Country of origin requirements (COOL)  (United Kingdom)

Country of origin (COO) labelling requirements continue to apply in Great Britain (GB) by virtue of Regulation (EU) No 1169/2011 on the provision of food information to consumers, as it has been assimilated into national law (GB FIC). The EU Regulation (EU) No 1169/2011 applies directly in Northern Ireland (NI) by virtue of the NI Protocol and Wind-sor Framework. As with EU Member States, it is mandatory for certain products to indicate the COO on the labelling (i.e. certain fresh, chilled or frozen meat and meat products, honey, fruit and vegetables, fish and olive oil). However, since the UK left the EU there have been some changes to the way COO labelling must be indicated. The most obvious change was brought about by the Food and Drink (Miscellaneous Amendments Relating to Food and Wine Composition, Information and Labelling) Regulations 2021/632 which amended Regulation (EU) 2018/775, as it had been retained in the UK at the end of the transitional period, by replacing references to ‘EU’, ‘non-EU’ or ‘EU and non-EU’ with 'UK', 'non-UK' or 'UK and non-UK, when indicating the COO of the primary ingredient. Other changes include those to products for which COO is mandatory and which take into account the nuances of NI's position in the UK post-Brexit. For example, ‘United Kingdom’ (or 'UK') is the COO indication for beef and veal from both GB and NI, but for the NI and EU markets, ‘UK (NI)’ must be used to refer to products of NI origin.

This is general information rather than legal advice and is current as of 30 May 2024. We recommend you contact a specialised food lawyer for legal advice for your particular circumstances to support commercial decisions which could impact your product or business.

Dominic Watkins

United Kingdom