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 (24th March 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: 

Imports from the EU and GB COI's grace extended - In the light of the extended period of Covid-19 restrictions; Ministers have decided to give businesses more time to prepare for the introduction of new UK import arrangements. For the import of organic products from the EU, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Switzerland into Great Britain, a certificate of inspection will not be required until 1 January 2022.

Exporting and Trade Deal Scope - It has now become clear that the scope of the EU-UK trade agreement covers products which are grown/produced or processed in the UK only. Retail labelled products imported into GB and materials/products which are imported and simply packed and/or labelled in GB are not covered by the deal. There are additional requirements to enable export to the EU/NI of these products. You'll find guidance on trading out-of-scope product on our Export Resources page.

Importing and Trade Deal Scope- Goods imported into the EU from other third countries and not further processed are outside the scope of the EU-UK agreement and cannot be re-exported to GB. Although GB Certificates of Inspection (COI) will not be required for imports from the EU until 1st Jan 2022, it is still not clear how EU exporters will satisfy UK requirements. 

Exporting to NI - Authorised Traders (which includes movement of organic food and drink) will be extended until 1st October. This means that existing authorised traders will not need to present COIs  For those not covered by the scheme, the government’s Movement Assistance Scheme is also to be extended and will see government reimbursing certifier’s costs for COI, resulting in a free of charge service.

COI Services - We are currently experiencing significant demand for COI services at present. Same-day endorsement may be possible where submissions are made by 12:00 that day. Weekend endorsement may be possible where submissions are made by 3PM Friday. (by pre-arrangement only). For more further information on purchasing COI and service times, please visit our COI Payment page

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 2021 for imports from EEA/EU)
  • your labeling 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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