Brexit Support from Dorset Chamber

Food and Drink

Dorset’s food and drink sector covers a wide range of businesses, including restaurants, cafés, producers, wholesalers, suppliers, brewers, bakers, grocers and retailers. A no-deal Brexit may affect each type of business in different ways. If you own, run or work in a food or drink business this information may be of use to you generally or more specifically to help in your preparations.

What you need to know:

If you employ people from the EU – such as seasonal and temporary workers, chefs or managers – they will be able to stay after a no-deal Brexit.

However, they will need to apply to the Government’s Settlement Scheme to stay in the UK long term.   They must apply by December 31, 2020 if we leave without a deal. You can employ people newly arrived from the EU after a no-deal Brexit. They will be able to stay until December 31, 2020. New immigration rules are set to apply from January 2021.  There is the opportunity for them to apply to stay on a temporary basis for three years under the European Temporary Leave to Remain (Euro TLR) scheme if they wish to remain beyond December 31, 2020.  People from the Irish Republic are able to live and work in the UK as usual under an agreement between the two countries.

Food labelling will change in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

Firstly, you will no longer be able to use the EU logo on goods produced in the UK unless you have EU authorisation. UK food can’t be labelled as originating in the EU. Under a no-deal Brexit the Government will give a 21-month transitional period for labelling changes to take place in the UK. There are different rules for various foods, such as eggs, minced meat, fruit and vegetables, blended honey and olive oil, beef, veal and other goods. Food already in the EU when we leave can continue to be sold there without labelling changes, such as stocks held in warehouses. However new rules will apply for new UK products being exported into the EU. This includes Food Business Operator (FBO) details for some types of food, health and identification marks, and the UK stated as the origin of the food.

If you import goods directly from the EU to sell in the UK you will need to prepare for a no-deal Brexit.

You will need an Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI) number, which is a unique customs ID for your business. You can also register for the Transitional Simplified Procedures (TSP) scheme which will make it easier to import goods. Specifically for imports of animals, animal products, food and feed there will be some changes. Access to the EU’s Trade Control and Expert System (TRACES) to tell UK authorities about imports will end. Instead, the plan is for you to register for the Import of Products, Animals, Food and Feed System (IPAFFS) for notification purposes. 

If there is a no-deal Brexit, organic food and drink exports will need to be certified by an EU approved body.

Some UK organisations may be able to gain this status although only once we leave so there is likely to be a period of time before they gain approval.

If you export Products of Animal Origin (POAO), such as meat, fish and dairy, or animals to the EU after a no-deal Brexit you will need an Export Health Certificate (EHC).

Your goods will need to go through a Border Inspection Post (BIP). There will also be other more general customs requirements. In a no-deal Brexit, an Export Health Certificate (EHC) would be needed for exports of animal by-products from the UK to the EU. They may need to pass through a Border Inspection Post. There will also be other more general customs requirements. For fish exported from the UK to EU after a no-deal Brexit, you’ll need a catch certificate to show they were caught legally plus an export health certificate. You may also need such paperwork as a direct landing document, storage document and processing statement. 

In the event of a no-deal Brexit, the Government has said that 88 per cent of goods imported from the EU into this country would have no tariffs placed upon them. 

However certain products will have tariffs levied on a temporary 12 months basis, such as beef, tuna and cheddar. Products going the other way from the UK to the EU – such as poultry meat, lamb, eggs, potatoes, wheat and beef – are likely to have tariffs charged on them in the event of a no-deal Brexit. 

If there is a no-deal Brexit the UK will establish its own scheme to protect the geographical names of food, drink and agricultural products.

This Geographical Indication (GI) scheme will be managed by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra). 

Immediate actions:

NOW: Speak to suppliers about the smooth flow of goods in the event of a no-deal Brexit

NEXT: Talk to staff from the EU about their settlement status 

NOTE: Read other advice in this leaflet which may be of use, on the Farming and Retail pages

Check out:

Government advice

Food and drink business advice in a no-deal Brexit

Settlement scheme

Temporary Leave to Remain



Food Standards Agency

British Chambers of Commerce