The UK has now left the EU and the final deadline of 31st January is in sight. For many businesses, whether multinational or small scale, this brings challenges in the form of new legal requirements. With the domestic sector likely to have a knock-on effect, Brexit has already started to create quite a stir within the distribution and packaging industry. Suppliers and retailers have started to stockpile due to tariff increases and British Ports are already seeing delays in getting shipments through, (bbc.co.uk). Some brands are even cramming in additional production to ensure products can still be distributed to the EU/NI if packaged before 31/12/20.
But what exactly will this mean for the labelling and packaging of products?
Brands who sell products in Great Britain will need to ensure all necessary changes to the labelling of goods is completed by 30 September 2022. This allows sufficient time to deplete existing label and packaging stock, adapt and implement all necessary changes to your artwork. Nevertheless, the government is encouraging food producers to make their label and packaging changes as soon as possible.
So what changes are being implemented and how differently will our products be labelled?
1. EU health and identification marks
Products of animal origin with more than 50% dairy (POAO) – meat, egg products, fish, cheese and milk must have the new health identification marks applied by 30 September 2022 to prove the product is fit for human consumption and produced in a facility in accordance with food safety and hygiene regulations, (food.gov.uk).
The health marks must be used for products produced and placed on the market in Great Britain and Northern Ireland, or exported outside of the UK. After this date the current UK/EC identification mark will be unlawful.
1a. Size and dimension of the new marks required
The new health marks must be an indelible and legible oval mark of at least 6.5cm x 4.5cm with letters at least 0.8cm high and figures 1 cm high. It must also include the approval number of the establishment, (food.gov.uk).
While there is no minimum or maximum size for the identification mark, it must be legible and indelible with the characters easily decipherable.
Both the health and identification marks must contain either the full country name i.e. ‘UNITED KINGDOM’ in capitals or the abbreviation – ‘GB’ or ‘UK’ for POAO produced in England, Scotland and Wales, (food.gov.uk).
Goods sold in Northern Ireland will continue to follow EU rules for food labelling so there’s a huge risk of brands pulling out of the NI markets due to the additional checks likely to be involved on goods moving between both borders.
2. Food business operator (FBO) address
Pre-packaged food and caseins exported to the EU will need an EU or NI address for the FBO and not just a PO Box address after 30 September 2022.
3. EU organic logo
Any UK organic food or feed will need a new EU logo after 1 January 2021 if your control body is authorised by the EU to certify the UK goods for export to the EU or there’s an agreement between the UK and the EU to recognise each other’s standards, (bioecoactual.com).
4. EU emblem
The EU emblem cannot be used on goods produced in Great Britain unless you have authorisation by the EU.
5. Country of origin labels
Food produced in Great Britain will not be permitted to state ‘origin EU’ on the label as of 1 January 2021, however, food from Northern Ireland can continue to do so but must be listed as ‘UK (NI)’ or ‘United Kingdom (Northern Ireland)’.
With all the labelling and packaging regulations about to be put in place, many businesses are feeling the pressure of having to adapt their artwork before the upcoming deadlines. But with our team of artwork specialists, it doesn’t have to be a struggle. With over 1,200 staff, not only does We Are Amnet have the capacity to implement these changes for brands at scale, but also at speed, for lower costs and with absolutely no compromises on quality at all. What’s more as a global offshore provider and leaders in Smartshoring, We Are Amnet is working around the clock to provide existing packaging clients with all the necessary labelling changes in time for the end of the transition period and we are operating at full capacity over the holiday period.
To find out more about how we can support your business in relation to any Brexit product labelling changes or new package designs in general, get in touch with our team today.