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In general nutrition labelling is governed by Council Directive 90/496/EEC, as amended by Commission Directives 2003/120/EC and 2008/100/EC.


Revision of the basic rules on nutrition labelling

In January 2008 the Commission adopted a proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the provision of food information to consumers to update and revise the Community legislation on general food labelling and nutrition labelling. The proposals for the amendment of the nutrition labelling aspects of the Community rules took into account consultations in 2003 and 2006, and impact assessments prepared in 2004 and 2007.

In January 2003, the Commission launched a consultation pdf among Member States and stakeholders and the comments received are available here.

In November 2004, the Commission has published an Impact Assessment pdf on the introduction of mandatory nutrition labelling for pre-packaged food products across the European Union. This study is focussed on the potential impact of the introduction of mandatory nutrition labelling on consumers, on the food industry, and on the control authorities who have the responsibility for enforcing legislation.

In March 2006 the Commission launched a broad consultation on food labelling, including nutrition labelling. Full details of the consultation are available on the Labelling Better Regulation webpage.

In January 2008 when the Commission adopted the proposal for the Regulation on food information the accompanying impact assessment pdf of the options for the revision of the legislation was also published.


Technical revision of the nutrition labelling rules

Council Directive 90/496/EEC on Nutrition Labelling of Foodstuffs provides for the possibility of amending specific aspects of the legislation via the Regulatory Committee procedure. Whilst the Commission proposed a more fundamental revision of this Directive, it was decided that it would be timely to make use of this procedure to address some aspects of a revision which can be considered under the broad heading of 'technical issues'. A public consultation was conducted in 2006. A discussion paper ( Directive 90/496/EEC on Nutrition Labelling for Foodstuffs: Discussion Paper on Revision of Technical Issues pdf) identified the issues to be considered. A summary pdf of the responses and the individual responses to the consultation is available. The outcome of the consultation was taken into consideration in the drafting of Directive 2008/100/EC, which incorporated some technical revisions. Updated 12-05-2009. The final text, Regulation EU 1169/2011 on the provision of food information to consumers was adopted 25 October 2011.


Guidance documents

Guidance document for competent authorities, tolerances for the control of compliance of nutrient values declared on a label with EU legislation BG CS DA DE EL ES ET FI FR GA HU IT LT LV MT NL PL PT RO SK SL SV pdf

  • A simplified summary table pdf gives an overview of the different tolerance values included in the guidance document. In case of doubt the guidance document text should be consulted as the official reference.

Guidance document for competent authorities, methods of analysis for the determination of the fibre content declared on a label for the control of compliance with EU legislation pdf

 
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