replace ‘Made in the EU’ with ‘Made in the UK’. That’s not the case in Northern Ireland, where EU labelling rules will remain in place. That’s the result of an agreement between the UK and the EU to avoid a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

UK food products sold in the EU will have until 1 January 2021 to make the necessary labelling changes. However, that does not apply to products that are already on the market, which can continue to be sold with the old labelling.

  • Food Business Operator (FBO) Address

One of the biggest changes to food labels after Brexit is that UK food producers exporting to the EU will have to include an EU food business operator address on their packaging. To do that, they will either need to open a legal entity in the EU or designate an EU-based importer.

  • Country of Origin

In the EU, some foodstuffs such as fruits and vegetables, meat, fish, eggs, wine and olive oil must show their exact country of origin, while for other foodstuffs, simply ‘EU’ or ‘non-EU’ will do. From 1 January 2021, food produced in the UK for EU markets cannot be labelled ‘Origin: EU’. It’s a small change but one that you must make.

  • Organic Products

From 1 January 2021, organic food produced in the UK and sold in the EU can no longer display the EU organic emblem. Critically, until an equivalent status has been assigned by the EU to UK standards, organic producers may not be able to export their produce to the EU at all.

  • EU Emblem

UK food producers selling goods in the EU must not use the EU emblem on their labels from 1 January 2021, unless they have been authorised to do so by the EU.

Get prepared NOW!

Although the food labelling changes after Brexit shouldn’t be too problematic for most UK exporters, labelling changes can be costly and difficult to manage. At Linguistica International, we can help you produce food labelling quickly in multiple on-pack languages so you can hit the ground running when the new regulations come in.

Give us a call on 02392 987 765 or email info@linguistica-international.com to discuss your requirements with our team.