Helping your business prepare for Brexit

Brexit has caused much uncertainty for organic farmers and growers, manufacturers and traders. In the event of a no-deal scenario, 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 organic businesses ahead of the UK leaving the EU on 31st October.

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

Need to know

  • Our guidance relates specifically to organic

  • No-deal Brexit has implications on importing and exporting organic products within the EU. This applies to seeds, plants, livestock, crops, feed and fertiliser. Textiles and cosmetic products are not affected

  • If you export to the EU (and some third countries) there may be issues accepting your products or livestock

  • New documentation will be required for exporting 

  • New labelling will be required for exporting

  • If you import organic products from outside the EU into the UK you'll need to be aware of new requirements for those exporters

Checklist for your business

We've compiled a simple checklist to help you prepare for Brexit

 

✅  Before exporting to the EU, ensure that your certifier has EC approval, that your labelling complies with new requirements and register with the TRACES NT portal as an exporter 

 ✅  After the 31st October you should contact your certification body to inform them if you are planning to export.

Please note that your certification documents may also change.

✅ 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

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

Talk to us

As the organic experts in the UK we provide a wealth of free information, advice and guidance to the organic sector.

You don’t have to be a Soil Association licensee to benefit from this free service.

If you can’t find what you’re looking for on these pages, get in touch with our dedicated team by:

The Brexit helpline is free to all UK organic food and farming businesses until 31st October, however Soil Association Certification licensees will be able to get their usual support direct from their Certification Officer after this date.

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

In the event of a no deal there will 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

In the event of a no-deal exports of live animals and products of animal origin, such as meat, fish and dairy, can continue as the UK listed status has been confirmed by the EU member states. Organic businesses will still need to wait until the EU grants formal approval of their organic certification body. However, once approval had been given, exporting animals and animal products will be much easier.  For more information click here.

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

Exporting after Brexit

In the event of no-deal Brexit, organic food, feed and drink from the UK will no longer be accepted by the EU.

UK certifiers (such as the Soil Association Certification) will need to be individually approved by the European Commission before their licensees are able to export to the EU.

There will be a number of actions you'll need to take, and minor updates needed on your documentation. 

Importing after Brexit

Once we leave the EU, imports of organic food, drink and primary agricultural products from the EU, EEA and Switzerland will be allowed until 31st December 2020 and will not require checks.

No additional paperwork or Certificates of Inspection will need to be completed until 2021.

Certificates of Inspection will continue to be required for product entering the UK from all other countries – this will no longer use the EC TRACES system and will be paper based.

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. 

Whether you are certified through Soil Association Certification, or another certification body, 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

Unless your certifier has approval from the European Commission (EC), or we reach an “equivalency arrangement” before we exit after Brexit the EU organic logo should no longer be used in the UK.  

Certification codes for labelling may change. (e.g Soil Association Certification’s current code “GB – ORG – 05”) may change.

Once your certifier has EC approval the certifier code onproducts and references to where the product was produced (EU or non-EU) may also need to change. 

Join our free Brexit webinars

Join Soil Association Certification's CEO Martin Sawyer for an update on progress made in these key areas:

• EU and UK recognition of organic regulations
• Labelling requirements
• Key import/export documentation for port clearance

The webinar will run on the below dates. Spaces are limited so please register today. 

 

Thursday 24th October, 12 - 1pm - Register now

Wednesday 16th October, 9:30 - 10:30am - FULLY BOOKED

Thursday 17th October, 11 - 12pm - FULLY BOOKED

Friday 25th October, 3-4pm - FULLY BOOKED

Talk to us

As the organic experts in the UK we provide a wealth of free information, advice and guidance to the organic sector.

You don’t have to be a Soil Association licensee to benefit from this free service.

If you can’t find what you’re looking for on these pages, get in touch with our dedicated team by:

The Brexit helpline is free to all UK organic food and farming businesses until 31st October, however Soil Association Certification licensees will be able to get their usual support direct from their Certification Officer after this date.

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