As you may know, January 1, 2021, has called off the 11-month long post-Brexit transition period. This also marked the deadline for the United Kingdom (UK) based food and beverages manufacturers to implement their product labeling changes. With regards to the changes, on November 5, 2020, the UK Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) has published an update related to the information to be mentioned on the label of food products that are intended for sale in the UK and the European Union (EU), particularly in Northern Ireland.
According to the update, from January 1, 2021, manufacturers distributing pre-packaged food or caseins in Northern Ireland must include the address of a Northern Ireland or EU Food Business Operator (FBO) on the product label. Manufacturers can also mention the address of a Northern Ireland or EU27-based importer. While the current EU Law does not require the mention of the EU Member State on the product label, Defra states that foods sold or manufactured in Northern Ireland can continue the use of ‘Origin EU’ or ‘Origin UK’ on their labels. Starting from January 1, 2021, it is a must for foods manufactured and sold in Northern Ireland to mention ‘UK (NI)’, or ‘United Kingdom (Northern Ireland)’.
As the end of the post-Brexit transition period has already ended, both the governments are working towards updating their Regulatory framework for seamless transition. Therefore, food manufacturers, in both the UK and the EU, must keep abreast with these evolving regulations to avoid any last-minute challenges. In such a scenario, consulting a Regulatory expert with expertise in both regions can prove to be beneficial. Stay compliant. Stay safe.