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Exporting food & drink to the EU and Ireland – areas to address now

If your food & drink business exports to the EU or Ireland it’s imperative to review your operations now and ensure you are compliant while there’s still time to act.

Key areas you need to review:

Food Business Operators (FBO) – meeting your EU obligations

The EU FBO rules cover everything from country of origin labelling, food business operator address labelling, use of the EU emblem and more. If you supply EU markets, but have no presence outside the UK, you will need to think urgently about how you comply with these rules from 1 January. This adds increased pressure to the production side of your business as all food placed on the EU market from 1 January 2021 needs to be compliant with the new labelling rules.

What are the new rules?

In simple terms, to comply with FBO rules, you must ensure that labelling on food and drink sold in the EU includes the name of a business established in the EU. This will be the supplier if they are EU established, but if they’re not, the label must show the name of the EU importer. Becoming “Established in the EU” is not straightforward. Simply setting up an EU subsidiary will not be enough to meet the FBO legislation. Equally, relying on EU-based distributors/importers may not be acceptable as many will not wish to take on additional responsibility. It is important that you review the facts and your supply chain to understand what you need to do now.

Importing and exporting of goods

From 1 January, movements of goods to and from the EU into the UK will require formal export and import declarations at both the port of exit and the port of entry. HMRC has provided a list of specialists that you can engage with to manage your customs obligations. You need to act quickly as agents are booking up quickly. Any VAT and duty liabilities for importing goods to the UK need to be considered and planned for in your cash flow now and we can help advise you with this. As an absolute minimum, anyone moving goods between the UK and the EU MUST have a UK issued EORI number by 1 January – we can help you obtain this.

Our dedicated Customs team are here to help you.

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