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New EU Labelling Regulations – What do they mean in practice?

From 13th December 2014 revised EU-wide food labelling rules* enter into force.  There are some changes relevant to wine producers:

  • There are new rules on minimum font sizes for mandatory information
  • Where wine is marketed under the name of a non-EU producer, the importer into the EU is responsible for the provision of mandatory food information and must be identified.  (The importer must already be identified in the case of wine produced outside the EU).

Ingredient listing and nutrition labelling – not yet decided

The exemption of alcoholic drinks with ABV above 1.2% from both ingredient listing and nutrition labelling remains for now, but the Commission is to announce by the above date whether this is to continue.

Responsibility for labelling compliance

Business to consumer supplies – the supplier to the final consumer is responsible for providing the mandatory information.

For business to business supplies – those who supply products which another business will sell to final consumers must provide that business with the all the information it needs to provide the mandatory information.

Additional responsibilities placed on Distance Sellers

Those who sell direct to consumers by distance methods, eg through mail order or online, have additional responsibilities that go beyond merely ensuring the labels of wines they sell are compliant. They must also make the mandatory information available to the consumer, before the sale is concluded, on the website, brochure and/or list. The producer must provide all the necessary information, as noted above, but this may still prove a burdensome requirement, especially for smaller online retailers.

What about existing stock?

The new Regulations apply to Products placed on the market or labelled from 13th December 2014.  There is no long-stop date by which pre-existing stock must be sold through.

If you would like further information or specific advice please do not hesitate to get in touch.

*Regulation (EU) No 1169/2011

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