EU Implements New Labeling Requirements for Beer and Other Food Products

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The European Union’s Food Information to Consumers (FIC) regulation 1169/2011 goes into effect on December 13, 2014.  This regulation includes provisions requiring that allergens be declared and highlighted on consumer labels.  For exporters of American craft beer, this means that cereals containing gluten (e.g. barley, wheat, rye, etc.) and other allergens must either be underlined or bolded in an ingredient list, or identified elsewhere on the label in a clear manner.  Annex II of FIC regulation 1169/2011 contains a full list of allergens that must be declared.  Beers placed on the European market or labeled prior to December 13, 2014 may be sold until stocks are exhausted.

The Brewers Association encourages all breweries exporting to the European Union to work with their importers to determine what changes are required.  While the new standard applies to all European Union country, each country is responsible for many of its own labeling requirements.  Therefore, the impact will depend on which country the brewer is selling beers in.

FIC regulation 1169/2011 also mandates the labeling of ingredients and a nutrition declaration across all EU countries,.  These requirements do not currently apply to beer, though certain countries already require them on the national level.  The Brewers Association will continue to monitor the implementation of FIC regulation 1169/2011 and will advise members if any new requirements take effect.

Here is a copy of the EU regulation as well as a report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture on its implementation.