In the preparation of the United Kingdom´s leave from the European Union, the European Commission has issued a notice clarifying the possible implications for food businesses. If no -transitional- agreement is reached before the divorce date, being 30 March 2019, the EU legal framework will cease to apply to the United Kingdom. This will bring about important legal consequences which should be anticipated by economic operators active in the commercialization of food products at both sides of the Channel.
Foods originating from the UK will need to continue compliance with EU standards. This applies for instance to the lists of authorised food additives and sources of vitamins and minerals or the use of food contact materials. Of particular importance are the EU rules concerning food labelling. It will be necessary to provide the business name and address of an EU established importer on UK sourced products.
The notice continues listing other potential issues including the introduction of border controls, the import restrictions for foods of animal origin and the cessation of UK authorities being a EU contact point. The latter implies that certificates issued by UK control bodies permitting the use of organic logos shall no longer be valid.
With no definite Brexit plan ready, not to mention the absence of food-specific arrangements, awareness of the potential implications for affected business is of utmost importance.