Your Business & Brexit

Brexit has caused much uncertainty for organic farmers and growers, manufacturers and traders.

As the UK’s leading food and farming charity we are here to reassure and support our licensees following our departure from the EU.

This Brexit Hub contains lots of free information, checklists for your business and webinars to help you prepare for Brexit.


This information is correct at the time of publishing on 5th October 2021. Please ensure that you are checking the page regularly for current information.

We are currently experiencing significant demand for certification services due to Brexit. Please be assured if you have emailed us we have your query and will aim to get back to you within 14 working days.

Important new updates and clarifications: 

05/10 - Product not in scope of the TCA: Businesses currently exporting product to NI or EU which has not be grown or processed (in a manner that substantially alters) in UK can only currently export products where certified under our BIO-142 scheme (currently possible under our Annex IV status for the UK list within regulation EC1235/2008). 

Following concerns raised by Ireland the EC have confirmed that the written vote on the proposed implementation of amendments to EC1235/2008 (which would see UK certifiers moved from Annex IV to III) has been terminated. No indication of when a further subsequent meeting or vote will take place has been provided at this time.

1/10 - Turkey added to list of countries with new import controlsTurkey joins Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Russian Federation, Moldova and China, as the sixth country with additional organic import controls. Read more.

30/09 - PDF GB COIs now acceptable : Defra have amended their guidance for Certificates of Inspection (COI) for imports of organic food and feed into GB (required only for Non-EU/EEA imports until July 2022) removing the requirement for a paper copy of the COI. A PDF version is now all that is required. 

13/09 - GB COI grace period extended: GB (paper-based ) Certificate of inspection will now not be necessary to allow good to clear GB ports until the end of June 2022. This only applies to goods exported from EU, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Switzerland.

Need to know

From 2021 there are likely to be:

  • Implications for trade of organic products between the UK, the EU and other markets. This applies to seeds, plants, livestock, crops and feed. Textiles and cosmetic products are not affected, unless products are imported as 'food grade'.
  • New requirements for import of organic products into GB from third countries (includes EU)
  • New requirements for exporting organic products to NI, the EU and other third countries
  • New labelling requirements for labelling in the GB and for organic products exported to the EU

Checklist for your business

From the 1st January 2021:

  • exporters should ensure their overseas importers are certified, labelling complies with their country's requirements and if required, a Certificate of Inspection (or Import) is provided 
  • both GB importers and 1st consignees in GB have a 'processor' license and a GB Certificate of Inspection should be presented at port (from 1st July 2022 for imports from EEA/EU)
  • your labelling for products placed on the GB market complies with any changes to UK requirements 

Changes affecting all Farmers and Growers


  • If you directly import animals, animal products, food, feed and high risk products please makes sure you are aware of the new IPAFFS system applicable for organic and non-organic products. More information can be found on the Government website here.
  • If you directly import any organic products please visit our importing page for the latest guidance.


  • Exports of organic and non organic live animals can continue until the end of the transition period ending 31st December 2020. From the 1st of January there will be changes to how you export live animals. For more information click here.  
  • Please visit our Brexit Hub exporting page for the latest guidance on organic exports to NI, the EU and Non-EU countries. If you are a producer directly exporting to NI or the EU please email with details, you may be required to provide yield information before you can export.



For changes to labelling  please view our labelling pages.


Exporting from the UK

From 1st January 2021, there will be different rules around exporting.

Importing into the UK

From 1st January 2021, there will be different rules around importing.

Brexit and organic standards

What’s staying the same?

Nothing will change to the Soil Association organic standards post-Brexit and we will continue to maintain our existing high standards. 

All UK certifiers will continue to certify UK organic businesses for UK trade.

All issued certificates with a 2021 expiry date will remain valid in the UK. Read more on certificate validity after January 1st 2021

What’s changing?

New UK organic food & farming statutory instruments have now been passed into law, ready to become regulation after Brexit. In anticipation of continued access to EU market these will remain closely aligned with existing EC organic regulations.

Labelling requirements after December 31st 2020

From 1st January 2021, there will be different rule about labelling.

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