Food Labeling for Exports to the UK

Following Brexit, Mettler-Toledo recommends that food companies find out at an early stage about the labeling requirements that will apply in the future when exporting to the UK. And to consider the implications for labeling and label inspection.

On December 31, 2020, the Brexit transition period ended. The UK’s exit from the European single market also means that, in the longer term, food labeling rules will change if it is intended for export to the UK. Transition periods will apply until Oct. 1, 2022, to be sure. But Mettler-Toledo, a scale manufacturer and specialist in inspection systems, advises food companies to deal with the labeling requirements that will apply in the future at an early stage. After all, these may have an impact on labeling and label inspection processes.

Mettler-Toledo Product Inspection markets visual inspection systems that enable food companies to automatically check labeling requirements for their exports to the UK to ensure they are error-free.

Adaptation of contact details

Within the EU single market, it is mandatory to include the address of the manufacturer or seller based within the European Union on food packaging. As things stand, until September 30, 2022, there is no need to change this in order to sell food in the UK. From October 1, 2022, however, it will then become mandatory to provide contact details in the UK. If the food company does not have a registered office in the United Kingdom, the address of the British importer must be provided.

Transitional periods also apply to origin labeling for certain foods such as meat, fruit and vegetables or honey. Until September 30, 2022, the indication “EU” can continue to be used on British products, but only for products intended for the British market. From October 1, 2022, a distinction must be made between “UK” and “non-UK” indications of origin. There are separate origin labeling regulations for olive oil and honey.

The regulations compiled by Mettler-Toledo are based on announcements by the UK government and have yet to be confirmed by the UK Parliament. Food businesses can find further information on the British government’s website.