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Guidance on health and identification marks that applies from 1 January 2021

This guidance applies from 1 January 2021. It is for businesses that use the health and identification marks for food products of animal origin such as meat, egg products, fish, cheese and milk.

 

The UK has left the EU

This page tells you what you'll need to do from 1 January 2021. It'll be updated if anything changes.

For current information, read: Guidance on health and identification marks 

You can also read about the transition period.

Food Standards Scotland will be publishing similar guidance for approved establishments located in Scotland.

Using health and identification marks from 1 January 2021

The current EC health and identification marks applied to POAO produced in the UK should continue to be used until the end of the transition period, 31 December 2020. New marks should not be used before 1 January 2021.

From 1 January 2021, competent authorities and food businesses in the UK will not be able to apply the current ‘EC’ health and identification marks to certain POAO which have been produced in a UK-approved establishment.

This means a revised form of the health and identifications marks will need to be used from 1 January 2021 onwards for certain POAO produced in the UK and placed on the UK, EU and non- EU country markets.

Default health and identification marks to be applied from 1 January 2021

To promote a consistent approach across England, Wales and Northern Ireland, FSA and DAERA staff will in the first instance apply the GB health mark, which is the official two-digit ISO code for the UK, unless otherwise requested. These health marks have been distributed to all inspection teams in operational establishments in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Food Standards Scotland are making similar arrangements in Scotland.

Whilst there is no obligation on food businesses to apply a default ‘GB’ Identification mark, ideally the identification marks should replicate the ‘GB’ health mark applied by FSA and DAERA staff. This will reduce the risk of confusing or misleading customers and enforcement authorities further along the supply chain.

Products produced in the UK carrying the GB identification mark can be placed on the UK, EU and non-EU markets.

Examples of the GB identification and health mark

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Alternative health and identification marks

If your business requires an alternative health mark, such as ‘UK’ or ‘UNITED KINGDOM’, you should first discuss this requirement with the relevant Competent Authority for example the FSA in England and Wales, or DAERA in NI.  

You should be aware that the UK health and identification marks applied to products produced in the UK will not be eligible for export to the EU market. Products carrying the UK health and identification marks are acceptable on the UK and non-EU markets.

Products using the UNITED KINGDOM health and identification marks are acceptable in the UK, EU and non-EU markets.

Examples of the UK and UNITED KINGDOM identification mark

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Examples of the UK and UNITED KINGDOM health mark

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Size and dimension of the health marks

All marks must be legible and indelible. The health mark must be an oval mark at least 6.5 cm wide by 4.5 cm. It must contain either the ‘UK’ or ‘GB’ abbreviation or full country name ‘UNITED KINGDOM’, followed by the approval number of the establishment.
Letters must be at least 0.8 cm high and figures at least 1 cm high.

The dimensions and characters of the health mark may be reduced for health marking of lamb, kids and piglets.

Size and dimension of the identification marks

There is no minimum or maximum size for the identification mark. The mark must contain the ‘UK’ or ‘GB’ abbreviation, or full country name ‘UNITED KINGDOM’ followed by the approval number of the establishment.