EU – New rules on food labelling

2015 is an important year for the Food Industry since on 12 December 2014 most of the provisions of the EU Regulation dated 25 October 2011 on the provision of food information to customers (the "FIC Regulation") came into force across the EU countries. However, rules in relation to the provision of mandatory nutrition information will apply only from 13 December 2016.

Therefore, foods placed on the market after 12 December 2014 should be compliant with the FIC Regulation. In practice, transitional measures are applicable, so products placed on the market or labelled before 13 December 2014 may be sold until the stocks are exhausted provided that there is no conflict with the labelling requirements of Directive 2000/13/EC.

The new rules are good news for customers as they will make food labelling clearer, and will improve the nutrition and allergen information provided with food. The key changes include: mandatory nutrition labelling on pre-packaged food, improved date marketing (including date of first freezing), clarity and legibility of food information and allergen information in a way that distinguishes it from the rest of the list of ingredients.

A specific provision of the Regulation concerns foods offered for sale by means of distance selling in which case the responsibility for providing mandatory food information before the purchase is concluded lies with the owner of the website.

Throughout 2015, the Luxembourg Chamber of Trades (Chambre des Métiers) is organising classes on labelling in general and more specifically on labelling of certain substances causing food allergies or intolerances.