Positive news on UK marketing standards

08 December 2020

The latest news from Defra shows that the necessary legal steps are being taken to ensure that goods subject to certain marketing standards will still be able to be exported to the EU from 1 January 2021.

Following the end of the transition period the UK will be subject to third country controls, and therefore, there would be new requirements for agri-food goods subject to marketing standards requirements. These products include:

  • Poultry meat with optional indications (e.g. free-range)
  • Eggs
  • Hatching eggs
  • Fruit and vegetables
  • Hops
  • Beef and veal

In order to allow these goods to continue to be exported from GB into the EU and NI markets, certain legal steps had to be taken, such as the EU granting third country listing or equivalency, or the UK notifying the EU of domestic rules and standards, or the EU authorising the UK authorities to carry out the necessary checks and certifications.

While these steps are largely legal technicalities, the NFU has been pressing government to secure these changes in order to prevent any cliff edge for those businesses which rely on exporting such products. It is therefore positive to see that the UK government and EU Commission have worked to share information and carry out the necessary legal procedures.

NFU EU exit and international trade Adviser Emily Roads said:

“As 1 January 2021 nears, this is a vital step in securing access to the EU and NI markets for our farmers’ and growers’ products. From our egg and free-range poultry producers, to our hop, fruit and vegetable growers, this news means there is one less worry when it comes to exporting into these vital markets. I would now advise any businesses whose goods move into the EU or NI markets to ensure they are up to speed with the guidance and have registered with the necessary authorities or systems before the 1 January 2021.”

Full guidance and product specific controls:

Poultry: Poultry meat with farming or chilling method marks known as optional indications (e.g. free range) being exported to the EU must be accompanied by a poultry meat optional indications certificate. The European Commission has granted third country listing to the UK competent authorities to issue these certificates.

Eggs: The European Commission will list UK eggs as having an equivalent level of conformity to the EU marketing standards by the end of 2020.

Hatching eggs: The UK government has shared their rules on labelling requirements for hatching eggs with EU member states. These rules will need to be met in order to export hatching eggs from GB to the EU.

Hops: Hop and hop products moving from GB into the EU will need to be accompanied by an Attestation of Equivalence. The European Commission will list the Rural Payments Agency (RPA) as the UK’s authorised agency for issuing GB Attestations of Equivalence.

Fruit and vegetables: GB fruit and vegetables subject to Specific Marketing Standards which are being exported to the EU will need to be accompanied by a GB Certificate of Conformity. The EU Commission will grant the UK Approved Inspection Services (AIS) status and applications for these certificates can be made via PEACH.

Beef and veal: The UK has notified the EU of its competent authorities and approved businesses for beef and veal labelling so that these can be listed to allow exports to the EU to continue from 1 January 2021.

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