Trading and labelling organic food if there’s no Brexit deal

Understand the rules that will apply to you when producing, processing, labelling and trading organic food if the UK leaves the EU with no deal.

Rules from 29 March 2019 (may also apply to new exit date on 31 December 2020)

When the UK leaves the EU, EU laws will no longer apply. The UK will have its own laws for the production, processing, labelling and trading of organic food and feed.

Organic standards will stay the same and organic regulations will remain similar to the EU’s.

Food and feed registered as organic in the EU will continue to be accepted as organic in the UK at the UK’s discretion.

The EU will decide whether to continue accepting food and feed registered in the UK as organic.

Certificates and labels

If the UK leaves the EU without a deal or an equivalency arrangement – where both still recognise each other’s standards – the rules in this guidance will apply.

If you grow, process, or import organic food for trade within the UK, you will still need to be certified by an approved UK organic control body.

If you produce, process, sell, or import organic food, you can continue to label it with details of your organic control body.

Displaying logos

You must not use the EU organic logo on any UK organic food or feed after the UK leaves the EU unless equivalency is agreed.

You can continue to use your UK organic control body logo.

Read more guidance on Food labelling changes after Brexit.

Importing organic food

After EU Exit, most importing arrangements with the EU and non-EU countries will not change. You should contact your control body for specific advice.

However, you will no longer use the EU’s Trade Control and Expert System New Technology (TRACES NT) when importing organic food and feed.

Instead, you will use a manual UK organic import system. This is temporary while a new digital system is being built.

These systems allow UK authorities to track the movement and origin of organic food and feed, to ensure standards are met. They provide confidence that the food is certified organic.

All imported consignments will need to be accompanied by a certificate of inspection (CoI).

Exporting organic food to the EU

Unless an equivalency deal is reached with the EU, or your UK control body is recognised by the EU, you will not be able to export organic food or feed to the EU.

Exporting organic food to non-EU (third) countries

Once the UK leaves the EU it will become a non-EU (third) country.

The EU currently has equivalency arrangements with a number of non-EU countries.

If equivalency is not agreed between the UK and non-EU countries after EU Exit, different rules for exporting will apply. This is still under discussion.

The UK has no control over what export rules other countries will set.

Some non-EU countries may require an export certificate for each consignment. You should check with the individual country that you want to export to on its rules.

Some countries accept UK goods without an equivalency arrangement. Trading rules for these should stay the same.

Published 18 February 2019

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