New ‘Not for EU’ labelling requirements for moving meat and dairy products from Great Britain to Northern Ireland are now in place under the Northern Ireland Retail Movement Scheme.

The scheme is part of the Windsor Framework which was agreed in February this year between the UK and the EU to restore the smooth flow of trade within the UK internal market.

“Not for EU” product labels are now required on all prepacked meat products and some dairy products, including pasteurised milk, entering Northern Ireland from Great Britain.

Moving through the “green lane” into Northern Ireland, new labelling requirements ensure that goods are not moved onwards into the Republic of Ireland and therefore enter the EU.

Under the scheme, which came into effect on October 1, businesses will no longer need to complete multiple export health certificates or put an EU address on individual products.

‘Not for EU’ labels

These new labelling requirements under the Northern Ireland Retail Movement Scheme will be brought in through three phases from October 2023 to July 2025.

However, food products that were moved into Northern Ireland before October 1, 2023, will not need to be individually labelled until October 31, 2023, the UK government said.

Under the scheme there will be a significant reduction in the level of visual identifications checks, starting at 10% in October 2023, reduced to 8% in October 2024, and 5% in July 2025.

There will also not be any set physical check levels on goods moved under the scheme. Any physical checks will be based solely on risk assessments conducted by UK authorities.

Movements which do not qualify under the scheme will move through the “red lane” and are subject to full checks and controls and full customs procedures for movement into the EU.

From October 1, 2024, all milk and dairy products, and from July 1, 2025, composite products, fruit, vegetables and fish moving to Northern Ireland will need to be individually labelled.

Qualifying traders and businesses can now register for the Northern Ireland Retail Movement Scheme, or conclude pre-registered applications on the UK government website.

The new scheme, according to the UK government, will ensure that consumers and businesses in Northern Ireland will have access to the same goods as the rest of the UK.