When you import food commercially, you need to know about regulations that apply to specific products and also more general rules about things such as labelling and additives. Failure to comply with UK and EU hygiene and safety rules could cause delay in shipments, increase costs and require action to be taken by enforcement authorities.
It is important that you go through the categories below to ensure that you familiarise yourself with the rules for importing food.
Food business operators need to be aware that new legislation concerning the import of 'high-risk' products of non-animal origin (Regulation (EC) No 669/2009, as amended) and an update to the legislation for products of non-animal origin contaminated by aflatoxins (Regulation (EC) No 1152/2009) will apply from January 2010. You can find out more information on the 'high-risk' products and aflatoxins pages.
In addition, imports of plastic kitchenware from China and Hong Kong are subject to additional restrictions from 1 July 2011 under Regulation (EC) 284/2011/ You can find out more on the plastic kitchenware page.
If you want to bring food into the country just for your personal use, see the Personal imports section.
Prior to contacting the Agency's Imported Food Helpline, food business operators may wish to register on and check the Agency's Guidance and Regulatory Advice on Import Legislation (GRAIL) database for up-to-date information on imported food legislation and guidance.