The labelling of prepackages and their contents must indicate the weight or volume they contain in a harmonised way and under specific metrological conditions. There are 2 major pieces of legislation on standardised filling in this sector: on filling packages and on glass bottles. Both laws are widely applied in the EU and fully recognised by national authorities.

See the summary of the legislation in different languages.

The legislation was evaluated by the Commission in a report of 4 July 2016:

Filling packages

Under Directive 76/211/EEC packers and importers have the option to fill prepackages according to a standardised method. Such pre-packed products can then be freely marketed throughout the EU. They are recognisable by the large e-mark on the label or packaging, next to the indication of quantity (volume or weight). 

Glass bottles

Directive 75/107/EEC offers manufacturers the option to produce harmonised glass bottles used as measuring containers. This is indicated on the bottom of such bottles with a reversed epsilon marking (“З”) next to the indication of quantity (volume).

Public consultation on packaging (2005)

Following its 2005 consultation of stakeholders – and subsequent discussion in the WELMEC – the Commission concluded that no further changes in EU law were needed, because the issues identified could be dealt with by guidance.


Guidance documents and their status

In its evaluation report, the Commission concluded that it would "seek to promote the exchange of good practice between stakeholders and develop guidance". This was to ensure a coherent application of the pre-packaging directives. Guidance documents are conceptual in their set-up and give a general context on questions of application that may arise.

The guidance documents have been agreed upon by WELMEC (European Cooperation in Legal Metrology). WELMEC is comprised of representatives from national authorities in pre-packaging who have consulted European and national trade organisations where relevant.

The guidance documents are not a legally binding interpretation of the directive. The legally binding text remains that of Directives 75/107/EEC and 76/211/EEC, as amended by Directive 2007/45/EC. However, the guidance documents represent a reference for ensuring consistent application of the directives by all competent departments.