Export for organic businesses after Brexit
Both during and after the end of the implementation period, a number of things will change for organic farmers and growers, manufacturers and traders exporting to the EU.
As the UK’s organic experts and the largest dedicated food and farming charity, we have compiled some key export information for organic businesses.
We are here to support you in this period of change.
Exporting to the EU after Brexit
A deal means that all organic exports from the UK to the EU will continue unaffected until the end of the implementation period at the end of the 2020. After 31st December 2020, export to the EC and other EC approved countries may be interrupted unless organic equivalency arrangements have been clarified as part of implementation of the deal.
If equivalency is not established by the end of 2020, here’s what will need to happen for trading to resume:
Organic certifiers need to be approved by the EU1
The UK organic certification system will no longer be recognised by the EU, so UK certifiers (like Soil Association Certification) must apply to the European Commission (EC) for individual approval. This needs to be obtained before their licensees can export from the UK, or a third country, to the EU.
Soil Association Certification has already prepared and will be able to apply during the implementation period if equivalence arrangements are not established.
We continue to work with Defra to try to determine equivalency arrangements.
Register to trade with the EU
The following information applies to farmers and growers, manufacturers and traders certified by Soil Association. If you are planning to export to the EU after the end of the implementation period, you will need make sure all the products you are planning on exporting are on your trading schedule. If you are licensed by another Certification Body, get in touch with them directly.
Organic licenses adapted
Let your Certification Officer know you’ve registered to trade and they will make the necessary minor changes to your certificate and trading schedule to allow your ongoing access to the EU organic market after December 2020.
Obtain a customs ID
All businesses trading with the EU after Brexit who are VAT registered will start to be enrolled into Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI) by HMRC.
Changes to trading documents and consignment approval
If equivalence arrangements are not established by the end of the implementation period, exporters to the EU may need to register using the TRACES NT portal. On the TRACES NT portal you should be able to register as either a ‘producer’ or ‘exporter’, or both if that applies to your business.
There may also be some changes for the company importing the goods into the EU. If equivalence arrangements are not established, they will have to ensure their organic certification covers them for importing and be registered on TRACES NT. They will also need to notify the port authority in the country the goods are clearing that they have an organic shipment arriving.
Exporting beyond the EU after Brexit
Exporting goods worldwide will depend on:
- The requirements of the country you export to
- If the UK has a trade deal in place with them at the end of the implementation period.
- What future trade deals look like
There will be no significant changes to current acceptance of organic products during the implementation period.
For the majority of the 13 nations detailed in Annex III of the EC 834 regulation (approved third countries) agreements with the UK are in place to ensure product will be accepted for the duration of the implementation period. After the 31st December 2020, where ‘equivalency’ has not been agreed between the UK and non-EU countries, different exporting rules may apply.
Note: Taiwan is considered an exception and will only recognise UK organic status until the end of May 2020. After this time Taiwan will require UK certifiers to be approved. No application from currently unapproved certifiers will be considered until Jan 2021 and may take up to six months.
For exports to the non-EU after 31st December 2020, we advise checking with organic authority in the export market whether labels/certification will be accepted.
DIT have launched a new tool for exporters to help businesses moving goods from the UK to the rest of the world. Find information here covering rules and restrictions, tax and duty rates, and documents required.
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: email@example.com
- (1) This relates to regulation EC 1235/2008