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1) If national legislation requires labelling of a product in a particular way which is not indicated on the labelling provided by an EU producer, is it our obligation, as the importer, to find out this information and indicate it on the additional labelling of the product?

In case the foodstuff falls under harmonised sphere, it has to comply with requirements laid down by the respective European legislation. In case of non-harmonised sphere, requirements of national legislation of the Member State where the foodstuff had been produced or placed on the market for the first time within the EU have to be met. All foodstuffs okXWS on the market within the EU shall comply with general requirements for food labelling laid down by Regulation No. 1169/2011 on provision of information to consumers, as amended (hereinafter “Regulation” only). Article 38 of the Regulation provides for that regarding the matters specifically harmonised by this Regulation, Member States may not adopt nor maintain national measures unless authorised by Union law. Those national measures shall not give rise to obstacles to free movement of goods, including discrimination as regards foods from other Member States. Member States may adopt national measures concerning matters not specifically harmonised by this Regulation provided that they do not prohibit, impede or restrict the free movement of goods that are in conformity with this Regulation. If the product complies with the requirements of the Regulation, its labelling is correct.
So, if you import a product from an EU Member State that will comply with their national legislation, you do not have to follow our national legislation which requires for example additional information on labelling of foodstuffs (this stems directly from Directive 2000/13/EC, when Member States must not forbid trade with foodstuffs complying with regulations laid down this Directive by introducing non-harmonised inland legislation regulating labelling and trade arrangement of certain foodstuffs or foodstuffs in general).

2) What are the requirements for labelling of foodstuff containing certain food dyes?

Since 20th June 2010, provision of Article 24 of Regulation (EC) No. 1333/2008 on food additives has been applicable. Pursuant to this Regulation, foodstuffs containing certain azo -dyes shall be labelled with a notice that these substances may have undesirable effect on activities and attention of children.
Namely, following azo dyes are concerned:
  • Tartrazine - E 102
  • Qinoline Yellow SY - E 104
  • SY Yellow - E 110
  • Azorubine - E 122
  • Ponceau 4R - E 124
  • Allura Red - E 129

Foodstuffs placed on the market or labelled before 20th July 2010 that are not in compliance with Article 24 of Regulation (EC) No. 1333/2008 as amended, can be sold until their best before date or use by date.