EXPLANATORY MEMORANDUM TO THE FOOD AND DRINK (MISCELLANEOUS AMENDMENTS RELATNG TO FOOD AND WINE COMPOSITION, INFORMATION AND LABELLING) REGULATIONS 2021
2021 No. [XXXX]
1.1 This Explanatory Memorandum has been prepared by the Department for
Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (“Defra”) and is laid before Parliament by Act.
1.2 This memorandum contains information for the Sifting Committees.
2. Purpose of the instrument
2.1 The amendments in this instrument apply after the end of the Transition Period
following the UK’s exit from the EU and address deficiencies arising from the UK’s
departure from the EU.
2.2 This instrument amends relevant retained direct EU legislation, concerning food
information to consumers, to address deficiencies in retained EU law arising from the
UK’s departure from the EU. It also ensures the operability of certain domestic pieces
of food legislation in England on Caseins and Honey after the end of the Transition
2.3 There are no changes to policy, however, there are substitutions which arise as a result
of the UK no longer being in the EU and which will have ‘real world’ effects on food
information and the way in which it is presented to consumers. This instrument
provides for transition to these changes and provides for enforcement arrangements
that concern how geographical indication (GI) designations on labelling of products
can be used when the UK is no longer in the EU. These are explained in detail in
section 7 of this memorandum.
What did any relevant EU law do before exit day?
2.4 Food information to consumers labelling: The Regulation (EU) No 1169/2011 of
the European Parliament and of the Council on the provision of food information to
consumers, its related Implementing Regulations and delegated acts, set out clearly
the food information that is mandatory as well as how mandatory and voluntary
information is presented to consumers. Regulation (EU) No 1169/2011 of the
European Parliament and of the Council includes the requirement for a food label to
include an address that is in the EU for the business responsible for the information on
the label. Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) No 1337/2013 sets out how the
country of origin of non-beef meat should be given when the name of a single country
is not used.
2.5 Caseins: The Caseins and Caseinates (England) Regulations 2017 transpose EU
Council Directive 2015/2203 relating to caseins and caseinates for human
consumption. Caseins must be labelled with an address that is in the EU for the
responsible business when making business-to-business exchange of goods e.g., when
in large, non-retail containers.
2.6 Honey: The Honey (England) Regulations 2015 transpose EU Council Directive
2001/110/EC relating to honey. It requires all honey labelling to include a country of
origin but allows for honey blends made from honeys from different countries to
alternatively use the terms ‘blend of EU honeys’, ‘blend of non-EU honeys’ or ‘blend
of EU and non-EU honeys’, whichever is appropriate.
2.7 Meat and minced meat (excluding beef): Commission implementing Regulation
(EU) No 1337/2013 allows meat (excluding beef) imported into and then slaughtered
in the EU to be labelled as “reared in non-EU”, and minced meat (excluding beef) to
be labelled using the origin indicators “EU” and/or “non-EU”.
2.8 Wine: Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) No 2019/934 and Commission
Implementing Regulation (EU) No 2019/935 set out authorised oenological practices,
restrictions and analysis methods applicable to wine production. Commission
Delegated Regulation (EU) No 2019/33 sets out rules on the labelling and marketing
of wine products. It also sets out detailed rules applicable to the protected designations
of origin, protected geographical indications and traditional terms schemes for wine
Why is it being changed?
2.9 Retained EU law is being amended in order to ensure operability of the legislation
after the end of the Transition Period. Consequential amendments are also being made
to relevant domestic law.
2.10 The UK is substituting some EU-centric terms for UK ones: in the options available
for labelling the origin of non-beef meat and minced meat and of blended honey and
concerning the address of the business responsible for the information on the label.
The EU-centric rules will not be appropriate for the UK.
2.11 Changes to domestic food information to consumer law will provide for a 21-month
period of adjustment for food placed on the market in England for businesses to
comply with new food business operator address and country-of-origin indication
rules. Similar provisions are planned by Wales and Scotland, so allowing for a crossGB period of adjustment.
2.12 In introducing operability changes to wine law some aspects of that law have either
become obsolete or will need to be adapted to reflect new responsibilities for
Ministers or authorities. It will also require that wine marketed in GB after the
Transition Period must show an importer or bottler located in GB on the label.
2.13 What will it now do?All food pre-packaged for the consumer will require the label to
include a UK address for the business responsible for the information on the label. An
EU address alone will no longer be sufficient for the GB market, other than as allowed
during the period of adjustment. This applies to all of the changes below, other than
2.14 Caseins: must be labelled with an address that is in the UK for the responsible
business when making business-to-business exchange of goods e.g., when in large,
non-retail containers. An EU address alone will no longer be sufficient for the UK
2.15 Honey: the rules will be amended so that the origin of blended honey can simply be
labelled as ‘a blend of honeys from more than one country’ or similar where it
comprises of honey from several countries. Provision for this is therefore included in
2.16 Meat and minced meat (excluding beef): the EU-centric terms will be substituted
with “UK” and “non-UK” in the options available for labelling the origin of non-beef
meat and minced meat. Provision for this is therefore included in the instrument.
2.17 Wine: Laws are being amended to ensure operability of the legislation immediately
upon the end of the Transition Period. The amendments will remove obsolete
references and updates responsibilities to reflect the UK is no longer in the EU. It will
also provide a 21-month period of adjustment to allow business sufficient time to
adjust to the requirement that an importer of wine must be located in GB.
2.18 Domestically, provisions for a period of adjustment have been added to the Food
Information Regulations 2014, the Country of Origin of Certain Meats (England)
Regulations 2015, the Honey (England) Regulations 2015 and the Caseins and
Caseinates (England) Regulations 2017 to allow businesses sufficient time to adjust to
these changes that arise as a result of the UK no longer being in the EU. The
provisions require enforcement bodies not to enforce against failures to comply with
the labelling rules during this period if certain conditions are met. This includes a
transitional period of three years for the use of geographical indication (GI)
designations on labelling of products, and a period of 21 months for the other labelling
changes. This is further explained at section 7.
3. Matters of special interest to Parliament
Matters of special interest to the Sifting Committees
3.1 This instrument is being laid for sifting by the Sifting Committees.
Matters relevant to Standing Orders Nos. 83P and 83T of the Standing Orders of the House
of Commons relating to Public Business (English Votes for English Laws)
3.2 As the instrument is subject to negative resolution procedure there are no matters
relevant to Standing Orders Nos. 83P and 83T of the Standing Orders of the House of
Commons relating to Public Business at this stage.
4. Extent and Territorial Application
4.1 The territorial extent and application of this instrument matches the extent and
application of the domestic regulations and retained law being amended.
4.2 As regards the retained law amended by this instrument, this is incorporated into
domestic law under section 3 of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 save
insofar as it applies to Northern Ireland for the purposes of the Northern Ireland
Protocol. Accordingly, this instrument will be of no practical application in Northern
Ireland as the Protocol instead applies the EU law provisions in Northern Ireland.
5. European Convention on Human Rights
5.1 As the instrument is subject to negative resolution procedure, no statement is required.
6. Legislative Context
6.1 This instrument is made under powers in the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018
to address deficiencies in retained EU law.
6.2 Amendments are made to the following domestic legislation:
The Food Information Regulations 2014
The Country of Origin of Certain Meats (England) Regulations 2015
The Honey (England) Regulations 2015
The Caseins and Caseinates (England) Regulations 2017
6.3 Amendments are made to the following retained EU Regulations:
Regulation (EU) No 1169/2011 of the European Parliament and of the Council
Commission implementing Regulation (EU) No 1337/2013
Commission implementing Regulation (EU) No 2018/775
Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2019/33
Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) No 2019/934
Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) No 2019/935
7. Policy background
What is being done and why?
7.1 The instrument will, as far as possible, provide that retained EU law and existing
domestic law has the same effect as current legislation, ensuring that consumers and
businesses are able, after the end of the Transition Period, to provide and make use of
the same information, presented in the same way as before. This instrument provides
for the changes that will need to be made as a result of the UK no longer being in the
7.2 Food information to consumers labelling: Food placed on the GB market will need
to bear the UK address of the food business responsible for the food information on
the label. Currently, this address may be in any of the 27 EU Member States or the
7.3 The change in 7.2 is needed to ensure there is a direct and simple way for consumers
and enforcement officers (Trading Standards) to contact those responsible for the
information provided on the label of a food.
7.4 Caseins: Provisions are included to require caseins which are sold in business-tobusiness transactions to be labelled with the address of the responsible business
operator in the UK so as to ensure accurate UK-focused information is provided on
7.5 Honey: After the end of the Transition Period it will not be appropriate for the UK to
use EU-centred terms. This instrument amends our rules so that origin blended honey
can simply be labelled as ‘a blend of honeys from more than one country’ or similar
where it comprises of honey from several countries.
7.6 Meat (excluding beef): The use of non-country specific origin ‘indicators’ for nonbeef meat as provided for in Article 6 of Regulation 1337/2013 is amended to allow the use of ‘non-UK’ rather than ‘non-EU’ in the retained version of Regulation
7.7 Minced meat (excluding beef): Non country-specific origin ‘indicators’ will continue
to be permitted for non-beef minced meat but they will change from being EU centric
e.g. “EU” and/or “Non-EU” to the new option of “non-UK” used on its own or with
“UK” as appropriate. This does not preclude the use of country specific origin
labelling of non-beef minced meat instead.
7.8 For the changes in 7.2 through to 7.7 a 21-month period of adjustment has been
provided for governing enforcement in England to allow businesses sufficient time to
adjust to these new labelling requirements.
7.9 Wine: The instrument will, as far as possible, provide that retained EU law, and
existing domestic law, has the same effect as current legislation and reflects that the
UK is no longer part of the EU. It introduces transitional arrangements that will allow
wine products to be marketed with an EU or a UK importer until 1 October 2022. It
also makes various changes to technical rules on the oenological practices and
processes to make these applicable to wine production in the UK and where necessary
the responsibilities placed on Ministers or authorities.
7.10 Geographical Indications (wines and agri-foods): Part 2 of the instrument inserts
transitional provisions into the domestic Food Information Regulations 2014 as a
result of the UK’s exit from the EU. Inserted regulation 16 (2) to (7) concern the use
of geographical indication (GI) designations on product labelling. These designations,
as at 7.13 of this document, inform the consumer that the product name has been
through a rigorous EU GI scheme application process, resulting in intellectual
property protection. Use of that product name and the accompanying GI designation
can then only be used by those verified as adhering to the product standard.
7.11 The inserted provision legislates that an authorised officer of a food authority (e.g. a
Trading Standards officer) must not serve an improvement notice for a failure to
comply with this specified labelling infringement (e.g. GI designation use on the label
of a product that does not have GI status) if that product was placed on the market
during the “relevant period” and would have complied with the law immediately
before the end of the Transition Period. That would mean in practice, any GI product
names that were protected domestically before the end of the Transition Period, but
which are no longer protected in Great Britain from 1 January 2021.
7.12 The “relevant period” is a period of three years, which begins the day after the last day
of the Transition Period. For agri-food products, the transitional provision limiting the
power of enforcement officers comes to an end at the end of the relevant period and
they are subject to enforcement action if they remain on the market after that point.
However, for wine products, the three year ‘relevant period’ does not apply and
instead they can continue to be marketed until stocks are exhausted. This approach
recognises the longer shelf-life that is typical for wine products.
7.13 This rule encompasses the following designations and acronyms referred to in the
instrument as ‘specified products’;
i. “Protected Designation of Origin” (“PDO”),
ii. “Protected Geographical Indication” (“PGI”)
iii. “Traditional Speciality Guaranteed” (“TSG”)
It also extends to EU language translations of these designations, as listed at
paragraphs 5, 6 or 7 of Annex 10 of Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) No
668/2014, as that Regulation had effect in EU law immediately before the end of
Transition Period. By virtue of these specified designations, this provision only relates
to products protected under the wine and agri-food GI schemes; it does not encompass
spirit drink or aromatised wine GIs.
7.14 It should be noted that this provision does not extend to products purporting to be, or
evoking GIs protected in Great Britain after exit; whether this protection is afforded
by their presence on the domestic GI registers, including through trade agreements.
This will ensure that the relevant enforcement body is not stopped from enforcing
against cases of product name or designation misuse after the end of the Transition
Period with regards genuine GI registered product names.
8. European Union (Withdrawal) Act/Withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the
8.1 This instrument is being made using the power in section 8 of the European Union
(Withdrawal) Act 2018 in order to address failures of retained EU law to operate
effectively or other deficiencies arising from the withdrawal of the United Kingdom
from the European Union. The instrument is also made under paragraph 21 of
Schedule 7 to the 2018 Act. In accordance with the requirements of that Act the
Minister has made the relevant statements as detailed in Part 2 of the Annex to this
9.1 Defra does not intend to consolidate the relevant legislation at this time.
10. Consultation outcome
10.1 Food information to consumers labelling: The public consultation, Food Labelling:
Amending Laws, was carried out in the 4 weeks up to the 4th December 2018. A
Government response was issued on the 5th February 2019.
10.2 Honey and Caseins: Policy options for the labelling of honey blends and minor
amendments to the Caseins and Caseinates Regulations were covered in a 4-week
public consultation which closed on 13th November 2018.
10.3 The consultation in the case of honey labelling explored the different options and
policy positions as tackled by these amending regulations.
10.4 The response rate was low, and Defra considers this was due to the extensive and
prolonged consultation activity with key stakeholders that took place since the
beginning of that year which had already informed the development of proposals
which were subject to formal consultation.
10.5 The responses favoured in their majority the option for labelling honey blends now
represented in the text of the secondary legislation subject of this explanatory
memorandum. No substantive comments were received during the consultation
regarding minor amendments proposed.
10.6 The responses to these consultations were considered in deciding that the period of
adjustment should be 21 months.
10.7 Wine: We have been in regular contact with the Wine and Spirits Trade Association
who represent the majority of wine sector businesses in the UK and Food Standards
Agency and Food Standards Scotland who are our designated competent control body.
Both have supported the work we are doing to make wine law operational in the UK
and the introduction of transitional measures for labelling wine products and removing
or reducing relabelling costs.
10.8 Geographical Indications: The three-year labelling transition period applied here
aligns with the three-year period until use of the new UK GI logo becomes mandatory.
The latter was publicly consulted upon in Autumn 2018 and agreed by the majority of
respondents. The same transitional timing has therefore been applied to this form of
GI labelling too.
10.9 The Devolved Administrations have been informed throughout the making of this SI
and they are content.
11.1 Relevant guidance will be updated and published.
12.1 There is no significant impact on business, charities or voluntary bodies.
12.2 There is no significant impact on the public sector.
12.3 An Impact Assessment has not been prepared for this instrument as its purpose is to
maintain the operability of the existing regimes.
13. Regulating small business
13.1 The legislation applies to activities that are undertaken by small businesses.
13.2 No disproportionate impacts are expected to impact small and micro businesses.
14. Monitoring & review
14.1 As these instruments are made under the powers in the European Union (Withdrawal)
Act 2018, no review clause is required. Defra and its agencies will, however, monitor
and review the impact of the instruments as part of its standard policy-making
procedures, and will ensure that the provisions are adhered to.