Directive 2007/45/EC lays down rules on nominal quantities for pre-packed products. The directive aims to remove potential obstacles to the competitiveness of EU enterprises and to facilitate their access to markets in different EU countries. As the directive liberalises pack sizes, it also promotes free circulation of products in the EU single market.
The legislation was evaluated by the Commission in July 2016 - more information
The provisions of the Directive 2007/45/EC apply from 11 April 2009. From that date
Directive 2007/45/EC repeals Council Directives 75/106/EEC and 80/232/EEC, and amends Council Directive 76/211/EEC.
See the summary of the directive on deregulation of pack sizes in different languages.
Rules on quantities in which products can be sold date back to the 1970s. Since then the legislation on consumers' protection has significantly developed. Nowadays it gives better protection than rules on quantities. The rules include
Based on an impact assessment (261 KB) carried out in 2004, the European Commission presented a proposal for a directive abolishing national and Community rules determining sizes in which consumer products could be sold. The wine, spirits, soluble coffee and white sugar sectors were excluded from the proposal as a specific impact assessment on pack sizes in the EU (1 MB) indicated that there could be a reason to keep sizes most sold to consumers as mandatory.
The Commission presented a discussion paper followed by a public consultation that ran from November 2002 – February 2003. The consultation gathered views on maintaining existing prepackaging legislation on fixed sizes or allowing free pack sizes.