The UK Government has announced updated guidance on food and drink labeling, as part of its no-deal Brexit advice.
The food businesses will be provided with a 21-month transition period for major changes to food labels in the event of no deal Brexit, while some technical changes to labels need to be implemented from day one.
After 29 March this year, various changed will be implemented for products placed on the UK market.
The changes include avoiding the use of EU emblem on goods produced in the UK unless it is authorized by the EU.
The EU organic logo need to be avoided on UK organic products, if the UK and the EU does not have an equivalency arrangement.
The labeling of UK food as origin EU has to be avoided. Additional information such as signage in shops and online information will enable consumer to know the origin of the food.
The government noted that food and drink products that have already been placed on the UK market on or before 29 March 2019 can continue to be sold through until the stocks are completed.
For goods placed on the UK market after 29 March 2019, the government will implement the required changes for labeling with the support of enforcement officers, enabling to protect the interests of consumers.
The EU and other non-EU countries need to have accurate labeling to access their markets. In these cases, the government intends to recommend or over-sticker the labels, as per the requirement.
The government said that three-year transition period will be provided for the new UK Geographical Indication Schemes logo, which will be available from 29 March.
The producers can make GI labeling changes before the end of the adoption period and use the logo. All proposals are subject to agreement with devolved administrations and Parliamentary process.
In addition, the government intends to allow transition period for labeling changes in relation to goods produced or imported and placed on the UK market after exit day.