UK – EU Trade agreement recognises the UK as equivalent for organics until 31 December 2023

From the 1st January 2021 there will be changes to labelling and import/export systems.

As part of the trade agreement the EU has now agreed to recognise the UK as equivalent for organics until 31 December 2023. This is on top of the already agreed recognition of UK organic control bodies, and the UK recognition of the EU as equivalent. This means that the ability for UK certified goods to be sold as such in the EU is guaranteed for longer than before.

As a consequence of equivalence the previous labelling changes communicated earlier this month no longer apply. Control Body codes used on labels for goods certified by UK control bodies no longer need to be changed. The EU organic logo can be used for the duration of the organic arrangements.

You can continue to use the existing codes of the form “GB-ORG-06”. There is now no need to add GB-BIO-185 to packaging. See labelling guidance below.

For the UK Market there is a 21-month transition period for labelling, so operators must ensure their labels meet the new labelling requirements by 30th September 2022 at the latest.

Please read the information and guidance on this page which will be updated regularly as we receive updates on the new systems being put in place.

Defra guidance

Please see the  Defra Organics stakeholder presentation for the full details of the new requirements in accordance with the UK-EU trade agreement.

Defra Organics Stakeholder QA January 2021

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has launched an updated digital guide covering the key actions food and drink businesses may need to take after the end of the transition period (from 1 January 2021). The information covered is already available in the public domain, but has been accumulated into one place, to provide a single reference point for food and drink businesses. Not all the actions covered will be relevant to every business and you should still continue to check the link for updates. 


BDA Certification guidance

Labelling produce for sale in UK market only.

    • EU Organic leaf permitted, but optional for UK sales.
    • Use code GB-ORG-06
    • Use UK/non UK agriculture statement.
    • BDA Cert Organic logo optional.

Labelling produce to be exported to EU.

    • EU Organic leaf required.
    • Use code GB-ORG-06
    • Use both UK/non UK and EU/non EU agriculture statement.
    • BDA Cert Organic logo optional.
    • Products labeled for EU export will also be accepted in the UK.

Label approval for 2021

  • Please send draft labels you plan to use from the 1st January 2021 to indicating which market the product is intended for. (eg UK, EU, UK & EU, outside EU)
  • Demeter and Organic Label Approval form

Export to EU

Import form the EU

  • Organic products can be imported into the UK from the EU and EEA countries without using the GB paper-based certificate of inspection (COI) until 1st July 2021.
  • From 1st July the new GB Import system of paper-based certificate of inspection (COI) will be required.

Import to UK from outside the EU

    • Importers will need to use the new GB import system of paper based certificates of inspection.
    • Contact us for the step by step guidance and forms.

Exporting outside the EU

  • There will be no significant changes to the current arrangements, with the exception of Switzerland which may require use of the Swiss certificate of inspection process from the 1st January 2021.
  • Use GB-ORG-06 code with UK/non UK agriculture statement.
  • EU leaf removed.
  • For all exports to the non-EU after 31st December 2020, we advise keeping updated with GOV.UK and checking with the organic authority in the export market whether labels/certification will be accepted.