Helping your business prepare for Brexit

Brexit has caused much uncertainty for organic farmers and growers, manufacturers and traders. With the UK now in a transitional period and trade negotiations ongoing, there are a number of things you need to know. 

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.

Latest Brexit News - 21st September 2020

As of the 31st January, the UK is no longer in the EU and has entered a transition period, to last until the 31st December 2020. 

With no final confirmation of a Brexit deal ahead of the revised exit date, we continue to explore solutions in anticipation of no deal and keep these pages updated. You can read a summary of the current situation for organic business in our recent Certification News Brexit Update

 

Currently nothing changes for your business

The UK will remain in the EU’s customs union and single market for the duration of the transition period and all EU rules and regulations will still apply.

We will keep you informed of any changes taking place that might affect your business.

 

Need to know

During the implementation period, certain equivalency arrangements may be agreed. Depending on what arrangement are agreed, after 31st December 2020 there may 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
  • new requirements for import of organic products into the UK from the EU and third countries
  • new documentation and requirements for exporting organic products to the EU and third countries
  • new labelling requirements for exporting organic to the EU and EU approved third countries

Checklist for your business

We've compiled a simple checklist to help you prepare for the end of the Brexit implementation period on the 31st December 2020:

✅  Before exporting to the EU, ensure that either the UK or Soil Association Certification has EC approval, that those receiving the good are certified as 'importers', that your labelling complies with new requirements and register with the TRACES NT portal as an exporter (not possible until after 31st December 2020).

✅ If you are importing product into the UK from the EU, check with your certifiers to ensure you have the required certification scope to import.

✅ If you are importing from a non-EU country, ensure that your exporter is aware of the requirement for any new UK organic documentation. Read more about importing.

✅ Before you export to any non-EU country, ensure that they will accept UK product after the 31st and that your labelling complies with any organic national requirement

 

Talk to us

As the organic experts in the UK we provide a wealth of free information and guidance to our organic licensees.

If you can’t find what you’re looking for on these pages, please get in touch with your Certification Officer or email: brexitsupport@soilassociation.org

Changes affecting all Farmers and Growers

The Government have issued guidance to help all farmers and growers prepare for Brexit. This includes information on a range of issues including farm and rural payments, importing and exporting and seasonal workers. For a comprehensive list of changes please visit the Government’s website.

Tariffs

At the end of the implementation period there could be changes to the tariffs on products being imported into the UK and products being exported from the UK. The Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) has provided useful calculation on the different rates for each product categories that you can view here

Exports of live animals and animal products

At the end of the implementation period there could be changes to rules for exports of live animals and products of animal origin, such as meat, fish and dairy. Exports can continue until at least the end of 2020 as the UK listed status has been confirmed by the EU member states. For more information click here.

The Country Land and Business Association (CLA) have also published a helpful no-deal advice pack.

Imports

If your businesses imports animals, animal products and feed from outside the EEA, you will be required to register for IPAFFS  (see the government information on the new UK IPAFFS system)

Exporting after Brexit

Acceptance of UK organic products by the EU and EU approved third countries after the 31st December 2020 will be dependent on equivalency arrangements clarified during the implementation period

Until 31st December 2020 organic food, feed and drink from the UK will continue to be accepted by the EU, EEC nations and EU approved third countries.

If equivalency is not established by the end of the implementation period, individual approval of UK certifiers (EC1235) may be required and Soil Association Certification will work to ensure we have EC1235 approval.

Importing after Brexit

It is not yet clear how imports of organic products will be affected at the end of the implementation period, as this will be determined by further equivalence agreements agreed during the implementation period. Until 31st December 2020:

  • organic food, feed and drink from the EU, EU approved third countries and EU approved certified in other third countries will continue to be accepted by the UK and will not require checks.
  • Importing from the EU can continue without the need for additional paperwork 
  • For imports from EU countries importers should check that they have the correct certification scope, as this may need to include 'importing'.
  • For imports from non-EU countries importers should continue to create certificates of inspection via the EC TRACES portal

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.

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 EU organic regulations.

Labelling after Brexit

Nothing will change until 31st December 2020. During the implementation period we will continue to be treated as a Member State and will be required to meet the EU Regulation.

As such, all labelling will need to continue to adhere to the EU labelling rules.

Once the transition period has ended, unless the UK has clarity on new UK-EU  “equivalency arrangements” , or individual certifiers have EC1235 status, then:

  • It may not be possible to use the EU organic logo in the UK.
  • Certification codes for labelling of domestic product may change - e.g Soil Association Certification’s current code “GB – ORG – 05” may no longer apply and different codes could be required
  • Certification codes for labelling of export product may change and a new code may be required
  • References to where the product was produced (EU or non-EU) may also need to change

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