Egg marketing

The EU Eggs Marketing Standards lay down uniform standards for all hen eggs marketed within the Community, intended for human consumption. The rules include requirements for grading (by quality and weight), stamping, packaging, labelling, marking and production methods (Organic, Free Range, Barn or Cage) as well as storage and transport. However, there are certain exemptions for direct sales from producer to consumer.

DARD's responsibilties

The Department is responsible for the enforcement of the regulations at:

  • egg packing centres
  • egg wholesalers
  • egg collectors
  • egg production units

Regular inspections are carried out to ensure that the premises are registered or authorised as appropriate, that the rules are complied with and that the necessary records are maintained.

Application form - packing centre authorisation

Packing centre authorisation, is a downloadable application form for egg packing centre authorisation

Under EU egg marketing regulations, only authorised egg packing centres may grade eggs and pack or repack graded eggs.

Application form – packing centre designation

In the event of an incidence of Avian Influenza within Northern Ireland, movement controls may be implemented which could affect the operation of a packing centre.  In order, to be able to continue to receive eggs from any producers affected by movement controls, the packing centre is required to be designated.

Egg marketing - guidance leaflets

Free range eggs

A leaflet for egg producers which addresses some of the frequently asked questions concerning free range egg production. It provides basic information on regulations which apply to egg production, including registration of production units, permitted forms of egg sales and requirements for grading eggs if selling to shops or bakeries.

Egg labelling requirements EMR11A

A leaflet for commercial egg production and handling businesses which provides an at-a-glance list of labelling requirements for ungraded eggs on farm, graded Class A and Class B eggs, and industrial eggs which are not for human consumption.

Producer (registration, stamping and marketing) flowchart

A step-by-step guide for egg producers on production site registration and egg stamping requirements, dependant on flock size and types of egg sales. 

Methods of egg production

This leaflet details the EU Egg Marketing legislation relating to the prescribed methods of egg production indicated on Class A eggs and packs including: Free Range, Barn and Enriched Cage production.

Producer deliveries – stamping and containers

A leaflet for egg producers providing brief guidance on egg stamping and labelling requirements for eggs delivered to various types of egg handling businesses. The requirements may differ depending upon whether these businesses are situated in the same or different Member State from where the eggs are produced, and whether or not producers and businesses have been granted exemptions from egg marking requirements by the relevant Authorities.

Packing centre records

Information in table form for Egg Packing Centres on record-keeping required by EU Egg Marketing regulations. This includes records of eggs received or purchased, eggs graded, eggs delivered or sold and egg stock records.

Explanation of egg code

EU Egg Marketing regulations require an explanation of the code stamped on eggs to be printed on egg packs, or on a sign beside eggs sold loose from open trays. This leaflet provides examples of the explanations which may be used in Northern Ireland.

Retail - loose sales

This leaflet provides guidance for retailers on requirements relating to the sale of eggs presented to the consumer loose on trays rather than in packs or cartons. This includes the information, normally on egg packs, which must be displayed beside the loose eggs at point of sale.

Local public market – stamping

This leaflet provides guidance for egg producers who wish to sell their ungraded eggs at a local market. It provides brief details on producer registration requirements, whether eggs must be stamped with a code and the information to be provided to consumers at point of sale. 

Collectors and packing centres - procedures and requirements

Guidance leaflet for egg collectors and egg packing centres, detailing key requirements and procedures concerning egg stamping, labelling, documentation and records for eggs collected from farm and delivered to packing centres. 

Egg marketing regulations

The page contains regulations for Egg Marketing for both the EU and Northern Ireland.

EU Regulations:

Northern Ireland Regulations:

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