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.
If you intend on importing food commercially, it's important that you go to the Food Standards Agency’s Imports pages.
For general enquiries about imported food and imported food controls contact the Imported Food Branch of the Food Standards Agency:
Tel: 020 7276 8018
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.
A personal import is something that you bring into the country for your own personal use and not to sell to other people.
So, for example, if you bring some olive oil back from your holiday in Turkey for you to use at home, that is a personal import. Rules relating to personal imports also cover parcels of food posted from abroad and addressed to an individual in the UK.
If you want to bring food into the country just for your personal use, see the Personal imports section of the food standards agency website.
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