UK Trade Regulations

UK Trade Regulations

Complying with Non-tariff rules & restrictions on UK trade.

UK Trade Regulations

A number of non-tariff requirements also have to be met by importers. Much will depend on the type of goods and services you are importing.

Licences & certificates

Import licences or certificates are needed for a broad range of goods, including foods, medicines, agricultural products, plants, animals and textiles. The requirement also differs by country of product origin

The licensing requirement may also depend on the country of origin of the product.

Product certification, packaging & labelling

Under current regulations, product packaging must meet all EU and UK requirements. To reduce the impact of packaging on the environment, the EU has legislation concerning the management of packaging and packaging waste.

The CE mark is a mandatory conformity marking for certain products sold within the European Economic Area (EEA).

All labelling and information directives of the European Council must be met, as well as local and national regulations.

Food information and labelling legislation must comply with EU legislation and is enforced through the Food Labelling Regulations 1996 (FLR).

For organic produce, EU legislation requires that imported organic food from third countries be produced to the same standards as that from the UK or EU.


Some products may be subject to an import quota, as well as requiring a licence or certificate. This applies generally to food and agricultural products from outside the EU covered by the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP goods).

Trade bans 

UK trade with certain countries is forbidden or restricted under specific UN, EU or OSCE sanctions.

Distance selling

If you are selling goods or services to the UK through digital TV, by mail order or by phone or text message, you will need to abide by the distance selling rules, except in limited circumstances.

This means providing certain information before and after an order is placed. The regulations also give consumers certain rights to cancel.

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