First “Not for EU” labels appear in Northern Ireland

The ABFI has met with a group from the EU to further shore up Ireland and Northern Ireland's exposure after March

Asda has become the first supermarket to change its packaging in advance of the Windsor framework deadline



24 August 2023

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The first “not for EU” labels have featured on food products available for sale in Northern Ireland.

The Irish Times reports that as part of the Windsor framework – which was announced in February with the goal of ending the dispute between the EU and the UK over the Northern Ireland protocol – new labelling is being introduced for certain retail goods moving from Britain to Northern Ireland in a so-called “green lane”.

“Not for EU” labels have appeared on own-brand meat products sold at Asda. It has therefore become the first supermarket to change its packaging in advance of the deadline, as first reported by the BBC.

From the start of October, businesses will be required to use such labels on all meat and on some dairy products moved to Northern Ireland, while the scheme will be implemented in the rest of the UK in two more phases by July 2025.

The new labelling is required under the Northern Ireland retail movement scheme: allowing prepackaged retail goods, including meat and fresh price, and certain loose goods such as fruit and vegetables, to be transported from Britain through a “green lane” to the north.

The new labels are designed to ensure that these goods are not moved onwards into the EU, for example, to the Republic.

Individual products will require different labels, as well as some boxes. Some Northern Ireland retailers will also need different signs.

M&S has previously urged the UK government not to consider adding separate labelling for goods sold in Northern Ireland, saying this would add cost for retailers and customers.

The UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs stated in update in late July that “procedures will be in place” during the first few months of the new scheme to ensure  authorised food traders can use the green lane between Britain and Northern Ireland.



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