Regulation (EC) No. 1924/2006, also known as the Nutrition and Health Claims on Food Regulation, became binding and directly applicable to all EU Member States on 1 July 2007.
The Regulation allowed food products bearing non-compliant trade marks or brand names, existing before 1 January 2005, to be marketed until 19 January 2022.
The Regulation applies to nutrition and health claims made in commercial communications. These include labelling, presentation, or advertising of foods to be delivered to the final consumer.
Trade marks or brand names appearing in labelling or advertising may be construed as a nutrition or health claim. Such marks may be used if accompanied by a related nutrition or health claim which complies with the Regulation. Otherwise, they need to undergo the Regulation’s authorisation procedures. Authorisation procedures involve submitting an application to the relevant authority of a member state, including information such as the nutrient or food category in which the health claim is being made, copies of independent, peer reviewed studies regarding the health claim and other information.
Food products bearing trade marks or brand names existing before 1 January 2005, which were exempt, must now comply with the Regulation.
Most businesses have likely complied with these provisions by now. However, this should not be assumed.
Now is a good time to review packaging, labelling, and advertising of longstanding products. This could be undertaken as part of a broader packaging and advertising review or audit. This will ensure that all trade marks, brand names or fancy names fully comply with the Regulation.
For more information, contact a member of our Intellectual Property team.
The content of this article is provided for information purposes only and does not constitute legal or other advice.