A report by the BBC has confirmed that some processors are already marking product coming in from Britain to NI with a “Not for EU” label.
Under the NI Retail Movement scheme, a key part of the Windsor Framework agreed in February 2023 and which amends the post-Brexit NI Protocol, various agri-food products can move to NI via new “green lanes” and therefore avoid rigorous checks at NI ports.
To help prevent these retail goods from Britain being moved to the Republic of Ireland for sale, they must be marked as “Not for EU”, starting from 1 October 2023 with meat and fresh dairy products.
Ahead of that deadline, beef was seen in an Asda store in NI already marked as “Not for EU”. However, the beef was clearly labelled as being from NI cattle, with the animals slaughtered and cut in ABP Newry.
In normal circumstances a “Not for EU” label is not required as this NI beef has been produced to EU standards and can freely move across the Irish border and beyond.
However, there is limited retail beef packing capability at ABP Newry and it is understood much of this work is done in England. Shipping the beef to England and back to NI means the “Not for EU” label becomes necessary.