Labelling

Foodstuffs Labelling

A 2011 EU regulation merged directives on the labelling of foodstuff and nutrition labelling, in order to improve the level of consumer information and protection. The regulation applies to all food business operators at all stages of the food chain.  It applies to foodstuffs intended for final customers including those served by or intended to be delivered to mass caterers.  The requirements apply in addition to labelling requirements applicable to particular foodstuffs under other EU provisions.

The nature of labelling and presentation of foodstuffs and attendant publicity, must not mislead the consumer as to the characteristics, properties, and effects of the foodstuff.  It must not attribute to any food, the property of preventing, treating or curing a human disease.

Information on foodstuff must be precise, clear and easily understood by the consumer.


Required Information

The operator under whose name or business name food is marketed, or the importer, if the operator is not established in the EU, is responsible for the information relating to the foodstuff.  It must ensure the presence and accuracy of the information in accordance with applicable EU food legislation and national provisions, where applicable.

Where foodstuffs are prepackaged, the required information must appear on the pre-packaging or on the label attached.  Where they are not prepackaged, the information must be sent to the operator receiving the foodstuff, so that the latter is in a position to provide the information to the end consumer, if necessary.

The mandatory particulars must be easy to understand, be visible, clearly legible and where appropriate indelible.  The height of characters must be at least 1.2 millimetres, except the small size package or containers. The mandatory particulars must be in a language which is easy to understand by the consumer and if required, in several languages.


The Mandatory Particulars

There are following particulars must be incorporated in foodstuff labels;

  • the name;
  • list of ingredients;
  • substances containing causing allergies or intolerances
  • the quantity of certain ingredients and of categories of ingredients;
  • net quantity of food;
  • date of minimum durability or “use by” date;
  • name or business name and address of the food business operator or importer;
  • country of origin or place of the providence of certain types of meat, milk or where failure to indicate might mislead the consumer;
  • instructions for use where it will be difficult to make use of the food in the absence of such instructions;
  • for beverages more than 1.2 percent by volume of alcohol, the alcoholic strength by volume;
  • a nutritional declaration

Mandatory particulars showing the name, net quantity and the alcoholic strength by volume shall appear in the same field of vision.


Exceptions

There are provisions for omission of mandatory particulars in certain limited cases, including in the case of

  • glass bottles intend for reuse;
  • certain small size packaging;
  • certain nutritional labelling of foodstuff;
  • beverages containing more than 1.2 percent by volume of alcohol.

There is an exception for natural mineral waters and food for particular natural nutritional uses, for which separate specific provisions exist.


Voluntary Information

An additional voluntary information provided on food labelling must not mislead the consumer or be ambiguous. It must be based on relevant scientific data. Voluntary food information shall not be displayed to the detriment of the space available for mandatory food information.  The

EU Commission is to adopt measures to ensure voluntary information indicating

  • the accidental presence of substances causing allergies or intolerances;
  • the acceptability of food for vegetarians or vegans;
  • the reference intake for specific categories of population in accordance with the above requirements.

Agricultural Quality Scheme

A 2012 EU regulation provides for quality schemes for agricultural products and foodstuffs. It makes provision for protected designation of origin, protective geographical indications and traditional specialty guarantees. Labels for EU products marketed under a protected designation of origin, protected geographical indication or traditional specialty guarantee, registered under the regulation must show the EU symbol and name of the product as of 2016.

The regulation provides a single set of rules in relation to the official controls and procedures.  It reinforces and clarifies the level of protection for registered names and common EU symbols and it shortens and simplifies the procedure to register names.


Materials in Contact with Food

There is a 2011 EU regulation on plastic materials and articles intended to come into contact with food. It updates earlier regulations. Materials and articles intended to come into contact with food must comply with requirements for use, labelling, traceability, good manufacturing practices, compositional and declaration requirements set out.

Only substances included in the annex to the regulation may be used intentionally in the manufacture of plastic materials and articles, which may come into contact with food. The regulation provides conditions for the use of authorised substances and migration limits.

They correspond to the maximum amount of substances that materials and articles may transfer to food.  Materials must comply with specific migration limits and overall migration limits.


Sugars

A 2011 EU directive provides common rules for certain sugars intended for human consumption in compliance with general legislation applicable to foodstuff.  The rules deal with the composition, sales name, labelling, and presentation of foodstuffs. They seek to provide better information to consumers in order to prevent them being misled by products.

The requirements apply to 11 sugar varieties, including semi-white sugar, white sugar, extra-white sugar, glucose syrup, fructose and certain other substances. There are requirements for labelling, which are applicable in addition to a without prejudice to the general provisions on the labelling of foodstuffs.


Textiles Labelling I

EU regulation makes provision for textile fibre names and labelling.  It provides for

  • the use of textile fibre names with regard to the fibre composition of textile products;
  • labelling of textile products containing nontextile parts of animal origin;
  • methods of analysis to check information indicated on labels or marking

The regulation relates to textile products, which there are products containing at least 80 percent by weight of textile fibres and products treated in the same way as textile products. It does not apply to textile products contracted out to persons working in their own homes nor independent firms, without transfer of property nor to textile products which are made up by self-employed tailors.

The description of the fibre composition of textile products must use the textile fibres list provided for in the annex to the legislation.  The regulation provides which name shall correspond to which type of fibre.  The use of other names is prohibited.


Textile Labelling II

Manufacturers may request the Commission to include a new textile fibre name in the annex.  A technical file must be submitted by the owner setting out the proposed name, the definition, and identification of the fibre. Additional information concerning possible allergic reactions and production processes s required.

The use of the words “100 percent” is limited to products which consist of a single textile fibre.  There are provisions applicable to the use of terms virgin wool or fleece wool and to the circumstances in which they can be used. Textiles composed of several fibres must be labelled with the name and percentage by weight of all constituent fibres in descending order.

The term “other fibres” may be used, if some minor fibres could not be stated at the time of manufacture of the product, for fibres not listed.  Terms “mixed fibres” or “unspecified textile composition” may be used on a textile product, the composition of which is difficult to state at the time of manufacture.  The presence of non-textile parts of animal origin in textile products must be indicated by the phrase “contains non-textile parts of animal origin.”


Textile Labelling III

When placed on the market, textile products shall be labelled and marked in a durable, legible, visible and accessible way, in order to indicate their fibre composition.  In the case of products not intended for the final consumer, labelling and marking must be replaced with accompanying commercial documents.  They shall be provided by the product manufacturer.

A textile product consisting of two or more textile components not having the same textile fibre composition, the fibrous composition for each component must be indicated.  Labelling must not abbreviations.  Labels must be offered in one or more of the official languages of the state, within which the product has been placed on the market.

Economic operators placing textile products on the market are responsible for their labelling and marking.  The description of textile fibre compositions must also appear in catalogues, trade literature and packaging.  Information must be visible for online purchases.  Labelling is not mandatory for certain products listed in the annex to the regulation.


Energy Consumption Labelling

A 2010 EU directive as amended in 2012 establishes a framework for labelling and the provision of consumer information regarding energy consumption for energy-related products. The legislation provides a common framework to promote energy efficiency in the EU.  It applies to products which are likely to have a direct or indirect impact on the consumption of energy and certain other resources during use. It does not apply to second-hand products nor to means of transport for persons or goods.

The EU Commission has the power to adopt delegated acts for five years. The delegated legislation shall indicate in particular the description of the product, measurement, standards and methods, details of technical documentation, design, and content of the label, location where the label should be fixed and duration of label classification.  Where a product is covered by a delegated act, contracting authorities which conclude public works supply and service contract shall procure products which comply with high-performance levels.


Energy Consumption Labelling II

Energy-using products must have a label containing energy on the product’s consumption of electric and other forms of energy. Suppliers must make available technical documentation, including a general description of the product, results of design calculations carried out, test reports and references allowing identification of similar models.

The technical documentation must be available for a period of five years. Suppliers shall provide dealers with labels and product information free of charge.  Dealers must affix labels in such a way that they are visible and legible.

In the case of distance selling, the consumer must have access to the product information in accordance with delegated legislation which is to specify the way in which the label is displayed and provided to the end user.

The classification shall use the letters A to G.  The most efficient class is represented by A+++.  A scale with a maximum of seven colour shall be used.  Dark green shall represent the maximum level of efficiency.


Eco Design Requirements I

A 2009 EU directive establishes eco-design requirements for energy-related products. The eco-design parameters relate to different phases of the product lifecycles including raw materials, manufacturing, packaging, transport, and distribution, installation and maintenance, use and end of life.

For each phase, the following aspects of the product must be assessed.

  • predicted consumption of materials, energy and other resources;
  • anticipated emissions to the air, water or soil;
  • anticipated pollution by way of noise, vibration, radiation and electromagnetic fields;
  • expected generation of waste material;
  • possibilities for reuse, recycling, and recovery of materials or of energy taking into account the directive on waste and electronic equipment

Eco Design Requirements II

Products covered by implementing measures must bear CE marking before being placed on the market.  Market surveillance is to be carried out by the competent authority designated by the state.  They are to have the task of verifying product conformity. They may require the producer to provide necessary information. They may take samples of products and subject them to compliance checks.

States must not hinder the placing on the market of a product which complies with the ecodesign requirements.  If the product does not fulfil the requirements, the state must take suitable measures, which may go as far as prohibiting the placing of the product on the market.  In this case, the state shall inform the Commission and in particular give details if non-compliance is due to failure to satisfy the requirements of the applicable implementing measure, the incorrect application of harmonized standards or shortcomings in harmonized standards.


Eco Design Requirements III

Before being placed on the market, all products must undergo conformity assessment in relation to the eco-design requirements.  Once the products have been placed in the market, the manufacturer or its authorised representatives are to keep all documents relating to conformity assessment, in order to facilitate inspections by states which may take place in the 10 years following the products manufacture.

Products bearing the Community’s eco-label are presumed to comply with the ecodesign requirements stated in the applicable implementing measures.  The Commission has the power to decide whether other ecolabels are equivalent to the Community ecolabel.

If the harmonised standards do not satisfy the provisions of the directive, the state concerned or the Commission shall inform the standing committee set up under the directive.  The committee shall give an opinion which the Commission shall take into account.

The Commission can assist small and medium-sized enterprises in very small firms in integrating environmental aspects, in particular, energy efficiency when designing products.

Manufacturers must be able to provide consumers with information on the role they can play in the sustainable use of the products concerned, as well as the ecological profile of the product and the advantages of ecodesign.


Promotion of Energy Efficiency

A 2012 EU amending directive establishes a common framework for the promotion of energy efficiency in the EU.  It sets out requirements in relation to energy efficiency in the EU, in particular in relation to buildings. Each state is required to set national energy efficiency targets based on primary or final energy consumption and on primary or final energy saving measures and energy intensity


References and Sources

Irish Texts

Consumer Law Rights & Regulation    Donnelly & White (2014)

Consumer Protection Act 2007 Annotated  Bird (2008)

Consumer Rights Long (2004)

Commercial & Consumer Law: Annotated Statutes O’Reilly, P (2000)

UK Texts

Consumer Sales Law: The Law Relating to Consumer Sales and Financing of Goods 3rd ed

John MacLeod, James Devenney (2019)

Electronic Consumer Contracts in the Conflict of Laws 2nd ed Zeng Sophia Tang (2018)

The Law of Consumer Redress in an Evolving Digital Market: Upgrading from Alternative to Online Dispute Resolution Pablo Cortes (2017)

Blackstone’s Statutes on Commercial & Consumer Law 2017-2018 Francis Rose

Consumer and Trading Standards: Law and Practice 2017 Bryan Lewin, Jonathan Kirk

Woodroffe and Lowe’s Consumer Law and Practice Woodroffe and Lowe’s Consumer Law and Practice 10th ed Geoffrey Woodroffe, Chris Willett, Christian Twigg-Flesner (2016)

Butterworths Trading and Consumer Law Looseleaf Annual Subscription Deborah L. Parry, Roland Rowell (2016)

Butterworths Commercial and Consumer Law Handbook 8th ed Richard B. Mawrey, Tobias Riley-Smith (2015

Consumer and Trading Standards: Law and Practice 4th ed


REGULATION (EU) No 1169/2011 OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL

of 25 October 2011

Regulation on the provision of food information to consumers,

amending Regulations (EC) No 1924/2006 and (EC) No 1925/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council, and repealing Commission Directive 87/250/EEC, Council Directive 90/496/EEC, Commission Directive 1999/10/EC, Directive 2000/13/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council, Commission Directives 2002/67/EC and 2008/5/EC and Commission Regulation (EC) No 608/2004

(Text with EEA relevance)

THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND THE COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION,

Having regard to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, and in particular Article 114 thereof,

Having regard to the proposal from the European Commission,

Having regard to the opinion of the European Economic and Social Committee (1),

Acting in accordance with the ordinary legislative procedure (2),

Whereas:

(1)

Article 169 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) provides that the Union is to contribute to the attainment of a high level of consumer protection by the measures it adopts pursuant to Article 114 thereof.

(2)

The free movement of safe and wholesome food is an essential aspect of the internal market and contributes significantly to the health and well-being of citizens, and to their social and economic interests.

(3)

In order to achieve a high level of health protection for consumers and to guarantee their right to information, it should be ensured that consumers are appropriately informed as regards the food they consume. Consumers’ choices can be influenced by, inter alia, health, economic, environmental, social and ethical considerations.

(4)

According to Regulation (EC) No 178/2002 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 28 January 2002 laying down the general principles and requirements of food law, establishing the European Food Safety Authority and laying down procedures in matters of food safety (3) it is a general principle of food law to provide a basis for consumers to make informed choices in relation to food they consume and to prevent any practices that may mislead the consumer.

(5)

Directive 2005/29/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 May 2005 concerning unfair business-to-consumer commercial practices in the internal market (4) covers certain aspects of the provision of information to consumers specifically to prevent misleading actions and omissions of information. The general principles on unfair commercial practices should be complemented by specific rules concerning the provision of food information to consumers.

(6)

Union rules on food labelling applicable to all foods are laid down in Directive 2000/13/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 March 2000 on the approximation of the laws of the Member States relating to the labelling, presentation and advertising of foodstuffs (5). The majority of the provisions laid down in that Directive date back to 1978 and should therefore be updated.

(7)

Council Directive 90/496/EEC of 24 September 1990 on nutrition labelling for foodstuffs (6) lays down rules on the content and presentation of nutrition information on prepacked foods. According to those rules, the inclusion of nutrition information is voluntary unless a nutrition-related claim is made concerning the food. The majority of the provisions laid down in that Directive date back to 1990 and should therefore be updated.

(8)

The general labelling requirements are complemented by a number of provisions applicable to all foods in particular circumstances or to certain categories of foods. In addition, there are a number of specific rules which are applicable to specific foods.

(9)

While the original objectives and the core components of the current labelling legislation are still valid, it is necessary to streamline it in order to ensure easier compliance and greater clarity for stakeholders and to modernise it in order to take account of new developments in the field of food information. This Regulation will both serve the interests of the internal market by simplifying the law, ensuring legal certainty and reducing administrative burden, and benefit citizens by requiring clear, comprehensible and legible labelling of foods.

(10)

The general public has an interest in the relationship between diet and health and in the choice of an appropriate diet to suit individual needs. The Commission White Paper of 30 May 2007 on a Strategy for Europe on Nutrition, Overweight and Obesity related health issues (the ‘Commission White Paper’) noted that nutrition labelling is one important method of informing consumers about the composition of foods and of helping them to make an informed choice. The Commission Communication of 13 March 2007 entitled ‘EU Consumer Policy strategy 2007-2013 — Empowering consumers, enhancing their welfare, effectively protecting them’ underlined that allowing consumers to make an informed choice is essential both to effective competition and consumer welfare. Knowledge of the basic principles of nutrition and appropriate nutrition information on foods would contribute significantly towards enabling the consumer to make such an informed choice. Education and information campaigns are an important mechanism for improving consumer understanding of food information.

(11)

In order to enhance legal certainty and ensure rationality and consistency of enforcement, it is appropriate to repeal Directives 90/496/EEC and 2000/13/EC and to replace them by a single regulation which ensures certainty for consumers and other stakeholders and reduces the administrative burden.

(12)

For the sake of clarity, it is appropriate to repeal and include in this Regulation other horizontal acts, namely Commission Directive 87/250/EEC of 15 April 1987 on the indication of alcoholic strength by volume in the labelling of alcoholic beverages for sale to the ultimate consumer (7), Commission Directive 1999/10/EC of 8 March 1999 providing for derogations from the provisions of Article 7 of Council Directive 79/112/EEC as regards the labelling of foodstuffs (8), Commission Directive 2002/67/EC of 18 July 2002 on the labelling of foodstuffs containing quinine, and of foodstuffs containing caffeine (9), Commission Regulation (EC) No 608/2004 of 31 March 2004 concerning the labelling of foods and food ingredients with added phytosterols, phytosterol esters, phytostanols and/or phytostanol esters (10) and Commission Directive 2008/5/EC of 30 January 2008 concerning the compulsory indication on the labelling of certain foodstuffs of particulars other than those provided for in Directive 2000/13/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council (11).

(13)

It is necessary to set common definitions, principles, requirements and procedures so as to form a clear framework and a common basis for Union and national measures governing food information.

(14)

In order to follow a comprehensive and evolutionary approach to the information provided to consumers relating to food they consume, there should be a broad definition of food information law covering rules of a general and specific nature as well as a broad definition of food information covering information provided also by other means than the label.

(15)

Union rules should apply only to undertakings, the concept of which implies a certain continuity of activities and a certain degree of organisation. Operations such as the occasional handling and delivery of food, the serving of meals and the selling of food by private persons, for example at charity events, or at local community fairs and meetings, should not fall within the scope of this Regulation.

(16)

Food information law should provide sufficient flexibility to be able to keep up to date with new information requirements of consumers and ensure a balance between the protection of the internal market and the differences in the perception of consumers in the Member States.

(17)

The prime consideration for requiring mandatory food information should be to enable consumers to identify and make appropriate use of a food and to make choices that suit their individual dietary needs. With this aim, food business operators should facilitate the accessibility of that information to the visually impaired.

(18)

In order to enable food information law to adapt to consumers’ changing needs for information, any considerations about the need for mandatory food information should also take account of the widely demonstrated interest of the majority of consumers in the disclosure of certain information.

(19)

New mandatory food information requirements should however only be established if and where necessary, in accordance with the principles of subsidiarity, proportionality and sustainability.

(20)

Food information law should prohibit the use of information that would mislead the consumer in particular as to the characteristics of the food, food effects or properties, or attribute medicinal properties to foods. To be effective, that prohibition should also apply to the advertising and presentation of foods.

(21)

In order to prevent a fragmentation of the rules concerning the responsibility of food business operators with respect to food information it is appropriate to clarify the responsibilities of food business operators in this area. That clarification should be in accordance with the responsibilities regarding the consumer referred to in Article 17 of Regulation (EC) No 178/2002.

(22)

A list should be drawn up of all mandatory information which should in principle be provided for all foods intended for the final consumer and mass caterers. That list should maintain the information that is already required under existing Union legislation given that it is generally considered as a valuable acquis in respect of consumer information.

(23)

In order to take account of changes and developments in the field of food information, provisions should be made to empower the Commission to enable certain particulars to be made available through alternative means. Consultation with stakeholders should facilitate timely and well-targeted changes of food information requirements.

(24)

When used in the production of foods and still present therein, certain ingredients or other substances or products (such as processing aids) can cause allergies or intolerances in some people, and some of those allergies or intolerances constitute a danger to the health of those concerned. It is important that information on the presence of food additives, processing aids and other substances or products with a scientifically proven allergenic or intolerance effect should be given to enable consumers, particularly those suffering from a food allergy or intolerance, to make informed choices which are safe for them.

(25)

In order to inform consumers of the presence of engineered nanomaterials in food, it is appropriate to provide for a definition of engineered nanomaterials. Taking into account the possibility of food containing or consisting of engineered nanomaterials being a novel food, the appropriate legislative framework for that definition should be considered in the context of the upcoming review of Regulation (EC) No 258/97 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 27 January 1997 concerning novel foods and novel food ingredients (12).

(26)

Food labels should be clear and understandable in order to assist consumers who want to make better-informed food and dietary choices. Studies show that easy legibility is an important element in maximising the possibility for labelled information to influence its audience and that illegible product information is one of the main causes of consumer dissatisfaction with food labels. Therefore, a comprehensive approach should be developed in order to take into account all aspects related to legibility, including font, colour and contrast.

(27)

In order to ensure the provision of food information, it is necessary to consider all ways of supplying food to consumers, including selling food by means of distance communication. Although it is clear that any food supplied through distance selling should meet the same information requirements as food sold in shops, it is necessary to clarify that in such cases the relevant mandatory food information should also be available before the purchase is concluded.

(28)

The technology used in the freezing of foods has developed significantly during recent decades and has become widely used both to improve the circulation of goods on the Union internal market, and to reduce food safety risks. However, the freezing and later defrosting of certain foods, especially meat and fishery products, limits their possible further use and may also have an effect on their safety, taste and physical quality. Conversely, for other products, especially butter, freezing has no such effects. Therefore, where a product has been defrosted, the final consumer should be appropriately informed of its condition.

(29)

The indication of the country of origin or of the place of provenance of a food should be provided whenever its absence is likely to mislead consumers as to the true country of origin or place of provenance of that product. In all cases, the indication of country of origin or place of provenance should be provided in a manner which does not deceive the consumer and on the basis of clearly defined criteria which ensure a level playing field for industry and improve consumers’ understanding of the information related to the country of origin or place of provenance of a food. Such criteria should not apply to indications related to the name or address of the food business operator.

(30)

In some cases, food business operators may want to indicate the origin of a food on a voluntary basis to draw consumers’ attention to the qualities of their product. Such indications should also comply with harmonised criteria.

(31)

The indication of origin is currently mandatory for beef and beef products (13) in the Union following the bovine spongiform encephalopathy crisis and it has created consumer expectations. The impact assessment of the Commission confirms that the origin of meat appears to be consumers’ prime concern. There are other meats widely consumed in the Union, such as swine, sheep, goat and poultrymeat. It is therefore appropriate to impose a mandatory declaration of origin for those products. The specific origin requirements could differ from one type of meat to another according to the characteristics of the animal species. It is appropriate to provide for the establishment through implementing rules of mandatory requirements that could vary from one type of meat to another taking into account the principle of proportionality and the administrative burden for food business operators and enforcement authorities.

(32)

Mandatory origin provisions have been developed on the basis of vertical approaches for instance for honey (14), fruit and vegetables (15), fish (16), beef and beef products (17) and olive oil (18). There is a need to explore the possibility to extend mandatory origin labelling for other foods. It is therefore appropriate to request the Commission to prepare reports covering the following foods: types of meat other than beef, swine, sheep, goat and poultrymeat; milk; milk used as an ingredient in dairy products; meat used as an ingredient; unprocessed foods; single-ingredient products; and ingredients that represent more than 50 % of a food. Milk being one of the products for which an indication of origin is considered of particular interest, the Commission report on this product should be made available as soon as possible. Based on the conclusions of such reports, the Commission may submit proposals to modify the relevant Union provisions or may take new initiatives, where appropriate, on a sectoral basis.

(33)

The Union’s non-preferential rules of origin are laid down in Council Regulation (EEC) No 2913/92 of 12 October 1992 establishing the Community Customs Code (19) and its implementing provisions in Commission Regulation (EEC) No 2454/93 of 2 July 1993 laying down provisions for the implementation of Council Regulation (EEC) No 2913/92 establishing the Community Customs Code (20). Determination of the country of origin of foods will be based on those rules, which are well known to food business operators and administrations and should ease their implementation.

(34)

The nutrition declaration for a food concerns information on the presence of energy and certain nutrients in foods. The mandatory provision of nutrition information on packaging should assist nutrition actions as part of public health policies which could involve the provision of scientific recommendations for nutrition education for the public and support informed food choices.

(35)

To facilitate the comparison of products in different package sizes, it is appropriate to retain the requirement that the mandatory nutrition declaration should refer to 100 g or 100 ml amounts and, if appropriate, to allow additional portion-based declarations. Therefore, where food is prepacked and individual portions or consumption units are identified, a nutrition declaration per portion or per consumption unit, in addition to the expression per 100 g or per 100 ml, should be allowed. Furthermore, in order to provide comparable indications relating to portions or consumption units, the Commission should be empowered to adopt rules on the expression of the nutrition declaration per portion or per consumption unit for specific categories of food.

(36)

The Commission White Paper highlighted certain nutritional elements of importance to public health such as saturated fat, sugars or sodium. Therefore, it is appropriate that the requirements on the mandatory provision of nutrition information should take into account such elements.

(37)

Since one of the objectives pursued by this Regulation is to provide a basis to the final consumer for making informed choices, it is important to ensure in this respect that the final consumer easily understands the information provided on the labelling. Therefore it is appropriate to use on the labelling the term ‘salt’ instead of the corresponding term of the nutrient ‘sodium’.

(38)

In the interest of consistency and coherence of Union law the voluntary inclusion of nutrition or health claims on food labels should be in accordance with the Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 December 2006 on nutrition and health claims made on foods (21).

(39)

To avoid unnecessary burdens on food business operators, it is appropriate to exempt from the mandatory provision of a nutrition declaration certain categories of foods that are unprocessed or for which nutrition information is not a determining factor for consumers’ purchasing decisions, or for which the packaging is too small to accommodate the mandatory labelling requirements, unless the obligation to provide such information is provided for under other Union rules.

(40)

Taking into account the specific nature of alcoholic beverages, it is appropriate to invite the Commission to analyse further the information requirements for those products. Therefore, the Commission should, taking into account the need to ensure coherence with other relevant Union policies, produce a report within 3 years of the entry into force of this Regulation concerning the application of the requirements to provide information on ingredients and nutrition information to alcoholic beverages. In addition, taking into account the resolution of the European Parliament of 5 September 2007 on an European Union strategy to support Member States in reducing alcohol-related harm (22), the opinion of the European Economic and Social Committee (23), the work of the Commission, and general public concern about alcohol-related harm especially to young and vulnerable consumers, the Commission, after consultation with stakeholders and the Member States, should consider the need for a definition of beverages such as ‘alcopops’, which are specifically targeted at young people. The Commission should also, if appropriate, propose specific requirements relating to alcoholic beverages in the context of this Regulation.

(41)

To appeal to the average consumer and to serve the informative purpose for which it is introduced, and given the current level of knowledge on the subject of nutrition, the nutrition information provided should be simple and easily understood. To have the nutrition information partly in the principal field of vision, commonly known as the ‘front of pack’, and partly on another side on the pack, for instance the ‘back of pack’, might confuse consumers. Therefore, the nutrition declaration should be in the same field of vision. In addition, on a voluntary basis, the most important elements of the nutrition information may be repeated in the principal field of vision, in order to help consumers to easily see the essential nutrition information when purchasing foods. A free choice as to the information that could be repeated might confuse consumers. Therefore it is necessary to clarify which information may be repeated.

(42)

In order to encourage food business operators to provide on a voluntary basis the information contained in the nutrition declaration for foods such as alcoholic beverages and non-prepacked foods that may be exempted from the nutrition declaration, the possibility should be given to declare only limited elements of the nutrition declaration. It is nevertheless appropriate to clearly establish the information that may be provided on a voluntary basis in order to avoid misleading the consumer by the free choice of the food business operator.

(43)

There have been recent developments in the expression of the nutrition declaration, other than per 100 g, per 100 ml or per portion, or in its presentation, through the use of graphical forms or symbols, by some Member States and organisations in the food sector. Such additional forms of expression and presentation may help consumers to better understand the nutrition declaration. However, there is insufficient evidence across all the Union on how the average consumer understands and uses the alternative forms of expression or presentation of the information. Therefore, it is appropriate to allow for different forms of expression and presentation to be developed on the basis of criteria established in this Regulation and to invite the Commission to prepare a report regarding the use of those forms of expression and presentation, their effect on the internal market and the advisability of further harmonisation.

(44)

In order to assist the Commission in producing that report, Member States should provide the Commission with the relevant information on the use of additional forms of expression and presentation of the nutrition declaration on the market in their territory. In order to do so, Member States should be empowered to request food business operators placing on the market in their territory foods bearing additional forms of expression or presentation to notify national authorities of the use of such additional forms and of the relevant justifications regarding the fulfilment of the requirements set out in this Regulation.

(45)

It is desirable to ensure a certain level of consistency in the development of additional forms of expression and presentation of the nutrition declaration. It is therefore appropriate to promote the constant exchange and sharing of best practices and experience between Member States and with the Commission and to promote the participation of stakeholders in such exchanges.

(46)

The declaration in the same field of vision of the amounts of nutritional elements and comparative indicators in an easily recognisable form to enable an assessment of the nutritional properties of a food should be considered in its entirety as part of the nutrition declaration and should not be treated as a group of individual claims.

(47)

Experience shows that in many cases voluntary food information is provided to the detriment of the clarity of the mandatory food information. Therefore, criteria should be provided to help food business operators and enforcement authorities to strike a balance between the provision of mandatory and voluntary food information.

(48)

Member States should retain the right, depending on local practical conditions and circumstances, to lay down rules in respect of the provision of information concerning non-prepacked foods. Although in such cases the consumer demand for other information is limited, information on potential allergens is considered very important. Evidence suggests that most food allergy incidents can be traced back to non-prepacked food. Therefore information on potential allergens should always be provided to the consumer.

(49)

As regards the matters specifically harmonised by this Regulation, Member States should not be able to adopt national provisions unless authorised by Union law. This Regulation should not prevent Member States from adopting national measures concerning matters not specifically harmonised by this Regulation. However, such national measures should not prohibit, impede or restrict the free movement of goods that are in conformity with this Regulation.

(50)

Union consumers show an increasing interest in the implementation of the Union animal welfare rules at the time of slaughter, including whether the animal was stunned before slaughter. In this respect, a study on the opportunity to provide consumers with the relevant information on the stunning of animals should be considered in the context of a future Union strategy for the protection and welfare of animals.

(51)

Food information rules should be able to adapt to a rapidly changing social, economic and technological environment.

(52)

Member States should carry out official controls in order to enforce compliance with this Regulation in accordance with Regulation (EC) No 882/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 29 April 2004 on official controls performed to ensure the verification of compliance with feed and food law, animal health and animal welfare rules (24).

(53)

References to Directive 90/496/EEC in Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006 and in Regulation (EC) No 1925/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 December 2006 on the addition of vitamins and minerals and of certain other substances to foods (25) should be updated to take this Regulation into account. Regulations (EC) No 1924/2006 and (EC) No 1925/2006 should therefore be amended accordingly.

(54)

Irregular and frequent updating of food information requirements may impose considerable administrative burdens on food businesses, especially small and medium-sized enterprises. It is therefore appropriate to ensure that measures that may be adopted by the Commission in exercising the powers conferred by this Regulation apply on the same day in any calendar year following an appropriate transitional period. Derogations from this principle should be permitted in cases of urgency where the purpose of the measures concerned is the protection of human health.

(55)

In order to enable food business operators to adapt the labelling of their products to the new requirements introduced by this Regulation, it is important to provide for appropriate transitional periods for the application of this Regulation.

(56)

Given the substantial changes in the requirements related to nutrition labelling introduced by this Regulation, in particular changes in relation to the content of the nutrition declaration, it is appropriate to authorise food business operators to anticipate the application of this Regulation.

(57)

Since the objectives of this Regulation cannot be sufficiently achieved by the Member States and can therefore be better achieved at Union level, the Union may adopt measures, in accordance with the principle of subsidiarity as set out in Article 5 of the Treaty on European Union. In accordance with the principle of proportionality, as set out in that Article, this Regulation does not go beyond what is necessary in order to achieve those objectives.

(58)

The power to adopt delegated acts in accordance with Article 290 TFEU should be delegated to the Commission in respect of, inter alia, the availability of certain mandatory particulars by means other than on the package or on the label, the list of foods not required to bear a list of ingredients, the re-examination of the list of substances or products causing allergies or intolerances, or the list of nutrients that may be declared on a voluntary basis. It is of particular importance that the Commission carry out appropriate consultations during its preparatory work, including at expert level. The Commission, when preparing and drawing up delegated acts, should ensure simultaneous, timely and appropriate transmission of relevant documents to the European Parliament and to the Council.

(59)

In order to ensure uniform conditions for the implementation of this Regulation, implementing powers should be conferred on the Commission to adopt implementing acts in relation to, inter alia, the modalities of expression of one or more particulars by means of pictograms or symbols instead of words or numbers, the manner of indicating the date of minimum durability, the manner of indicating the country of origin or place of provenance for meat, the precision of the declared values for the nutrition declaration, or the expression per portion or per consumption unit of the nutrition declaration. Those powers should be exercised in accordance with Regulation (EU) No 182/2011 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 February 2011 laying down the rules and general principles concerning mechanisms for control by Member States of the Commission’s exercise of implementing powers (26),

HAVE ADOPTED THIS REGULATION:


CHAPTER I

GENERAL PROVISIONS

Article 1

Subject matter and scope

1.   This Regulation provides the basis for the assurance of a high level of consumer protection in relation to food information, taking into account the differences in the perception of consumers and their information needs whilst ensuring the smooth functioning of the internal market.

2.   This Regulation establishes the general principles, requirements and responsibilities governing food information, and in particular food labelling. It lays down the means to guarantee the right of consumers to information and procedures for the provision of food information, taking into account the need to provide sufficient flexibility to respond to future developments and new information requirements.

3.   This Regulation shall apply to food business operators at all stages of the food chain, where their activities concern the provision of food information to consumers. It shall apply to all foods intended for the final consumer, including foods delivered by mass caterers, and foods intended for supply to mass caterers.

This Regulation shall apply to catering services provided by transport undertakings when the departure takes place on the territories of the Member States to which the Treaties apply.

4.   This Regulation shall apply without prejudice to labelling requirements provided for in specific Union provisions applicable to particular foods.


Article 2

Definitions

1.   For the purposes of this Regulation, the following definitions shall apply:

(a)

the definitions of ‘food’, ‘food law’, ‘food business’, ‘food business operator’, ‘retail’, ‘placing on the market’ and ‘final consumer’ in Article 2 and in points (1), (2), (3), (7), (8) and (18) of Article 3 of Regulation (EC) No 178/2002;

(b)

the definitions of ‘processing’, ‘unprocessed products’ and ‘processed products’ in points (m), (n) and (o) of Article 2(1) of Regulation (EC) No 852/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 29 April 2004 on the hygiene of foodstuffs (27);

(c)

the definition of ‘food enzyme’ in point (a) of Article 3(2) of Regulation (EC) No 1332/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 December 2008 on food enzymes (28);

(d)

the definitions of ‘food additive’, ‘processing aid’ and ‘carrier’ in points (a) and (b) of Article 3(2) of, and in point 5 of Annex I to, Regulation (EC) No 1333/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 December 2008 on food additives (29);

(e)

the definition of ‘flavourings’ in point (a) of Article 3(2) of Regulation (EC) No 1334/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 December 2008 on flavourings and certain food ingredients with flavouring properties for use in and on foods (30);

(f)

the definitions of ‘meat’, ‘mechanically separated meat’, ‘meat preparations’, ‘fishery products’ and ‘meat products’ in points 1.1, 1.14, 1.15, 3.1 and 7.1 of Annex I to Regulation (EC) No 853/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 29 April 2004 laying down specific hygiene rules for food of animal origin (31);

(g)

the definition of ‘advertising’ in point (a) of Article 2 of Directive 2006/114/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 12 December 2006 concerning misleading and comparative advertising (32).

2.   The following definitions shall also apply:

(a)

‘food information’ means information concerning a food and made available to the final consumer by means of a label, other accompanying material, or any other means including modern technology tools or verbal communication;

(b)

‘food information law’ means the Union provisions governing the food information, and in particular labelling, including rules of a general nature applicable to all foods in particular circumstances or to certain categories of foods and rules which apply only to specific foods;

(c)

‘mandatory food information’ means the particulars that are required to be provided to the final consumer by Union provisions;

(d)

‘mass caterer’ means any establishment (including a vehicle or a fixed or mobile stall), such as restaurants, canteens, schools, hospitals and catering enterprises in which, in the course of a business, food is prepared to be ready for consumption by the final consumer;

(e)

‘prepacked food’ means any single item for presentation as such to the final consumer and to mass caterers, consisting of a food and the packaging into which it was put before being offered for sale, whether such packaging encloses the food completely or only partially, but in any event in such a way that the contents cannot be altered without opening or changing the packaging; ‘prepacked food’ does not cover foods packed on the sales premises at the consumer’s request or prepacked for direct sale;

(f)

‘ingredient’ means any substance or product, including flavourings, food additives and food enzymes, and any constituent of a compound ingredient, used in the manufacture or preparation of a food and still present in the finished product, even if in an altered form; residues shall not be considered as ‘ingredients’;

(g)

‘place of provenance’ means any place where a food is indicated to come from, and that is not the ‘country of origin’ as determined in accordance with Articles 23 to 26 of Regulation (EEC) No 2913/92; the name, business name or address of the food business operator on the label shall not constitute an indication of the country of origin or place of provenance of food within the meaning of this Regulation;

(h)

‘compound ingredient’ means an ingredient that is itself the product of more than one ingredient;

(i)

‘label’ means any tag, brand, mark, pictorial or other descriptive matter, written, printed, stencilled, marked, embossed or impressed on, or attached to the packaging or container of food;

(j)

‘labelling’ means any words, particulars, trade marks, brand name, pictorial matter or symbol relating to a food and placed on any packaging, document, notice, label, ring or collar accompanying or referring to such food;

(k)

‘field of vision’ means all the surfaces of a package that can be read from a single viewing point;

(l)

‘principal field of vision’ means the field of vision of a package which is most likely to be seen at first glance by the consumer at the time of purchase and that enables the consumer to immediately identify a product in terms of its character or nature and, if applicable, its brand name. If a package has several identical principal fields of vision, the principal field of vision is the one chosen by the food business operator;

(m)

‘legibility’ means the physical appearance of information, by means of which the information is visually accessible to the general population and which is determined by various elements, inter alia, font size, letter spacing, spacing between lines, stroke width, type colour, typeface, width-height ratio of the letters, the surface of the material and significant contrast between the print and the background;

(n)

‘legal name’ means the name of a food prescribed in the Union provisions applicable to it or, in the absence of such Union provisions, the name provided for in the laws, regulations and administrative provisions applicable in the Member State in which the food is sold to the final consumer or to mass caterers;

(o)

‘customary name’ means a name which is accepted as the name of the food by consumers in the Member State in which that food is sold, without that name needing further explanation;

(p)

‘descriptive name’ means a name providing a description of the food, and if necessary of its use, which is sufficiently clear to enable consumers to know its true nature and distinguish it from other products with which it might be confused;

(q)

‘primary ingredient’ means an ingredient or ingredients of a food that represent more than 50 % of that food or which are usually associated with the name of the food by the consumer and for which in most cases a quantitative indication is required;

(r)

‘date of minimum durability of a food’ means the date until which the food retains its specific properties when properly stored;

(s)

‘nutrient’ means protein, carbohydrate, fat, fibre, sodium, vitamins and minerals listed in point 1 of Part A of Annex XIII to this Regulation, and substances which belong to or are components of one of those categories;

(t)

‘engineered nanomaterial’ means any intentionally produced material that has one or more dimensions of the order of 100 nm or less or that is composed of discrete functional parts, either internally or at the surface, many of which have one or more dimensions of the order of 100 nm or less, including structures, agglomerates or aggregates, which may have a size above the order of 100 nm but retain properties that are characteristic of the nanoscale.

Properties that are characteristic of the nanoscale include:

(i)

those related to the large specific surface area of the materials considered; and/or

(ii)

specific physico-chemical properties that are different from those of the non-nanoform of the same material;

(u)

‘means of distance communication’ means any means which, without the simultaneous physical presence of the supplier and the consumer, may be used for the conclusion of a contract between those parties.

3.   For the purposes of this Regulation the country of origin of a food shall refer to the origin of a food as determined in accordance with Articles 23 to 26 of Regulation (EEC) No 2913/92.

4.   The specific definitions set out in Annex I shall also apply.


CHAPTER II

GENERAL PRINCIPLES ON FOOD INFORMATION

Article 3

General objectives

1.   The provision of food information shall pursue a high level of protection of consumers’ health and interests by providing a basis for final consumers to make informed choices and to make safe use of food, with particular regard to health, economic, environmental, social and ethical considerations.

2.   Food information law shall aim to achieve in the Union the free movement of legally produced and marketed food, taking into account, where appropriate, the need to protect the legitimate interests of producers and to promote the production of quality products.

3.   When food information law establishes new requirements, a transitional period after the entry into force of the new requirements shall be granted, except in duly justified cases. During such transitional period, foods bearing labels not complying with the new requirements may be placed on the market, and stocks of such foods that have been placed on the market before the end of the transitional period may continue to be sold until exhausted.

4.   An open and transparent public consultation shall be conducted, including with stakeholders, directly or through representative bodies, during the preparation, evaluation and revision of food information law, except where the urgency of the matter does not allow it.


Article 4

Principles governing mandatory food information

1.   Where mandatory food information is required by food information law, it shall concern information that falls, in particular, into one of the following categories:

(a)

information on the identity and composition, properties or other characteristics of the food;

(b)

information on the protection of consumers’ health and the safe use of a food. In particular, it shall concern information on:

(i)

compositional attributes that may be harmful to the health of certain groups of consumers;

(ii)

durability, storage and safe use;

(iii)

the health impact, including the risks and consequences related to harmful and hazardous consumption of a food;

(c)

information on nutritional characteristics so as to enable consumers, including those with special dietary requirements, to make informed choices.

2.   When considering the need for mandatory food information and to enable consumers to make informed choices, account shall be taken of a widespread need on the part of the majority of consumers for certain information to which they attach significant value or of any generally accepted benefits to the consumer.


Article 5

Consultation of the European Food Safety Authority

Any Union measure in the field of food information law which is likely to have an effect on public health shall be adopted after consultation of the European Food Safety Authority (‘the Authority’).


CHAPTER III

GENERAL FOOD INFORMATION REQUIREMENTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF FOOD BUSINESS OPERATORS

Article 6

Basic requirement

Any food intended for supply to the final consumer or to mass caterers shall be accompanied by food information in accordance with this Regulation.

Article 7

Fair information practices

1.   Food information shall not be misleading, particularly:

(a)

as to the characteristics of the food and, in particular, as to its nature, identity, properties, composition, quantity, durability, country of origin or place of provenance, method of manufacture or production;

(b)

by attributing to the food effects or properties which it does not possess;

(c)

by suggesting that the food possesses special characteristics when in fact all similar foods possess such characteristics, in particular by specifically emphasising the presence or absence of certain ingredients and/or nutrients;

(d)

by suggesting, by means of the appearance, the description or pictorial representations, the presence of a particular food or an ingredient, while in reality a component naturally present or an ingredient normally used in that food has been substituted with a different component or a different ingredient.

2.   Food information shall be accurate, clear and easy to understand for the consumer.

3.   Subject to derogations provided for by Union law applicable to natural mineral waters and foods for particular nutritional uses, food information shall not attribute to any food the property of preventing, treating or curing a human disease, nor refer to such properties.

4.   Paragraphs 1, 2 and 3 shall also apply to:

(a)

advertising;

(b)

the presentation of foods, in particular their shape, appearance or packaging, the packaging materials used, the way in which they are arranged and the setting in which they are displayed.


Article 8

Responsibilities

1.   The food business operator responsible for the food information shall be the operator under whose name or business name the food is marketed or, if that operator is not established in the Union, the importer into the Union market.

2.   The food business operator responsible for the food information shall ensure the presence and accuracy of the food information in accordance with the applicable food information law and requirements of relevant national provisions.

3.   Food business operators which do not affect food information shall not supply food which they know or presume, on the basis of the information in their possession as professionals, to be non-compliant with the applicable food information law and requirements of relevant national provisions.

4.   Food business operators, within the businesses under their control, shall not modify the information accompanying a food if such modification would mislead the final consumer or otherwise reduce the level of consumer protection and the possibilities for the final consumer to make informed choices. Food business operators are responsible for any changes they make to food information accompanying a food.

5.   Without prejudice to paragraphs 2 to 4, food business operators, within the businesses under their control, shall ensure compliance with the requirements of food information law and relevant national provisions which are relevant to their activities and shall verify that such requirements are met.

6.   Food business operators, within the businesses under their control, shall ensure that information relating to non-prepacked food intended for the final consumer or for supply to mass caterers shall be transmitted to the food business operator receiving the food in order to enable, when required, the provision of mandatory food information to the final consumer.

7.   In the following cases, food business operators, within the businesses under their control, shall ensure that the mandatory particulars required under Articles 9 and 10 shall appear on the prepackaging or on a label attached thereto, or on the commercial documents referring to the foods where it can be guaranteed that such documents either accompany the food to which they refer or were sent before or at the same time as delivery:

(a)

where prepacked food is intended for the final consumer but marketed at a stage prior to sale to the final consumer and where sale to a mass caterer is not involved at that stage;

(b)

where prepacked food is intended for supply to mass caterers for preparation, processing, splitting or cutting up.

Notwithstanding the first subparagraph, food business operators shall ensure that the particulars referred to in points (a), (f), (g) and (h) of Article 9(1) also appear on the external packaging in which the prepacked foods are presented for marketing.

8.   Food business operators that supply to other food business operators food not intended for the final consumer or to mass caterers shall ensure that those other food business operators are provided with sufficient information to enable them, where appropriate, to meet their obligations under paragraph 2.


CHAPTER IV

MANDATORY FOOD INFORMATION

SECTION 1

Content and presentation

Article 9

List of mandatory particulars

1.   In accordance with Articles 10 to 35 and subject to the exceptions contained in this Chapter, indication of the following particulars shall be mandatory:

(a)

the name of the food;

(b)

the list of ingredients;

(c)

any ingredient or processing aid listed in Annex II or derived from a substance or product listed in Annex II causing allergies or intolerances used in the manufacture or preparation of a food and still present in the finished product, even if in an altered form;

(d)

the quantity of certain ingredients or categories of ingredients;

(e)

the net quantity of the food;

(f)

the date of minimum durability or the ‘use by’ date;

(g)

any special storage conditions and/or conditions of use;

(h)

the name or business name and address of the food business operator referred to in Article 8(1);

(i)

the country of origin or place of provenance where provided for in Article 26;

(j)

instructions for use where it would be difficult to make appropriate use of the food in the absence of such instructions;

(k)

with respect to beverages containing more than 1,2 % by volume of alcohol, the actual alcoholic strength by volume;

(l)

a nutrition declaration.

2.   The particulars referred to in paragraph 1 shall be indicated with words and numbers. Without prejudice to Article 35, they may additionally be expressed by means of pictograms or symbols.

3.   Where the Commission adopts delegated and implementing acts referred to in this Article, the particulars referred to in paragraph 1 may alternatively be expressed by means of pictograms or symbols instead of words or numbers.

In order to ensure that consumers benefit from other means of expression of mandatory food information than words and numbers, and provided that the same level of information as with words and numbers is ensured, the Commission, taking into account evidence of uniform consumer understanding, may establish, by means of delegated acts in accordance with Article 51, the criteria subject to which one or more particulars referred to in paragraph 1 may be expressed by pictograms or symbols instead of words or numbers.

4.   For the purpose of ensuring the uniform implementation of paragraph 3 of this Article, the Commission may adopt implementing acts on the modalities of application of the criteria defined in accordance with paragraph 3 to express one or more particulars by means of pictograms or symbols instead of words or numbers. Those implementing acts shall be adopted in accordance with the examination procedure referred to in Article 48(2).


Article 10

Additional mandatory particulars for specific types or categories of foods

1.   In addition to the particulars listed in Article 9(1), additional mandatory particulars for specific types or categories of foods are laid down in Annex III.

2.   In order to ensure consumer information with respect to specific types or categories of foods and to take account of technical progress, scientific developments, the protection of consumers’ health or the safe use of a food, the Commission may amend Annex III by means of delegated acts, in accordance with Article 51.

Where, in the case of the emergence of a risk to consumers’ health, imperative grounds of urgency so require, the procedure provided for in Article 52 shall apply to delegated acts adopted pursuant to this Article.


Article 11

Weights and measures

Article 9 shall be without prejudice to more specific Union provisions regarding weights and measures.


Article 12

Availability and placement of mandatory food information

1.   Mandatory food information shall be available and shall be easily accessible, in accordance with this Regulation, for all foods.

2.   In the case of prepacked food, mandatory food information shall appear directly on the package or on a label attached thereto.

3.   In order to ensure that consumers benefit from other means of provision of mandatory food information better adapted for certain mandatory particulars, and provided that the same level of information as by means of the package or the label is ensured, the Commission, taking into account evidence of uniform consumer understanding and of the wide use of these means by consumers, may establish, by means of delegated acts in accordance with Article 51, criteria subject to which certain mandatory particulars may be expressed by means other than on the package or on the label.

4.   For the purposes of ensuring the uniform implementation of paragraph 3 of this Article, the Commission may adopt implementing acts on the modalities of application of the criteria referred to in paragraph 3 in order to express certain mandatory particulars by means other than on the package or on the label. Those implementing acts shall be adopted in accordance with the examination procedure referred to in Article 48(2).

5.   In the case of non-prepacked food, the provisions of Article 44 shall apply.


Article 13

Presentation of mandatory particulars

1.   Without prejudice to the national measures adopted under Article 44(2), mandatory food information shall be marked in a conspicuous place in such a way as to be easily visible, clearly legible and, where appropriate, indelible. It shall not in any way be hidden, obscured, detracted from or interrupted by any other written or pictorial matter or any other intervening material.

2.   Without prejudice to specific Union provisions applicable to particular foods, when appearing on the package or on the label attached thereto, the mandatory particulars listed in Article 9(1) shall be printed on the package or on the label in such a way as to ensure clear legibility, in characters using a font size where the x-height, as defined in Annex IV, is equal to or greater than 1,2 mm.

3.   In case of packaging or containers the largest surface of which has an area of less than 80 cm2, the x-height of the font size referred to in paragraph 2 shall be equal to or greater than 0,9 mm.

4.   For the purpose of achieving the objectives of this Regulation, the Commission shall, by means of delegated acts in accordance with Article 51, establish rules for legibility.

For the same purpose as referred to in the first subparagraph, the Commission may, by means of delegated acts in accordance with Article 51, extend the requirements under paragraph 5 of this Article to additional mandatory particulars for specific types or categories of foods.

5.   The particulars listed in points (a), (e) and (k) of Article 9(1) shall appear in the same field of vision.

6.   Paragraph 5 of this Article shall not apply in the cases specified in Article 16(1) and (2).


Article 14

Distance selling

1.   Without prejudice to the information requirements laid down in Article 9, in the case of prepacked foods offered for sale by means of distance communication:

(a)

mandatory food information, except the particulars provided in point (f) of Article 9(1), shall be available before the purchase is concluded and shall appear on the material supporting the distance selling or be provided through other appropriate means clearly identified by the food business operator. When other appropriate means are used, the mandatory food information shall be provided without the food business operator charging consumers supplementary costs;

(b)

all mandatory particulars shall be available at the moment of delivery.

2.   In the case of non-prepacked foods offered for sale by means of distance communication, the particulars required under Article 44 shall be made available in accordance with paragraph 1 of this Article.

3.   Point (a) of paragraph 1 shall not apply to foods offered for sale by means of automatic vending machines or automated commercial premises.


Article 15

Language requirements

1.   Without prejudice to Article 9(3), mandatory food information shall appear in a language easily understood by the consumers of the Member States where a food is marketed.

2.   Within their own territory, the Member States in which a food is marketed may stipulate that the particulars shall be given in one or more languages from among the official languages of the Union.

3.   Paragraphs 1 and 2 shall not preclude the particulars from being indicated in several languages.


Article 16

Omission of certain mandatory particulars

1.   In the case of glass bottles intended for reuse which are indelibly marked and which therefore bear no label, ring or collar only the particulars listed in points (a), (c), (e), (f) and (l) of Article 9(1) shall be mandatory.

2.   In the case of packaging or containers the largest surface of which has an area of less than 10 cm2 only the particulars listed in points (a), (c), (e) and (f) of Article 9(1) shall be mandatory on the package or on the label. The particulars referred to in point (b) of Article 9(1) shall be provided through other means or shall be made available at the request of the consumer.

3.   Without prejudice to other Union provisions requiring a mandatory nutrition declaration, the declaration referred to in point (l) of Article 9(1) shall not be mandatory for the foods listed in Annex V.

4.   Without prejudice to other Union provisions requiring a list of ingredients or a mandatory nutrition declaration, the particulars referred to in points (b) and (l) of Article 9(1) shall not be mandatory for beverages containing more than 1,2 % by volume of alcohol.

By 13 December 2014, the Commission shall produce a report concerning the application of Article 18 and Article 30(1) to the products referred to in this paragraph, and addressing whether alcoholic beverages should in future be covered, in particular, by the requirement to provide the information on the energy value, and the reasons justifying possible exemptions, taking into account the need to ensure coherence with other relevant Union policies. In this context, the Commission shall consider the need to propose a definition of ‘alcopops’.

The Commission shall accompany that report by a legislative proposal, if appropriate, determining the rules for a list of ingredients or a mandatory nutrition declaration for those products.


SECTION 2

Detailed provisions on mandatory particulars

Article 17

Name of the food

1.   The name of the food shall be its legal name. In the absence of such a name, the name of the food shall be its customary name, or, if there is no customary name or the customary name is not used, a descriptive name of the food shall be provided.

2.   The use in the Member State of marketing of the name of the food under which the product is legally manufactured and marketed in the Member State of production shall be allowed. However, where the application of the other provisions of this Regulation, in particular those set out in Article 9, would not enable consumers in the Member State of marketing to know the true nature of the food and to distinguish it from foods with which they could confuse it, the name of the food shall be accompanied by other descriptive information which shall appear in proximity to the name of the food.

3.   In exceptional cases, the name of the food in the Member State of production shall not be used in the Member State of marketing when the food which it designates in the Member State of production is so different, as regards its composition or manufacture, from the food known under that name in the Member State of marketing that paragraph 2 is not sufficient to ensure, in the Member State of marketing, correct information for consumers.

4.   The name of the food shall not be replaced with a name protected as intellectual property, brand name or fancy name.

5.   Specific provisions on the name of the food and particulars that shall accompany it are laid down in Annex VI.


Article 18

List of ingredients

1.   The list of ingredients shall be headed or preceded by a suitable heading which consists of or includes the word ‘ingredients’. It shall include all the ingredients of the food, in descending order of weight, as recorded at the time of their use in the manufacture of the food.

2.   Ingredients shall be designated by their specific name, where applicable, in accordance with the rules laid down in Article 17 and in Annex VI.

3.   All ingredients present in the form of engineered nanomaterials shall be clearly indicated in the list of ingredients. The names of such ingredients shall be followed by the word ‘nano’ in brackets.

4.   Technical rules for applying paragraphs 1 and 2 of this Article are laid down in Annex VII.

5.   For the purposes of achieving the objectives of this Regulation, the Commission shall, by means of delegated acts in accordance with Article 51, adjust and adapt the definition of engineered nanomaterials referred to in point (t) of Article 2(2) to technical and scientific progress or to definitions agreed at international level.


Article 19

Omission of the list of ingredients

1.   The following foods shall not be required to bear a list of ingredients:

(a)

fresh fruit and vegetables, including potatoes, which have not been peeled, cut or similarly treated;

(b)

carbonated water, the description of which indicates that it has been carbonated;

(c)

fermentation vinegars derived exclusively from a single basic product, provided that no other ingredient has been added;

(d)

cheese, butter, fermented milk and cream, to which no ingredient has been added other than lactic products, food enzymes and micro-organism cultures essential to manufacture, or in the case of cheese other than fresh cheese and processed cheese the salt needed for its manufacture;

(e)

foods consisting of a single ingredient, where:

(i)

the name of the food is identical to the ingredient name; or

(ii)

the name of the food enables the nature of the ingredient to be clearly identified.

2.   In order to take into account the relevance for the consumer of a list of ingredients for specific types or categories of foods, the Commission may, in exceptional cases, by means of delegated acts, in accordance with Article 51, supplement paragraph 1 of this Article, provided that omissions do not result in the final consumer or mass caterers being inadequately informed.


Article 20

Omission of constituents of food from the list of ingredients

Without prejudice to Article 21, the following constituents of a food shall not be required to be included in the list of ingredients:

(a)

the constituents of an ingredient which have been temporarily separated during the manufacturing process and later reintroduced but not in excess of their original proportions;

(b)

food additives and food enzymes:

(i)

whose presence in a given food is solely due to the fact that they were contained in one or more ingredients of that food, in accordance with the carry-over principle referred to in points (a) and (b) of Article 18(1) of Regulation (EC) No 1333/2008, provided that they serve no technological function in the finished product; or

(ii)

which are used as processing aids;

(c)

carriers and substances which are not food additives but are used in the same way and with the same purpose as carriers, and which are used in the quantities strictly necessary;

(d)

substances which are not food additives but are used in the same way and with the same purpose as processing aids and are still present in the finished product, even if in an altered form;

(e)

water:

(i)

where the water is used during the manufacturing process solely for the reconstitution of an ingredient used in concentrated or dehydrated form; or

(ii)

in the case of a liquid medium which is not normally consumed.


Article 21

Labelling of certain substances or products causing allergies or intolerances

1.   Without prejudice to the rules adopted under Article 44(2), the particulars referred to in point (c) of Article 9(1) shall meet the following requirements:

(a)

they shall be indicated in the list of ingredients in accordance with the rules laid down in Article 18(1), with a clear reference to the name of the substance or product as listed in Annex II; and

(b)

the name of the substance or product as listed in Annex II shall be emphasised through a typeset that clearly distinguishes it from the rest of the list of ingredients, for example by means of the font, style or background colour.

In the absence of a list of ingredients, the indication of the particulars referred to in point (c) of Article 9(1) shall comprise the word ‘contains’ followed by the name of the substance or product as listed in Annex II.

Where several ingredients or processing aids of a food originate from a single substance or product listed in Annex II, the labelling shall make it clear for each ingredient or processing aid concerned.

The indication of the particulars referred to in point (c) of Article 9(1) shall not be required in cases where the name of the food clearly refers to the substance or product concerned.

2.   In order to ensure better information for consumers and to take account of the most recent scientific progress and technical knowledge, the Commission shall systematically re-examine and, where necessary, update the list in Annex II by means of delegated acts, in accordance with Article 51.

Where, in the case of the emergence of a risk to consumers’ health, imperative grounds of urgency so require, the procedure provided for in Article 52 shall apply to delegated acts adopted pursuant to this Article.


Article 22

Quantitative indication of ingredients

1.   The indication of the quantity of an ingredient or category of ingredients used in the manufacture or preparation of a food shall be required where the ingredient or category of ingredients concerned:

(a)

appears in the name of the food or is usually associated with that name by the consumer;

(b)

is emphasised on the labelling in words, pictures or graphics; or

(c)

is essential to characterise a food and to distinguish it from products with which it might be confused because of its name or appearance.

2.   Technical rules for applying paragraph 1, including specific cases where the quantitative indication shall not be required in respect of certain ingredients, are laid down in Annex VIII.


Article 23

Net quantity

1.   The net quantity of a food shall be expressed using litres, centilitres, millilitres, kilograms or grams, as appropriate:

(a)

in units of volume in the case of liquid products;

(b)

in units of mass in the case of other products.

2.   In order to ensure a better understanding by the consumer of the food information on the labelling, the Commission may establish for certain specified foods, by means of delegated acts, in accordance with Article 51, a manner for the expression of the net quantity other than the one laid down in paragraph 1 of this Article.

3.   Technical rules for applying paragraph 1, including specific cases where the indication of the net quantity shall not be required, are laid down in Annex IX.


Article 24

Minimum durability date, ‘use by’ date and date of freezing

1.   In the case of foods which, from a microbiological point of view, are highly perishable and are therefore likely after a short period to constitute an immediate danger to human health, the date of minimum durability shall be replaced by the ‘use by’ date. After the ‘use by’ date a food shall be deemed to be unsafe in accordance with Article 14(2) to (5) of Regulation (EC) No 178/2002.

2.   The appropriate date shall be expressed in accordance with Annex X.

3.   In order to ensure a uniform application of the manner of indicating the date of minimum durability referred to in point 1(c) of Annex X, the Commission may adopt implementing acts setting out rules in this regard. Those implementing acts shall be adopted in accordance with the examination procedure referred to in Article 48(2).


Article 25

Storage conditions or conditions of use

1.   In cases where foods require special storage conditions and/or conditions of use, those conditions shall be indicated.

2.   To enable appropriate storage or use of the food after opening the package, the storage conditions and/or time limit for consumption shall be indicated, where appropriate.


Article 26

Country of origin or place of provenance

1.   This Article shall apply without prejudice to labelling requirements provided for in specific Union provisions, in particular Council Regulation (EC) No 509/2006 of 20 March 2006 on agricultural products and foodstuffs as traditional specialties guaranteed (33) and Council Regulation (EC) No 510/2006 of 20 March 2006 on the protection of geographical indications and designations of origin for agricultural products and foodstuffs (34).

2.   Indication of the country of origin or place of provenance shall be mandatory:

(a)

where failure to indicate this might mislead the consumer as to the true country of origin or place of provenance of the food, in particular if the information accompanying the food or the label as a whole would otherwise imply that the food has a different country of origin or place of provenance;

(b)

for meat falling within the Combined Nomenclature (‘CN’) codes listed in Annex XI. The application of this point shall be subject to the adoption of implementing acts referred to in paragraph 8.

3.   Where the country of origin or the place of provenance of a food is given and where it is not the same as that of its primary ingredient:

(a)

the country of origin or place of provenance of the primary ingredient in question shall also be given; or

(b)

the country of origin or place of provenance of the primary ingredient shall be indicated as being different to that of the food.

The application of this paragraph shall be subject to the adoption of the implementing acts referred to in paragraph 8.

4.   Within 5 years from the date of application of point (b) of paragraph 2, the Commission shall submit a report to the European Parliament and the Council to evaluate the mandatory indication of the country of origin or place of provenance for products referred to in that point.

5.   By 13 December 2014, the Commission shall submit reports to the European Parliament and the Council regarding the mandatory indication of the country of origin or place of provenance for the following foods:

(a)

types of meat other than beef and those referred to in point (b) of paragraph 2;

(b)

milk;

(c)

milk used as an ingredient in dairy products;

(d)

unprocessed foods;

(e)

single ingredient products;

(f)

ingredients that represent more than 50 % of a food.

6.   By 13 December 2013, the Commission shall submit a report to the European Parliament and the Council regarding the mandatory indication of the country of origin or place of provenance for meat used as an ingredient.

7.   The reports referred to in paragraphs 5 and 6 shall take into account the need for the consumer to be informed, the feasibility of providing the mandatory indication of the country of origin or place of provenance and an analysis of the costs and benefits of the introduction of such measures, including the legal impact on the internal market and the impact on international trade.

The Commission may accompany those reports with proposals to modify the relevant Union provisions.

8.   By 13 December 2013, following impact assessments, the Commission shall adopt implementing acts concerning the application of point (b) of paragraph 2 of this Article and the application of paragraph 3 of this Article. Those implementing acts shall be adopted in accordance with the examination procedure referred to in Article 48(2).

9.   In the case of foods referred to in point (b) of paragraph 2, in point (a) of paragraph 5 and in paragraph 6, the reports and the impact assessments under this Article shall consider, inter alia, the options for the modalities of expressing the country of origin or place of provenance of those foods, in particular with respect to each of the following determining points in the life of the animal:

(a)

place of birth;

(b)

place of rearing;

(c)

place of slaughter.


Article 27

Instructions for use

1.   The instructions for use of a food shall be indicated in such a way as to enable appropriate use to be made of the food.

2.   The Commission may adopt implementing acts setting out detailed rules concerning the implementation of paragraph 1 for certain foods. Those implementing acts shall be adopted in accordance with the examination procedure referred to in Article 48(2).


Article 28

Alcoholic strength

1.   The rules concerning indication of the alcoholic strength by volume shall, in the case of products classified in CN code 2204, be those laid down in the specific Union provisions applicable to such products.

2.   The actual alcoholic strength by volume of beverages containing more than 1,2 % by volume of alcohol other than those referred to in paragraph 1 shall be indicated in accordance with Annex XII.


SECTION 3

Nutrition declaration

Article 29

Relationship with other legislation

1.   This Section shall not apply to foods falling within the scope of the following legislation:

(a)

Directive 2002/46/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 10 June 2002 on the approximation of the laws of the Member States relating to food supplements (35);

(b)

Directive 2009/54/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 18 June 2009 on the exploitation and marketing of natural mineral waters (36).

2.   This Section shall apply without prejudice to Directive 2009/39/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 6 May 2009 on foodstuffs intended for particular nutritional uses (37) and specific Directives as referred to in Article 4(1) of that Directive.


Article 30

Content

1.   The mandatory nutrition declaration shall include the following:

(a)

energy value; and

(b)

the amounts of fat, saturates, carbohydrate, sugars, protein and salt.

Where appropriate, a statement indicating that the salt content is exclusively due to the presence of naturally occurring sodium may appear in close proximity to the nutrition declaration.

2.   The content of the mandatory nutrition declaration referred to in paragraph 1 may be supplemented with an indication of the amounts of one or more of the following:

(a)

mono-unsaturates;

(b)

polyunsaturates;

(c)

polyols;

(d)

starch;

(e)

fibre;

(f)

any of the vitamins or minerals listed in point 1 of Part A of Annex XIII, and present in significant amounts as defined in point 2 of Part A of Annex XIII.

3.   Where the labelling of a prepacked food provides the mandatory nutrition declaration referred to in paragraph 1, the following information may be repeated thereon:

(a)

the energy value; or

(b)

the energy value together with the amounts of fat, saturates, sugars, and salt.

4.   By way of derogation from Article 36(1), where the labelling of the products referred to in Article 16(4) provides a nutrition declaration, the content of the declaration may be limited to the energy value only.

5.   Without prejudice to Article 44 and by way of derogation from Article 36(1), where the labelling of the products referred to in Article 44(1) provides a nutrition declaration, the content of that declaration may be limited only to:

(a)

the energy value; or

(b)

the energy value together with the amounts of fat, saturates, sugars, and salt.

6.   In order to take account of the relevance of particulars referred to in paragraphs 2 to 5 of this Article for the information of consumers, the Commission may, by means of delegated acts, in accordance with Article 51, amend the lists in paragraphs 2 to 5 of this Article, by adding or removing particulars.

7.   By 13 December 2014, the Commission, taking into account scientific evidence and experience acquired in Member States, shall submit a report on the presence of trans fats in foods and in the overall diet of the Union population. The aim of the report shall be to assess the impact of appropriate means that could enable consumers to make healthier food and overall dietary choices or that could promote the provision of healthier food options to consumers, including, among others, the provision of information on trans fats to consumers or restrictions on their use. The Commission shall accompany this report with a legislative proposal, if appropriate.


Article 31

Calculation

1.   The energy value shall be calculated using the conversion factors listed in Annex XIV.

2.   The Commission may adopt, by means of delegated acts, in accordance with Article 51, conversion factors for the vitamins and minerals referred to in point 1 of Part A of Annex XIII, in order to calculate more precisely the content of such vitamins and minerals in foods. Those conversion factors shall be added to Annex XIV.

3.   The energy value and the amounts of nutrients referred to in Article 30(1) to (5) shall be those of the food as sold.

Where appropriate, the information may relate to the food after preparation, provided that sufficiently detailed preparation instructions are given and the information relates to the food as prepared for consumption.

4.   The declared values shall, according to the individual case, be average values based on:

(a)

the manufacturer’s analysis of the food;

(b)

a calculation from the known or actual average values of the ingredients used; or

(c)

a calculation from generally established and accepted data.

The Commission may adopt implementing acts setting out detailed rules for the uniform implementation of this paragraph with regard to the precision of the declared values such as the differences between the declared values and those established in the course of official checks. Those implementing acts shall be adopted in accordance with the examination procedure referred to in Article 48(2).


Article 32

Expression per 100 g or per 100 ml

1.   The energy value and the amount of nutrients referred to in Article 30(1) to (5) shall be expressed using the measurement units listed in Annex XV.

2.   The energy value and the amount of nutrients referred to in Article 30(1) to (5) shall be expressed per 100 g or per 100 ml.

3.   When provided, the declaration on vitamins and minerals shall, in addition to the form of expression referred to in paragraph 2, be expressed as a percentage of the reference intakes set out in point 1 of Part A of Annex XIII in relation to per 100 g or per 100 ml.

4.   In addition to the form of expression referred to in paragraph 2 of this Article, the energy value and the amounts of nutrients referred to in Article 30(1), (3), (4) and (5) may be expressed, as appropriate, as a percentage of the reference intakes set out in Part B of Annex XIII in relation to per 100 g or per 100 ml.

5.   Where information is provided pursuant to paragraph 4, the following additional statement shall be indicated in close proximity to it: ‘Reference intake of an average adult (8 400 kJ/2 000 kcal)’.


Article 33

Expression on a per portion basis or per consumption unit

1.   In the following cases, the energy value and the amounts of nutrients referred to in Article 30(1) to (5) may be expressed per portion and/or per consumption unit, easily recognisable by the consumer, provided that the portion or the unit used is quantified on the label and that the number of portions or units contained in the package is stated:

(a)

in addition to the form of expression per 100 g or per 100 ml referred to in Article 32(2);

(b)

in addition to the form of expression per 100 g or per 100 ml referred to in Article 32(3) regarding the amounts of vitamins and minerals;

(c)

in addition to or instead of the form of expression per 100 g or per 100 ml referred to in Article 32(4).

2.   By way of derogation from Article 32(2), in the cases referred to in point (b) of Article 30(3) the amount of nutrients and/or the percentage of the reference intakes set out in Part B of Annex XIII may be expressed on the basis of per portion or per consumption unit alone.

When the amounts of nutrients are expressed on the basis of per portion or per consumption unit alone in accordance with the first subparagraph, the energy value shall be expressed per 100 g or per 100 ml and on the basis of per portion or per consumption unit.

3.   By way of derogation from Article 32(2), in the cases referred to in Article 30(5) the energy value and the amount of nutrients and/or the percentage of the reference intakes set out in Part B of Annex XIII may be expressed on the basis of per portion or per consumption unit alone.

4.   The portion or unit used shall be indicated in close proximity to the nutrition declaration.

5.   In order to ensure the uniform implementation of the expression of the nutrition declaration per portion or per unit of consumption and to provide for a uniform basis of comparison for the consumer, the Commission shall, taking into account actual consumption behaviour of consumers as well as dietary recommendations, adopt, by means of implementing acts, rules on the expression per portion or per consumption unit for specific categories of foods. Those implementing acts shall be adopted in accordance with the examination procedure referred to in Article 48(2).


Article 34

Presentation

1.   The particulars referred to in Article 30(1) and (2) shall be included in the same field of vision. They shall be presented together in a clear format and, where appropriate, in the order of presentation provided for in Annex XV.

2.   The particulars referred to in Article 30(1) and (2) shall be presented, if space permits, in tabular format with the numbers aligned. Where space does not permit, the declaration shall appear in linear format.

3.   The particulars referred to in Article 30(3) shall be presented:

(a)

in the principal field of vision; and

(b)

using a font size in accordance with Article 13(2).

The particulars referred to in Article 30(3) may be presented in a format different from that specified in paragraph 2 of this Article.

4.   The particulars referred to in Article 30(4) and (5) may be presented in a format different from that specified in paragraph 2 of this Article.

5.   In cases where the energy value or the amount of nutrient(s) in a product is negligible, the information on those elements may be replaced by a statement such as ‘Contains negligible amounts of …’ and shall be indicated in close proximity to the nutrition declaration when present.

In order to ensure the uniform implementation of this paragraph, the Commission may adopt implementing acts regarding the energy value and amounts of nutrients referred to in Article 30(1) to (5) which can be regarded as negligible. Those implementing acts shall be adopted in accordance with the examination procedure referred to in Article 48(2).

6.   In order to ensure a uniform application of the manner of presenting the nutrition declaration under the formats referred to in paragraphs 1 to 4 of this Article, the Commission may adopt implementing acts in this regard. Those implementing acts shall be adopted in accordance with the examination procedure referred to in Article 48(2).


Article 35

Additional forms of expression and presentation

1.   In addition to the forms of expression referred to in Article 32(2) and (4) and Article 33 and to the presentation referred to in Article 34(2), the energy value and the amount of nutrients referred to in Article 30(1) to (5) may be given by other forms of expression and/or presented using graphical forms or symbols in addition to words or numbers provided that the following requirements are met:

(a)

they are based on sound and scientifically valid consumer research and do not mislead the consumer as referred to in Article 7;

(b)

their development is the result of consultation with a wide range of stakeholder groups;

(c)

they aim to facilitate consumer understanding of the contribution or importance of the food to the energy and nutrient content of a diet;

(d)

they are supported by scientifically valid evidence of understanding of such forms of expression or presentation by the average consumer;

(e)

in the case of other forms of expression, they are based either on the harmonised reference intakes set out in Annex XIII, or in their absence, on generally accepted scientific advice on intakes for energy or nutrients;

(f)

they are objective and non-discriminatory; and

(g)

their application does not create obstacles to the free movement of goods.

2.   Member States may recommend to food business operators the use of one or more additional forms of expression or presentation of the nutrition declaration that they consider as best fulfilling the requirements laid down in points (a) to (g) of paragraph 1. Member States shall provide the Commission with the details of such additional forms of expression and presentation.

3.   Member States shall ensure an appropriate monitoring of additional forms of expression or presentation of the nutrition declaration that are present on the market in their territory.

To facilitate the monitoring of the use of such additional forms of expression or presentation, Member States may require food business operators placing on the market in their territory foods bearing such information to notify the competent authority of the use of an additional form of expression or presentation and to provide them with the relevant justifications regarding the fulfilment of the requirements laid down in points (a) to (g) of paragraph 1. In such cases, information on the discontinuation of the use of such additional forms of expression or presentation may also be required.

4.   The Commission shall facilitate and organise the exchange of information between Member States, itself and stakeholders on matters relating to the use of any additional forms of expression or presentation of the nutrition declaration.

5.   By 13 December 2017, in the light of the experience gained, the Commission shall submit a report to the European Parliament and the Council on the use of additional forms of expression and presentation, on their effect on the internal market and on the advisability of further harmonisation of those forms of expression and presentation. For this purpose, Member States shall provide the Commission with relevant information concerning the use of such additional forms of expression or presentation on the market in their territory. The Commission may accompany this report with proposals to modify the relevant Union provisions.

6.   In order to ensure the uniform application of this Article, the Commission shall adopt implementing acts setting out detailed rules concerning the implementation of paragraphs 1, 3 and 4 of this Article. Those implementing acts shall be adopted in accordance with the examination procedure referred to in Article 48(2).


CHAPTER V

VOLUNTARY FOOD INFORMATION

Article 36

Applicable requirements

1.   Where food information referred to in Articles 9 and 10 is provided on a voluntary basis, such information shall comply with the requirements laid down in Sections 2 and 3 of Chapter IV.

2.   Food information provided on a voluntary basis shall meet the following requirements:

(a)

it shall not mislead the consumer, as referred to in Article 7;

(b)

it shall not be ambiguous or confusing for the consumer; and

(c)

it shall, where appropriate, be based on the relevant scientific data.

3.   The Commission shall adopt implementing acts on the application of the requirements referred to in paragraph 2 of this Article to the following voluntary food information:

(a)

information on the possible and unintentional presence in food of substances or products causing allergies or intolerances;

(b)

information related to suitability of a food for vegetarians or vegans; and

(c)

the indication of reference intakes for specific population groups in addition to the reference intakes set out in Annex XIII.

Those implementing acts shall be adopted in accordance with the examination procedure referred to in Article 48(2).

4.   In order to ensure that consumers are appropriately informed, where voluntary food information is provided by food business operators on a divergent basis which might mislead or confuse the consumer, the Commission may, by means of delegated acts, in accordance with Article 51, provide for additional cases of provision of voluntary food information to the ones referred to in paragraph 3 of this Article.

Article 37

Presentation

Voluntary food information shall not be displayed to the detriment of the space available for mandatory food information.


CHAPTER VI

NATIONAL MEASURES

Article 38

National measures

1.   As regards the matters specifically harmonised by this Regulation, Member States may not adopt nor maintain national measures unless authorised by Union law. Those national measures shall not give rise to obstacles to free movement of goods, including discrimination as regards foods from other Member States.

2.   Without prejudice to Article 39, Member States may adopt national measures concerning matters not specifically harmonised by this Regulation provided that they do not prohibit, impede or restrict the free movement of goods that are in conformity with this Regulation.

Article 39

National measures on additional mandatory particulars

1.   In addition to the mandatory particulars referred to in Article 9(1) and in Article 10, Member States may, in accordance with the procedure laid down in Article 45, adopt measures requiring additional mandatory particulars for specific types or categories of foods, justified on grounds of at least one of the following:

(a)

the protection of public health;

(b)

the protection of consumers;

(c)

the prevention of fraud;

(d)

the protection of industrial and commercial property rights, indications of provenance, registered designations of origin and the prevention of unfair competition.

2.   By means of paragraph 1, Member States may introduce measures concerning the mandatory indication of the country of origin or place of provenance of foods only where there is a proven link between certain qualities of the food and its origin or provenance. When notifying such measures to the Commission, Member States shall provide evidence that the majority of consumers attach significant value to the provision of that information.


Article 40

Milk and milk products

Member States may adopt measures derogating from Article 9(1) and Article 10(1) in the case of milk and milk products presented in glass bottles intended for reuse.

They shall communicate to the Commission the text of those measures without delay.

Article 41

Alcoholic beverages

Member States may, pending the adoption of the Union provisions referred to in Article 16(4), maintain national measures as regards the listing of ingredients in the case of beverages containing more than 1,2 % by volume of alcohol.


Article 42

Expression of the net quantity

In the absence of Union provisions referred to in Article 23(2) concerning the expression of net quantity for specified foods in a different manner to that provided for in Article 23(1), Member States may maintain national measures adopted before 12 December 2011.

By 13 December 2014, Member States shall inform the Commission about such measures. The Commission shall bring them to the attention of the other Member States.

Article 43

Voluntary indication of reference intakes for specific population groups

Pending the adoption of the Union provisions referred to in point (c) of Article 36(3), Member States may adopt national measures on the voluntary indication of reference intakes for specific population groups.

Member States shall communicate to the Commission the text of those measures without delay.


Article 44

National measures for non-prepacked food

1.   Where foods are offered for sale to the final consumer or to mass caterers without prepackaging, or where foods are packed on the sales premises at the consumer’s request or prepacked for direct sale:

(a)

the provision of the particulars specified in point (c) of Article 9(1) is mandatory;

(b)

the provision of other particulars referred to in Articles 9 and 10 is not mandatory unless Member States adopt national measures requiring the provision of some or all of those particulars or elements of those particulars.

2.   Member States may adopt national measures concerning the means through which the particulars or elements of those particulars specified in paragraph 1 are to be made available and, where appropriate, their form of expression and presentation.

3.   Member States shall communicate to the Commission the text of the measures referred to in point (b) of paragraph 1 and in paragraph 2 without delay.


Article 45

Notification procedure

1.   When reference is made to this Article, the Member State which deems it necessary to adopt new food information legislation shall notify in advance the Commission and the other Member States of the measures envisaged and give the reasons justifying them.

2.   The Commission shall consult the Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health set up by Article 58(1) of Regulation (EC) No 178/2002 if it considers such consultation to be useful or if a Member State so requests. In that case, the Commission shall ensure that this process is transparent for all stakeholders.

3.   The Member State which deems it necessary to adopt new food information legislation may take the envisaged measures only 3 months after the notification referred to in paragraph 1, provided that it has not received a negative opinion from the Commission.

4.   If the Commission’s opinion is negative, and before the expiry of the period referred to in paragraph 3 of this Article, the Commission shall initiate the examination procedure referred to in Article 48(2) in order to determine whether the envisaged measures may be implemented subject, if necessary, to the appropriate modifications.

5.   Directive 98/34/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 June 1998 laying down a procedure for the provision of information in the field of technical standards and regulations and of rules on Information Society services (38) shall not apply to the measures falling within the notification procedure specified in this Article.


CHAPTER VII

IMPLEMENTING, AMENDING AND FINAL PROVISIONS

Article 46

Amendments to the Annexes

In order to take into account technical progress, scientific developments, consumers’ health, or consumers’ need for information, and subject to the provisions of Article 10(2) and Article 21(2) relating to the amendments to Annexes II and III, the Commission may, by means of delegated acts in accordance with Article 51, amend the Annexes to this Regulation.

Article 47

Transitional period for and date of application of implementing measures or delegated acts

1.   Without prejudice to paragraph 2 of this Article, in exercising the powers conferred by this Regulation to adopt measures by means of implementing acts in accordance with the examination procedure referred to in Article 48(2) or by means of delegated acts in accordance with Article 51 the Commission shall:

(a)

establish an appropriate transitional period for application of the new measures, during which foods bearing labels not complying with the new measures may be placed on the market and after which stocks of such foods that have been placed on the market before the end of the transitional period may continue to be sold until exhausted; and

(b)

ensure that those measures apply as from 1 April in any calendar year.

2.   Paragraph 1 shall not apply in cases of urgency where the purpose of the measures referred to in that paragraph is the protection of human health.

Article 48

Committee

1.   The Commission shall be assisted by the Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health established by Article 58(1) of Regulation (EC) No 178/2002. That Committee is a committee within the meaning of Regulation (EU) No 182/2011.

2.   Where reference is made to this paragraph, Article 5 of Regulation (EU) No 182/2011 shall apply.

Where the Committee delivers no opinion, the Commission shall not adopt the draft implementing act and the third subparagraph of Article 5(4) of Regulation (EU) No 182/2011 shall apply.

Article 49

Amendments to Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006

The first and second paragraphs of Article 7 of Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006 are replaced by the following:

‘Nutrition labelling of products on which a nutrition and/or health claim is made shall be mandatory, with the exception of generic advertising. The information to be provided shall consist of that specified in Article 30(1) of Regulation (EU) No 1169/2011 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 October 2011 on the provision of food information to consumers (39). Where a nutrition and/or health claim is made for a nutrient referred to in Article 30(2) of Regulation (EU) No 1169/2011 the amount of that nutrient shall be declared in accordance with Articles 31 to 34 of that Regulation.

The amount(s) of the substance(s) to which a nutrition or health claim relates that does not appear in the nutrition labelling shall be stated in the same field of vision as the nutrition labelling and be expressed in accordance with Articles 31, 32 and 33 of Regulation (EU) No 1169/2011. The units of measurement used to express the amount of the substance shall be appropriate for the individual substances concerned.

Article 50

Amendments to Regulation (EC) No 1925/2006

Paragraph 3 of Article 7 of Regulation (EC) No 1925/2006 is replaced by the following:

‘3.   Nutrition labelling of products to which vitamins and minerals have been added and which are covered by this Regulation shall be compulsory. The information to be provided shall consist of that specified in Article 30(1) of Regulation (EU) No 1169/2011 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 October 2011 on the provision of food information to consumers (40) and of the total amounts present of the vitamins and minerals when added to the food.

Article 51

Exercise of the delegation

1.   The power to adopt delegated acts is conferred on the Commission subject to the conditions laid down in this Article.

2.   The power to adopt delegated acts referred to in Article 9(3), Article 10(2), Article 12(3), Article 13(4), Article 18(5), Article 19(2), Article 21(2), Article 23(2), Article 30(6), Article 31(2), Article 36(4) and Article 46 shall be conferred on the Commission for a period of 5 years after 12 December 2011. The Commission shall draw up a report in respect of the delegation of power not later than 9 months before the end of the 5-year period. The delegation of power shall be tacitly extended for periods of an identical duration, unless the European Parliament or the Council opposes such extension not later than 3 months before the end of each period.

3.   The delegation of power referred to in Article 9(3), Article 10(2), Article 12(3), Article 13(4), Article 18(5), Article 19(2), Article 21(2), Article 23(2), Article 30(6), Article 31(2), Article 36(4) and Article 46 may be revoked at any time by the European Parliament or by the Council. A decision to revoke shall put an end to the delegation of the power specified in that decision. It shall take effect the day following the publication of the decision in the Official Journal of the European Union or on a later date specified therein. It shall not affect the validity of any delegated acts already in force.

4.   As soon as it adopts a delegated act, the Commission shall notify it simultaneously to the European Parliament and to the Council.

5.   A delegated act adopted pursuant to Article 9(3), Article 10(2), Article 12(3), Article 13(4), Article 18(5), Article 19(2), Article 21(2), Article 23(2), Article 30(6), Article 31(2), Article 36(4) and Article 46 shall enter into force only if no objection has been expressed either by the European Parliament or the Council within a period of 2 months of notification of that act to the European Parliament and the Council or if, before the expiry of that period, the European Parliament and the Council have both informed the Commission that they will not object. That period shall be extended by 2 months at the initiative of the European Parliament or of the Council.

Article 52

Urgency procedure

1.   Delegated acts adopted under this Article shall enter into force without delay and shall apply as long as no objection is expressed in accordance with paragraph 2. The notification of a delegated act to the European Parliament and to the Council shall state the reasons for the use of the urgency procedure.

2.   Either the European Parliament or the Council may object to a delegated act in accordance with the procedure referred to in Article 51(5). In such a case, the Commission shall repeal the act without delay following the notification of the decision to object by the European Parliament or by the Council.

Article 53

Repeal

1.   Directives 87/250/EEC, 90/496/EEC, 1999/10/EC, 2000/13/EC, 2002/67/EC and 2008/5/EC and Regulation (EC) No 608/2004 are repealed as from 13 December 2014.

2.   References to the repealed acts shall be construed as references to this Regulation.

Article 54

Transitional measures

1.   Foods placed on the market or labelled prior to 13 December 2014 which do not comply with the requirements of this Regulation may be marketed until the stocks of the foods are exhausted.

Foods placed on the market or labelled prior to 13 December 2016 which do not comply with the requirement laid down in point (l) of Article 9(1) may be marketed until the stocks of the foods are exhausted.

Foods placed on the market or labelled prior to 1 January 2014 which do not comply with the requirements laid down in Part B of Annex VI may be marketed until the stocks of the foods are exhausted.

2.   Between 13 December 2014 and 13 December 2016, where the nutrition declaration is provided on a voluntary basis, it shall comply with Articles 30 to 35.

3.   Notwithstanding Directive 90/496/EEC, Article 7 of Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006 and Article 7(3) of Regulation (EC) No 1925/2006, foods labelled in accordance with Articles 30 to 35 of this Regulation may be placed on the market before 13 December 2014.

Notwithstanding Commission Regulation (EC) No 1162/2009 of 30 November 2009 laying down transitional measures for the implementation of Regulations (EC) No 853/2004, (EC) No 854/2004 and (EC) No 882/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council (41), foods labelled in accordance with Part B of Annex VI to this Regulation may be placed on the market before 1 January 2014.

Article 55

Entry into force and date of application

This Regulation shall enter into force on the 20th day following its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union.

It shall apply from 13 December 2014, with the exception of point (l) of Article 9(1), which shall apply from 13 December 2016, and Part B of Annex VI, which shall apply from 1 January 2014.

This Regulation shall be binding in its entirety and directly applicable in all Member States.

Done at Strasbourg, 25 October 2011.

For the European Parliament

The President

J. BUZEK

For the Council

The President

M. DOWGIELEWICZ

(1)  OJ C 77, 31.3.2009, p. 81.