Information and advice


The requirements of EC Egg Marketing and Hatching Regulations are complex and can be confusing. If you think that your business may require some attention, please telephone or write to the Regional Egg Marketing Inspector responsible for your area.

Southern West Midland & Wales
Eastern North & North East


The advice  given you will relate strictly to what is required by law.


As well as being able to receive oral advice, a series of explanatory leaflets has been produced to help you understand more easily parts of the Regulations which may apply to your business. These are:

EMR1 - Egg Marketing Regulations.

EMR7 - Conditions relating to use of laying date.

EMR 9 - Regulations on production and marketing of hatching eggs and chicks.

EMR13 - Labelling requirements.

EMR14 - Production methods on eggs marketed under Special Marketing Terms.

Copies of these leaflets are available from Regional Egg Marketing Inspectors (see Annex 1).


If you run any of the following businesses you are required to apply to us for registration:

(a) Egg Packing Stations

Those who grade and sell hen eggs to other businesses, or direct to consumers if EC quality or weight grades are used.

(b) Collectors

Those who buy and collect ungraded hen eggs from producers and deliver and sell to packing stations.

(c) Hatcheries

Those, other than the very smallest, (with a capacity of less than 1000 eggs) who incubate and hatch hen, duck, turkey, goose and guinea fowl eggs.

(d) Breeders/Primary Breeders

Those, other than those, with less than 100 birds, who produce eggs from the above species to supply to hatcheries.

(e) Certain Hen Egg Producers

Those supplying egg packing stations with eggs intended for identification with the laying date.


Some businesses are not obliged to seek formal registration, but if you run one of the following types of business you may be visited by us:

(a) Free Range/Perchery (Barn) etc. Producers

A registration application form is not required if you are a hen egg producer wishing to market to packing stations or collectors hen eggs described as Free-range, Perchery, Barn, Deep-litter or Semi-intensive, or those to be described by origin. However, you are required to be on our register and be inspected from time to time to ensure compliance with the relevant legislation. We can trace you from packing station records, but it is recommended that you contact us as soon as you plan to start operations, so that you can satisfy yourself and your customers that you comply with the legal requirements.

(b) Wholesalers Including Auction Markets

Hen egg wholesalers, i.e. those who buy graded eggs for sale to retail outlets for further distribution or other business use, are not required to register with us. However, we do carry out inspections at these premises, and if you are setting up in such a business you are advised to contact us. Indeed many wholesalers regard us not so much as law enforcers, but more as a quality control service. If you are a wholesaler and you suspect that the product you have bought is not up to the required standard, feel free to contact your Regional Inspector (see Annex 1) who will be happy to arrange an inspection without charge.

(c) Egg Processors

Processors, i.e. those who break out and pasteurise hen eggs, are not required to register with us, but we will visit periodically to check on legislation concerning eggs in shell.


The number of visits you should expect depends on the size and/or nature of your business, and how well you comply with the legislation. For example if you only keep a few hens but you are registered to supply the local village shop with a few dozen eggs per week, don't expect to see us very often. Where problems of non\-compliance are found, additional follow-up visits are made.


An Inspection Report Form will be completed at each visit showing the details of the inspection and any action required.

We will discuss the results with you and ensure that you understand the contents.

The notification of action required will distinguish between cases where we are simply giving you advice and those where you are in breach of legal requirements.


If we find that you are not complying with legislation the action taken will depend on how serious it is considered to be.

Where a minor discrepancy is discovered, you will be advised on how to comply. It may just be a reminder on the inspection report. In other cases, for example where quality is not up to standard, a Notice of Contravention will be served requiring you to put it right before marketing the product. Either the Notice and/or the accompanying Inspection Report will tell you what needs to be done and by when. However, if we can, we will advise you how best to prevent the problem reoccurring. If  it looks like a husbandry problem, we will suggest the type of professional adviser you could consult.

If you disagree with the Notice of Contravention or seek further clarification you should contact the Regional Egg Marketing Inspector.

Where serious breaches are found, or where there has been non-co-operation in getting things put right, ultimately we will consider prosecution. We hope to prevent such a step, whenever possible, through good communication and advice.

(extracts taken from “Egg Marketing Inspectorate – code of practice”)