The Commission of the European Union (EU) has issued a clarification on the application of EU food law requirements to food producing entities in the United Kingdom (UK) following the UK’s official withdrawal from the EU.
In a Notice to Stakeholders issued on 1st February, the Commission notes that as of the 30 March 2019 withdrawal date, the UK will become a “third country” under EU rules. As such, producers, distributors, retailers and other entities based in the UK, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man that export food products to the EU will be required to meet additional requirements applicable to third country producers. These include the need in some instances for food operators to have an established presence in the EU, compliance with specific requirements applicable to food products of animal origin, and potential changes to the labelling of food products.
The Commission’s Notice notes that transitional arrangements agreed to by the UK and the EU prior to the actual withdrawal date may modify the extent of the requirements placed on food entities based in the UK after the withdrawal. However, the Notice makes clear that UK-based food entities should not delay efforts to address the anticipated changes to ensure continued access to the EU market.
The complete text of the Commission’s Notice to Stakeholders regarding the application of the EU’s Food Law to UK entities is available here.