Brexit and certification guidance update

Brexit and certification guidance update

To keep you informed of how Brexit will change certification and trade in organic food, feed, seed and livestock, we’ve got updates on EU equivalency, Certificates of Inspection (CoIs), delays to the implementation of the new EC848/2018 regulation and upcoming labelling guidance.

Progress with EU equivalency

With no confirmation of a UK-EU trade deal, organic equivalency with the EU looks increasingly likely to be via individual certifier approval under regulation EC1235/2008. We're pleased to be able to confirm that Soil Association Certification, along with the other UK certifiers, is listed on a draft amendment of the EU regulation. We expect to be approved by the EC at the beginning of December.

With the recent announcement that the UK will accept EU organic goods for 12 months from January 1st, we're optimistic that both EU to UK and UK to EU trade will be possible for at least the duration of 2021. However, there will be additional paperwork and licensing requirements, as highlighted below.

New rules for Certificates of Inspection, licences and enterprise scopes

From January 1st, all organic food, feed, seed or livestock imported into GB will need to be accompanied by a new GB Certificate of Inspection (CoI). If you import these products, you should check our Brexit importing page to find out more about the new CoI regime.

If you don’t already have non-EU importing specified as an enterprise on your trading schedule, or you hold a Wholesaler licence only, we need to hear from you now. You’ll  find details of who to contact to change your licence type or the scope of your existing licence and any forms you must complete on our Brexit importing pagePlease note: if you require a new license, we'll endeavour to help you achieve this as quickly as possible. However, we anticipate significant demand for certification services between now and January 1st and cannot guarantee that all new licenses will be issued before December 31st.

Business exporting organic goods to Northern Island and the EU will need to have an EU COI for each consignment from 1st January 2021.  This is done by registering each consignment on the EU’s TRACES NT system and having this endorsed by your certifier before the consignment is exported. Find out more about Brexit and export on our Brexit exporting page.

Delay to implementation of new EC848/2018 regulation

We’re pleased to confirm that we have received official confirmation from the EC that the new EU organic regulation (EC848/2018) will now not come into force until 2022. This means UK standards, which are based upon EC834/2007 will remain aligned with the EU throughout 2021.

Further guidance on labelling coming soon

With requirements for labelling for both domestic sale and EU export still dependent on UK-EU equivalency arrangement, we are aware that many of our licenses urgently require clarification on organic codes, logos and agriculture statements. Whilst these remain unclarified, we will shortly send guidance the labelling options and risks for businesses, along with details on bulk approval of labelling and the addition of multiple products to trading schedules – which may be necessary where licence types are changed. Details of what we know at this time can be found on our Brexit labelling page.

Further support

If you have further Brexit related questions, please contact us and don’t forget to join our next Brexit webinar on Wednesday 2nd December for an overview of all issue and a chance to have your questions answered by our experts.