UK labelling changes: Food from NI can be labelled ‘Origin EU’ post Brexit

Food labelling changes which will come into effect from January 1, 2021, have been revealed by the UK government.

In a document updated yesterday (Thursday, November 5) the change guidelines noted that food from Northern Ireland (NI) can continue to be labelled ‘Origin EU’ or ‘Origin UK’.

This will be the case both for food sold in the UK itself and food exported to the EU.

Goods sold in GB and NI

For goods sold in Great Britain (GB) and Northern Ireland, under the heading of ‘country of origin labels’, the guideline document says:

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’.

Meanwhile, it notes: “You should label food from and sold in NI as ‘UK(NI)’ or ‘United Kingdom (Northern Ireland)’ where EU law requires member state from January 1, 2021.

“You may label food from NI and sold in GB as ‘UK(NI)’, ‘United Kingdom (Northern Ireland)’ or ‘UK’.

“Food from and sold in GB can be labelled as ‘origin EU’ until 30 September 2022.”

From October 1, 2022, food from GB must not be labelled as ‘origin EU’, the statement notes.

Products exported to the EU

Meanwhile, regarding country of origin labelling for products exported to the EU, it was noted:

“Food from GB must not be labelled as ‘origin EU’ from January 1, 2021,” the document says.

Food from NI can continue to use ‘origin EU’. You should label food from NI as ‘UK(NI)’ or ‘United Kingdom (Northern Ireland)’ where EU law requires member state from January 1, 2021.

This news will come as welcome news for agri-food companies involved in cross-border food production.