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TRANSITION PERIODS AFTER BREXIT IN FOOD AND COSMETIC SECTORS IN THE UK: FAQS

UK

Jan 11, 2021

Once the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement has been concluded between the European Union (the “EU“) and the United Kingdom (the “UK“) and the agreed transitional period has expired on 31 December 2020, the UK and EU legal and regulatory systems have become separate. In responce, the UK authorities recognise the business need for additional time to adapt to new rules.

Below are the answers to questions frequently asked by businesses selling food and/or cosmetic products in the UK.

Food

Q: Do we have to notify existing food supplements sold in the UK after 31 December 2020?
A: No. There is no requirement to notify food supplements in the UK as before.

Q: Do we have to change the labelling of food products sold in the UK from 31 December 2020?
A: Not necessarily, if you sell food products in Great Britain (“GB”). All the required labelling changes, e. g. the address which must be a UK address, for pre-packed food products sold in GB must be made by 30 September 2022.
If you sell pre-packed food products in Northern Ireland (“NI”), the labels of these products should remain with an NI or EU address as before.

Q: Which food business operator, manufacturer, importer, or distributor, must appear on the label of a food product sold in the UK after 31 December 2020?
A: If you sell pre-packed food products in GB, the main requirement is that the address of the responsible food business operator must be a UK address. The UK manufacturer, importer, or distributor may appear on the label. The address change must be made by 30 September 2022.
On the labels of pre-packed food products sold in NI, the NI or EU manufacturer, importer, or distributor must remain.

Cosmetics

Q: Do we have to re-notify existing cosmetic products available to GB consumers that have already been notified in the Cosmetics Products Notification Portal (“CPNP”) before 1 January 2021?
A: Yes. Such cosmetic products must be re-notified until 31 March 2021 via the UK’s Submit cosmetic product notifications service. The same information previously provided via CPNP can be used.

Q: Do we have to notify new cosmetic products that are being placed on the GB market after 31 December 2020?
A: Yes. New cosmetic products must be notified via the UK’s Submit cosmetic product notifications service before placing them on the GB market.

Q: Can a person established in the EU remain indicated on the label of a cosmetic product as a “responsible person” and notify the cosmetic product in GB?
A: No. The “responsible person” must have a UK address which should be indicated on the label. Only the “responsible person” with the UK address can notify the cosmetic product. The “responsible person” can be either the manufacturer, the importer, the distributor (if they label the products as their own), or an appointed person.

Q: Do we have to change the address of the “responsible person” into the UK address on cosmetic product labels for GB immediately after 31 December 2020?
A: No. The “responsible person” with the UK address must appear on the labels from 31 December 2022.

Q: What legal requirements apply for cosmetic products sold in NI?
A: If you sell cosmetic products in NI, the same EU legal requirements, including the requirement for the “responsible person” to have an address in NI or the EU, as well as notification via CPNP requirement, apply as before.
If you are an NI business and want to sell a qualifying NI cosmetic product in GB, you can do so in the rest of the UK, if the cosmetic product is in line with the EU rules, i.e. no additional approvals or labelling changes are necessary. Although you will be required to submit certain details via the UK’s Submit cosmetic product notifications service.

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