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Update on Annex IV of EC regulation

Brexit update regarding Out of Scope products – 2nd August 2021

Postponement to amendment affecting Out of Scope products 

As communicated in previous editions of Trade News, we have been aware for some time of the potential for UK control bodies (CBs) to be removed from Annex IV of EC regulation EC1235/2008.

This would see Soil Association Certification unable to approve consignments of organic food and drink products for export to the EU or Northern Ireland, where the products are out of scope of the EU-UK Trade & Cooperation Agreement (TCA).

The Commission recently made a formal proposal to amend EC1235/2008, asking that EC Member States make known any abstentions or negative votes by Tuesday 27th July.

It’s our understanding that at least three Member States made objections known and that this has led to a postponement to any amendment.

No further action can be now taken until such time as a full discussion with member states can take place in mid-September 2021 and the proposed amendment is subsequently put to a vote.

What you can do:

As Member States will be asking for submissions from their CB’s and other stakeholders prior to this meeting, we are asking UK businesses to encourage their EU suppliers to share any observations, arguments, or evidence relevant to commercial or other anticipated impacts with their EU CB, for the attention of their competent authority and ultimately the Commission.

The European Commission has now launched a central complaint point for the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA).

Although this calls for complaints against the United Kingdom, and early detection of breaches of the agreement or regulatory divergences, we note that complaints may relate to:

  • ‘obstacles that should have been removed by the agreement but are still in place’ and
  • ‘A law which affects the way my company trades with the UK’.

We would therefore encourage EU suppliers potentially affected by their UK customers’ future inability to export out-of-scope products to EU or NI, to make the Commission aware of their concerns via this webpage.

If you have any questions regarding the postponement or would like further guidance on evidence submissions, please do not hesitate to contact our Senior Business & Trade Development Manager, Lee Holdstock.

For more context around what the amendment to remove UK CB’s from Annex IV - EC1235/2008 means, read our previous Certification Updates article on our website.