New Food Labelling Requirements Delayed Until January 2024

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Following the delay of EU foodstuff customs clearance requirements in July, further regulations surrounding labelling have now also been delayed.

The new rules, which were due to come into effect on the 1st of October 2022, will now be required from 1st January 2024. This is so that importers have more time to gain clarity on their obligations.

But what are these new regulations, and what should you do now they are delayed? Find out in this article:

A UK address for the food business operator (FBO)

From 1st January 2024, a UK FBO address must be shown on the labelling or the packaging when importing foodstuffs into the UK. This is either:

  • The name of the business/individual who is marketing the goods.
  • The address of the importing business.

(Note that the address must be a physical address, not a contact email or phone number)

Although this requirement is simple when your goods are being imported by the end marketer or distributer, problems arise when they are not.

If your goods are being sold in a chain or imported under the DDP INCOTERM, then the name on your commercial documents and import customs clearance may be different to the marketer or distributor. In this case, the original importer’s address cannot be shown on the packaging as this will disrupt the business.

Due to a lack of clarity on how to proceed with this issue, and in time for the original 1st October deadline, DEFRA have delayed this requirement until 1st January 2024.

What other foodstuff regulations have been delayed?

In July 2022, food imports from the EU were due to have stricter paperwork requirements. However, the cost-of-living crisis and supply chain issues meant that these rules were delayed to eliminate the risk of higher costs and/or food unavailability in the UK.

The delayed regulations meant that your original health certificate would need to show the Unique Notification Number (UNN) from the Import of Products, Animals, Food and Feed System (IPAFFS). However, the UNN can only be generated after the import customs agent has received copies of your paperwork. Furthermore, the original health certificate must travel with the load, so enforcing this rule would have caused delays at origin whilst health certificate providers to await the UNN.

DEFRA decided to delay this rule until later in 2023 when the process can be aligned with the rest-of-the-world processes under development with the Single Trade Window.

What do you need to do?

You do not need to change anything about your food imports if they are compliant.

However, change is coming to your supply chain soon. It is important to stay informed so that your business can continue to flow unobstructed.

Customs Support provides end-to-end customs clearance and customs consulting services across the UK and EU. If your regulations for importing or exporting foodstuffs changes, our agents will be able to guide you so that you can minimise the risk of delay to your business. Contact us for more information on how we can help you today.