As we approach the 31st October, we thought it would be a good idea to provide you with some details on what it means to packaging claims for the UK following BREXIT.

Although law has been passed that says we cannot leave the EU without a deal, at present we don’t know what could happen. So, here are some details of what you need to be aware of, if we do leave without a deal.

BREXIT without a deal – exported products

Any products exported from the UK will no longer, with immediate effect, be allowed to use on the packaging the following:

  1. Any EU logos, including EU organic logos
  2. The EU healthmark
  3. A UK Address as main contact only
  4. Any EU terms which refer to the UK as being part of the EU, such as ‘Made in the EU’

Product claims must use the UK equivalent replacements for each instead:

  • EU organic logo
    You can replace the EU organic logo with a UK organic certification logo.  However, a UK alternative will not be allowed unless it is approved and accepted by the EU (which we’re unclear about at the moment).
  • The EU logo
    This will not longer be allowed, under any circumstances and therefore there is not alternative and it must be removed from the packaging all together.
  • The EU healthmark
    You will need to remove reference to the EU on the healthmark and replace it with you GB, UK or United Kingdom. The health mark must be an oval mark at least 6.5 cm wide by 4.5 cm. Letters must be at least 0.8 cm high and figures at least 1 cm high.
  • UK address
    You now need to replace (or add as well) an address in the EU, for customers to contact.
  • Made in the EU
    This claim now needs replacing with something like ‘Made in the UK’.
  • Invoicing
    You need to make sure that your company’s UK EORI code (Economic Operator Registration and Identification number), which is the number  generated by HMRC – is on the invoice so it’s traceable.

BREXIT without a deal – products that are sold in the UK and not exported

All claims for products made in the UK and sold only in the UK (and therefore, not exported) have to follow the same rules as above, however there will be a 21-month transition period based on the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018.

BREXIT with a deal – exported products

As we don’t know what the deal may look like, we can only speculate about it. It is expected that we will be given a set amount of time to phase out the old packaging and update the claims, in line with the information above.

Exported products
We can use the following for an agreed set amount of time:

  1. EU logo,
  2. EU reference on healthmarks and
  3. EU organic logos

Other benefits (which have not been agreed or discussed with the public)- we will have to wait for parliament to announce them.

BREXIT with a deal – products sold in the UK and not exported

This is the same as the conditions if we leave the EU without a deal. We have to follow the same rules as above, and there will be a 21-month transition period based on the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018.

If you haven’t started to get your packaging changes in place, you don’t have much time left.  The worst case scenario being that we leave the EU at the end of the month without a deal, if you’ve not updated your packaging to meet the above requirements, it could be deemed illegal and stopped at the EU border. If you are concerned about your packaging and would like any help to update it, we would be happy to help. Please just get in touch. If you have any further insight into this, that you would be happy to share, please help your fellow techie’s and add it to the reply box below.

If you would like to look at the resources we are using, here is also a list of links you may find useful:

Have your say…

5 thoughts on “BREXIT implications for food packaging

  1. If we Brexit without a deal you also need to remove the PDO or other similar EU labels.

    If we also go to world trade rules I believe you also have to use heat treated pallets for all EU exports.

  2. Just a thought (reminder) about the upcoming country of origin labelling regulations due to come into force from 1st April 2020 – as ‘Made in the UK’ cannot be used (unless the statement is further qualified) as it is an origin claim. Hopefully this is being captured by everyone but potential for a lot of artwork re-origination if not!

      1. Hi Kassy,
        It would be amazing if you could look into this. I am struggling to understand if/ what applies to us! I can’t find any guidance on this?

  3. What about Declaration of Compliance for the food packaging, when manufactured in UK?
    As the UK regulations are transposed directly from the EU equivalents, with the only real changes largely being to replace references to EU bodies with equivalent UK ones. Should we have in place 2 DoC’s when sending packaging within UK and to Ireland? What about customers in Northern Ireland? Would you advice about it?

Share your thoughts…

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

We've tagged this article as: ,