Aug 9th, 2022
10 mins

Defra has advised that the 30th September 2022 deadline for ensuring Food Business Operator (FBO) addresses and Health/ID marks are correct on packaging still currently applies. This means that from 1st October 2022, pre-packaged food or caseins placed on the market in GB must include a UK address for the FBO.

If there is a change to the deadline date, Defra have said they will immediately inform industry via all relevant avenues, including the forums that BFFF attend.

Note: food that complies with current requirements placed onto the market up to the deadline date will be allowed to continue in circulation and be sold through until stocks are exhausted.

‘Placing on the market’, is defined in Article 3(8) of Regulation (EC) 178/2002 as ‘the holding of food or feed for the purpose of sale, including offering for sale or any other form of transfer, whether free of charge or not, and the sale, distribution, and other forms of transfer themselves’.

The date that the product is placed on the GB market will be the date of the transaction between the manufacturer and the customer after the manufacturing stage is completed. Also note ‘placing on the market’ does not require physical delivery of the product.

The requirements are laid out in The Food Information to Consumers Regulation (FIC) and outlined on which states:


Show the name and address of the food business operator

You must include a business name and address on the packaging or food label of pre-packed food products. This must be either:

  • the name of the business whose name the food is marketed under
  • the address of the business that has imported the food

Pre-packaged food or caseins sold in NI must include a NI or EU FBO address. If the FBO is not in NI or EU, include the address of your importer, based in NI or the EU.

You can continue to use an EU, GB or NI address for the FBO on pre-packaged food or caseins sold in GB until 30 September 2022. This is to allow industry time to update and re-print artwork.

From 1 October 2022, pre-packaged food or caseins sold in GB must include a UK address for the FBO. If the FBO is not established in the UK, include the address of your importer, based in the UK.

To be “established”, the FBO must have a physical presence in the country by way of a unit of food business. Whether or not the business unit handles the product marketed, it does need to be able to take responsibility for the goods and for the presence and accuracy of the food information on the label presented to the consumer in the market in which the goods are placed. Note: You cannot just use an email address or phone number or PO Box address. This is because the FBO who’s address appears on the packaging needs to be readily available should there be an incident and they need to be contacted.

It is only if that business has no establishment in the UK that an importer address is to be used. An importer is the business which organises the import of the product into GB and accepts responsibility for the accuracy of the information on the label and product compliance. An address that is simply a forwarding address to a non-UK company will therefore not be sufficient.

An over-sticker is, however, an acceptable method of correcting food information and bringing it into compliance at any point prior to placing on the GB market.


Health and ID marking (requirements outlined in Regulation 854/2004)

As a result of Brexit and us becoming a becoming a third country to the EU, we now need to meet the EU’s requirements for third country health/identification marks. As was the case for FBO addresses, a derogation until 30th September 2022 has been in place to allow UK businesses to deplete existing stocks of packaging carrying the ‘UK/EC’ health/identification mark. After this date, the use of stocks of labels, wrapping and packaging with the ‘UK/EC’ identification mark will be unlawful.

Key changes are:

For Products of animal origin (POAO) produced in Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales):

  • the ‘EC’ suffix should be removed from health and identification marks
  • the marks should carry the full country name ‘United Kingdom’ or an abbreviated code ‘GB’ or ‘UK’.


For POAO produced in Northern Ireland:

  • the health and identification marks will continue to display the ‘EC ‘suffix
  • the marks will carry the full country name ‘United Kingdom (Northern Ireland)’ or an abbreviated code, ‘UK(NI)’

You can find the information you need on health and ID mark requirements on here which includes a useful section toward the bottom outlining requirements according to which market goods are to be placed on.

For GB (England, Wales Scotland), a label which carries both the addresses of an FBO responsible for the information based in the GB and one based in the EU27/NI is permissible and will ensure address requirements are met for both markets, allowing the product to marketed in both EU27/NI and GB. To avoid this information being seen as ambiguous or confusing, it may be advisable to be clear on the label which address applies to which market.

Following over-stickering, food labels must remain clear, understandable and the sticker must not interfere with any other mandatory information that it does not replace. Where over-stickering is used, it should obscure or obliterate any information that would otherwise be contrary to legal requirements.

Although there is nothing in writing to confirm the EU view on over-stickering, it is not expected to be an issue, provided the over-stickering meets basic labelling requirements. However, the UK Government cannot confirm what the EU will find acceptable as that is not within their control.  If you export food products to the EU, you should always get advice from your EU importing contact on the EU’s labelling requirements.


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