• European Union Product Labeling Requirements: A Complete Guide

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    Planning to import or export products to the European Union? In this guide, we explain what you must know about CE marking, WEEE, textiles labels, toy age warning, tracking ID, and other mandatory labeling requirements in Europe.

    You will also learn which file formats to use when creating your label files and how to instruct your supplier.

    CE Marking

    CE mark

    The CE mark indicates that the product is compliant with all applicable ‘CE directives’, such as RoHS, EN 71 Toy Safety Directive and the Low Voltage Directive.

    The CE mark is mandatory for all products falling within the scope of one such directive. Further, the CE mark should not be affixed on a product that is not covered by a ‘CE directive’.

    Product Examples

    • Android tablets
    • Smartphones
    • Chargers
    • Toys
    • Sunglasses
    • Helmets
    • Medical devices
    • Machinery

    In addition to the CE mark, the directives also require that the manufacturer or importer can provide a Declaration of Conformity (DoC), Technical file, and user manual.

    WEEE Symbol

    WEEE symbol

    The WEEE symbol indicates a separate collection of waste electronics. The WEEE mark is mandatory for most electronics, imported and sold within the European Union.

    The WEEE symbol can be present on the product and the packaging.

    Product Examples

    • Refrigerators
    • Printers
    • Laptop computers
    • Video cameras
    • Bluetooth speakers
    • LED lights
    • Electronic toys
    • Laboratory equipment

    EU Textiles Labeling

    textiles label

    Clothing and other products containing a minimum of 80% by weight of textile fibers must be labeled with the correct fiber composition (e.g. 100% Cotton or 100% Polyester).

    Further, the label must be permanent, which means it must either be attached to the clothing item or printed. A sticker is not enough.

    Product Examples

    • T-shirts
    • Underwear
    • Children’s clothing
    • Babywear

    Optional

    • Care labels (Recommended)
    • Size (Recommended)
    • Country of origin

    Note: Some of the items listed above are required in individual EU member states. As such, it’s strongly recommended that you always include care labels and size.

    EU Clothing & Textiles Ecolabel

    The voluntary EU ecolabel for clothing and textile products can only be used if the product meets the following criteria:

    • Limited use of substances harmful to health and environment
    • Reduction in water and air pollution
    • Colour resistance to perspiration, washing, wet and dry rubbing, and light exposure

    Toy Labeling

    EN 71 Age Warning

    Importers and manufacturers of toys must ensure that the product and the packaging carry the correct age warning labels, tracking ID, and contact details of the seller (e.g. manufacturer and importer).

    You need a physical address in the EU, which could either be your office or a postbox. However, a website address is not sufficient. Note that the image above is outdated and only serves as an example.

    Tracking Label

    Some products, including toys, must carry a tracking label to ensure that unsafe products can be recalled in an effective manner. A tracking label normally consists of the following parts:

    • SKU
    • Purchase order date
    • Manufacturing facility
    • Country of origin

    Example: ABC-062020-GZ1-CN

    Food Contact Materials Labeling

    EU glass and fork symbol

    Certain types of food contact materials, such as kitchen appliances and tools, must carry the glass and fork symbol represented above. However, it’s only needed if the products use as food contact material is not obvious to the end consumer.

    For this reason, you don’t need this symbol in case you are manufacturing or importing ‘food contact materials’ used in daily life, such as cutlery, drinking glasses, and common kitchen appliances.

    Energy Label

    The EU Energy Labelling Framework Regulations apply to electronics, such as lighting products, kitchen appliances, electronic displays, computers, washing machines, and air conditioners. The Energy Label specifies device classification, and energy consumption – thereby incentivizing manufacturers to produce energy-efficient products.

    You can create an Energy Label free of charge using the online Energy Label Generator.

    Product Examples

    • Lighting products
    • Kitchen appliances
    • Displays and TVs
    • Computers and servers
    • Washing machines and dryers
    • Air conditioners and fans

    Ecolabel

    The EU Ecolabel demonstrates that a certain product is made using more friendly processes, and materials. That said, unlike most other compliance marks in this article, the Ecolabel is voluntary.

    Requirements

    Using the Ecolabel requires approval. In other words, you cannot use the Ecolabel based on self-certification. The specific criteria you must fulfill depends on the product. Below follows criteria for Textiles and Furniture:

    Textiles

    1. The product shall not contain lead-based pigments.

    2. Manufacturers shall perform colorfastness, washing, wet rubbing, dry rubbing tests on dyed yarn, final fabrics, or final products.

    3. Manufactured elastane shall not contain organotin compounds

    Furniture

    1. Manufactures shall not use restricted hazardous substances and mixtures such as lead and cadmium

    2. Manufacturers shall use PVC-free plastic

    3. Manufactures shall provide a minimum of 5 years of guarantee at no additional cost. Also, they shall make spare parts available to customers.

    Product Examples

    • Textiles
    • Footwear
    • Furniture
    • Cosmetics
    • Flooring
    • Paper Products
    • Electronic Displays

    Other Labels

    Europe product labeling example

    EU Directive Labels

    In addition to the CE mark, some directives also require product labels to include additional information. This may include manufacturer or importer identity, address, SKU, user instructions, input voltage, or other information.

    Examples

    • Importer/Manufacturer
    • Batch ID
    • Contact details
    • Model number
    • Input/Output Voltage
    • Safety Instructions

    Packaging Recycling Labels

    Product packaging recycling labels are used to indicate whether the material is recyclable, material types (e.g. plastic resin types), and the seller’s contribution to national packaging recycling schemes.

    Examples
    • The Green Dot
    • Mobius Loop
    • Plastic Resin Codes

    Footwear Labels

    The upper material, outer sole, and inside lining of the shoe must be correctly labeled. You can use written instructions to specify the materials or use a graphical representation of the shoe.

    Example Materials
    • Leather
    • Synthetic leather
    • Coated leather
    • Textile fiber

    Amazon (EU) Product Labeling Requirements

    While Amazon doesn’t set their own labeling requirements, they do require that all products sold on their platform are compliant with labeling and other compliance requirements in each respective country.

    If you’re selling on Amazon.de, Amazon.co.uk, or Amazon.fr, you need to ensure that your product is labeled according to European Union product labeling requirements.

    For example, products that fall within RoHS or the Low Voltage Directive must, therefore, be CE marked. Further, products should not carry labels that don’t apply. Amazon is strict about compliance and far more likely to take action against incorrectly or otherwise non-compliant products than the customs or other market surveillance authorities.

    Amazon Label Check Example

    Amazon may require product and packaging images as evidence supporting that your product is correctly labeled. Here is an example of such a request sent by the Amazon compliance team:


    Hello from Amazon Selling Partner Support,

    Thank you for your interest in selling [PRODUCT]. We have reviewed the information you provided and determined that it does not meet our requirements. To allow us to continue processing your application, please address the following issues:

    Product Packaging Picture:

    – The images provided do not meet the EU labelling guidelines, which state that address on the label must be that of an EU country. Please provide product images that meet this requirement.

    – The images provided do not meet the labelling requirements, which state that any information added to the product packaging must be securely adhered and not easily removable. Please provide images that meet this requirement.

    – The images provided do not meet the labelling requirements, which state that the label must contain a certification mark. Please provide images showing all sides of the product packaging including appropriate certification mark.

    Please respond to this case and provide updated document(s) that remedy the issue(s) indicated above. You can respond to this case within the next 14 days or create a new application at a later time.


    Why your product may need more than one label

    It’s common that products are covered by more than one labeling requirement in Europe. Electronics, for example, must often carry the CE mark and the WEEE mark, in addition to directive specific labels.

    Importers and manufacturers must take all applicable labeling requirements into consideration, rather than looking for labeling requirements that may apply specifically to that product.

    In addition, labeling requirements also extend to the packaging and even user manuals.

    FAQ

    Do I need a country of origin label when selling in the EU?

    No, country of origin labeling is generally not required in the European Union. That said, many products sold in the European Union still carry a country of origin label (e.g. Made in China) as this is a requirement in many other countries, including the United States.

    If you’re selling, or at least planning to sell, in the United States, you may as well get your product labeled according to US labeling requirements – in addition to those in the EU.

    Further, although the country of origin is not required, you are not allowed to mislead consumers by claiming that the product is manufactured in another country than it actually is.

    How do I know if my supplier labels the product correctly?

    Manufacturers, at least outside the EU, are not compliance experts. They don’t keep track of labeling requirements in other countries and simply rely on their buyers to provide accurate label files.

    As such, it’s essential that you create compliant label files and submit these to your supplier before entering production.

    How do I create the label file?

    You can use Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop or any other software. What matters is that you create a label file that is an accurate representation of the label you want to be printed on the product, packaging and user manual, if required.

    Recommended file formats
    • .ai
    • .eps
    • .png
    Additional information
    • Dimensions
    • Color
    • Print type
    • Print position

    How do I make sure my factory gets the label right?

    I strongly recommend that you include a label check in your standard quality control checklist. Assuming you’re importing products from overseas, it’s only a matter of providing photocopies and design drawings showing the labels, dimensions, and where (e.g. product, packaging, and manual) the labels should be present.

    The quality inspection agent can take photos of the labels, helping you decide whether the products are correctly labeled or not.

    What should I do if my product is incorrectly labeled?

    You need to instruct your supplier to relabel the product, assuming the items are still in their production facility. If not, you must either return or relabel the products.

    However, it’s often impossible, or expensive, to relabel an incorrectly labeled product – so you better make sure that you provide label files and detailed documentation to your supplier to prevent such situations from occurring in the first place.

    Can I label the product once it’s imported into Europe?

    In general, a product must be correctly labeled ‘once it’s placed on the market’. This can be interpreted in different ways, which is why I recommend that you ensure that your product is correctly labeled before the product is imported into the EU.

    It’s also more expensive to label products once inside the EU, compared to instructing your manufacturer to do it for you.

    There are also cases in which the customs authorities have seized imported products for not being correctly labeled.

    All in all, there’s no benefit in labeling the products once in Europe, assuming you are not manufacturing inside the EU.

    Are barcodes required when selling in the EU?

    Barcodes are not mandatory but strongly recommended if you intend to sell to retailers or online marketplaces.

    Some of the companies that use and require GS1 barcodes include Amazon, Tesco, Sainsbury’s, John Lewis, WHSmith, Unilever, Ocado, Nestle, Google, Fruugo, La Redoute, New Egg, NHS, Walmart, Macy’s.

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    Disclaimer: The content on this website is provided for general information only. The content includes summaries written by our team members based on publicly available information about product safety standards, labeling, documentation, testing, processes, and other product compliance related topics. However, we don’t guarantee that we cover every single relevant regulation/standard/requirement, or that the information is free from errors, or covering every single scenario and exemption. We do make mistakes from time to time. We never provide legal advice of any sort.

    Changes/Updates: Product standards and substance restrictions are subject to frequent updates and changes. In addition, new regulations, standards, and/or requirements may also become effective at any time. We don’t update our articles whenever new standards/regulations/rules are added or changed. We recommend that you consult a lab testing company or other professional to get the latest information about mandatory standards/regulations in your market, country, or state. Lab testing companies generally stay up to date on new and updated standards and regulations.

    National/State-Level Standards/Regulations: Many articles don't cover all European national and US state standards, regulations, and requirements. We recommend that you consult a testing company or other professional to confirm all relevant (and current) national/state level standards and regulations.
  • 47 Responses to “European Union Product Labeling Requirements: A Complete Guide

    1. J. Park at 7:43 am

      Is `CE’ marking optional for the manufacturer (what I mean is, to put `CE’ mark on the surface of the product) even though a product of the manufacturer has been authorized to put the CE mark on that product? This question might sound a little bit weird but I want to make sure. Maybe, the company might put a wording that their product passed the CE testing somewhere in the product info sheet, which I did not see.

    2. jay at 2:35 am

      Hi
      I am an ecommerce company selling silicone plates and bowls on Amazon uk, Amazon has requested this :
      Product Packaging Picture:
      – The images provided do not meet the labelling requirements, which state that any information added to the product packaging must be securely adhered and not easily removable.
      Please provide images that meet this requirement.
      – The images provided do not meet the EU labelling guidelines,
      which state that the label must contain the business name and address of the manufacturer.
      Please provide product images that meet this requirement.

      My product is packaged in a transparent poly bag and does not have a packaging box,
      and I have non-removable labels on the polybag with the manufacturers address in China.Yet, they declined.
      I am only looking to sell in the UK Market.

      Are you able to advice please if:
      1) Do I need to create product boxes and get the manufacturers address printed on the boxes instead of a polybag, to address the issue of being securely adhered?
      2) Can I leave my packaging in the poly bag as it is, and change the sticker to reflect the manufacturers details to be my business address in the UK,
      which could be the supposed EU representative, perhaps that what they are looking for, instaed of china manufactuer address?
      3) Do I need to include both addresses on a package?

      Is the issue with using a label to display manufactures details, or is it that they need the manufactures details in the UK, which could be the business registered address?
      I’m just conscious that I could go with the extra cost of getting packaging done, but I don’t want to include the wrong information on the package.

      Any advice will be greatly appreciated

      1. Fredrik Gronkvist at 10:03 am

        Hi Jay,

        Please send this text and product images to info@compliancegate.com. We can look into this.

        1. jay at 9:37 pm

          Thanks, This is done now!

    3. Graham at 11:59 pm

      Scenario: The ‘Techy’ company in Japan makes a ‘Widget’ that made for, and shipped to, a UK distribution company ‘UKComp’ with a ‘UKComp’ logo, ‘Made in Japan’ and the ‘Techy’ address on the label. If ‘UKComp’ decide to sell the ‘Widget’ in the UK should the label be changed to say ‘Made in the UK’, and should the ‘UKComp’ address replace the ‘Techy’ address on the label? If ‘UKComp’ then also decide to sell the ‘Widget’ in the EU, through a German based local Economic Operator ‘GComp’, should the label be again changed to say ‘Made in Germany’ and the ‘Techy’ address replaced by the ‘GComp’ address? I assume you can only have one address on the label.

      1. Fredrik Gronkvist at 10:05 am

        Hi Graham,

        There is no country of origin labeling requirement in the EU and UK as far as I know, but it should not be misleading. Claiming that it is made in the UK could be misleading if it is not made in the UK.

    4. Angela Coniam at 2:00 am

      Hi,
      Thanks for the great article. For selling licensed giftware into the EU, (mugs, vases, wallets, stationery etc.), please can you tell me if it is it mandatory or just preferable for labeling on the packaging to be translated in to multiple languages? We are currently using symbols for safety/care instructions (for example food safe logo, do not microwave etc.) but we particularly want to know if the product description for example ‘ceramic mug’ needs to be translated on the front of the packaging. Products will be imported directly from China to the EU.
      Thanks, Angela

    5. Emilia at 6:43 am

      Hi Fredrik,

      Now that the UK has left the EU, do you know if non-resident importers to the UK also need to have a UK-based address on their product label? We are based in the US and have no interest in setting up a UK branch. We have our US manufacturer’s address on our packaging. Thanks so much!

    6. Jolanta at 9:48 pm

      Would you happen to know if “Age-labeling” statement, such as “Ages 3-12” is required on toys in the EU?
      I am NOT referring to warning labels, rather a statement of age that the toy is safe and appropriate for the child’s age. Age-labeling of toys to guide purchasing decisions for the typically developing child.
      “Age-labeling” statement is required in the US.
      If you happen to be able to point me to the source, also, that would be very helpful!

      1. Fredrik Gronkvist at 12:26 pm

        Hi Jolanta,

        We have a guide on that topic just about to be published. Check back in a week or two.

    7. AshaM at 10:39 pm

      Hey Fredrik,

      I’m in a very difficult and frustrating situation.
      My product was also being in my listing was in active due to:
      “The images provided do not meet the EU labelling guidelines, which state that address on the label must be that of an EU country. Please provide product images that meet this requirement.”

      I have an CE mark on the package however I didn’t have an address.
      I then used a sticker label and added UK address. They came back with the same response.

      I’m a little confused as I’m selling in UK and my product is in UK, we are now out of the EU. I’ve asked for clarity but I’m getting the same response, which is really frustrating and dishearten. I really need some help! :(

      1. Fredrik Gronkvist at 12:30 pm

        Hi Asha,

        In that case, it may be that they only accept an address in the EU. This will also be mandatory for all cross-border sales starting in July this year.

        Read this for more details: https://www.compliancegate.com/european-authorised-representative/

        1. Asha at 3:41 am

          Thanks!

          This really helped answer some sections. I’ve changed the account to be UK only shipping but I got this message back “
          Product Packaging Picture:– We were not able to verify the manufacturer’s information listed on the product packaging pictures provided. Please provide product packaging pictures with valid, verifiable supplier information.”
          Not sure how they want me to send the supplier information. Is it a document invoice with their address ?

        2. Asha at 3:48 am

          Thanks!

          This really helped answer some sections. I’ve changed the account to be UK only shipping but I got this message back “
          Product Packaging Picture:– We were not able to verify the manufacturer’s information listed on the product packaging pictures provided. Please provide product packaging pictures with valid, verifiable supplier information.”
          Not sure how they want me to send the supplier information. Is it a document invoice with their address ?

          Just to add to this the label has my address.

          1. Fredrik Gronkvist at 1:41 pm

            Hi Asha,

            Are they not just referring to your company name?

    8. Qubex at 4:29 am

      I have been selling this product since 15th Dec-2020
      And there has been no issue untill last week, my listing was in active due to
      Product label guidelines.
      I have provided all the images which they required but i keep getting the same email reply.
      Kindly suggest what should i do
      ThankYou

      1. AshaM at 10:43 pm

        I have the same issue. I’ve started selling since beginning of this month. I’ve sent them 4 emails to them and they keep getting the same email reply too. It’s been nearly 2weeks and a half.

      2. Fredrik Gronkvist at 12:31 pm

        What kind of product is this?

    9. Melissa at 3:35 am

      I am having a problem with a personal gift ( belated birthday presents ) not for re-sale for a family member that is currently in Italy. The carrier is asking me to fill in the following , but I have experience with CE regs. Can someone help ?

      I declare, on my responsibility, that (please mark with a “x” the correct
      choice)
      () goods imported with the above indicated awb consist of:
      …………………………………………………..

      () imported goods are CE marked.

      () imported goods do not need to be CE marked as provided by: …………
      of …….. (please indicate the related regulation)

      () imported goods consist of prototypes which will not be put either for
      sale or in service. In case the final use changes, we will comply with
      the proceeding provided by the D.Lgs 194/07.

      1. Fredrik Gronkvist at 1:16 pm

        Hi Melissa,

        1. Which carrier are you using?

        2. Did you buy this from an online seller outside Italy/EU?

    10. Charlie Cawood at 5:44 pm

      Hi Fredrik

      We are a U.K. company importing non-food consumer goods into mainland EU. Will I need an EU address on my labelling from Jan 1st 2021 (Brexit) or will my U.K. address be ok?

      Thanks

      1. Charlie Cawood at 5:52 pm

        I should also point out that these goods are NOT CE marked. Thanks

      2. Fredrik Gronkvist at 11:14 am

        Hi Charlie,

        My understanding is that this will be a requirement from July 2021.

        https://www.conformance.co.uk/9-ce-marking/131-ce-marking-and-authorised-representatives

        “However, from July 2021, all manufacturers based outside the EU must appoint an AR (or an importer or a FSP) within the EU if they wish to continue to sell CE marked goods within the EU.”

        I have also heard that this is supposed to apply to “non-CE” products too. We will do more research into this and publish an article on this topic.

    11. TM at 4:27 am

      Hi,
      Is company name (or maker’s) and address on product label required by International law?
      RN number can be used on label instead of the company name in US, how about in Europe?

      1. Fredrik Gronkvist at 12:42 pm

        Hi TM,

        I have never heard of any EU equivalent of the RN number

    12. Steve Lowe at 7:06 pm

      Hello Fredrik
      We are a UK company and we have non-food consumer FMCG products that we sell worldwide including all EU countries. Currently we have our UK address on the packaging. Is this suffient or do we need an EU address? We do have country of origin which are variuous EU countries and also our website on the packaging. These are non-food, personal care items sold in supermarkets.
      Thanks,
      Steve

    13. Georgia at 6:02 pm

      Hey Fredik,
      Thanks very much for the helpful Video. 2 questions…
      1) Do card games (with no other objects but cards in the box) come under Toys?
      2) Do you need the address the company is registered on packaging to sell within the EU?

      Thanks,

      Georgia

      1. Fredrik Gronkvist at 1:16 pm

        Hi Georgia,

        1. That’s a good question, and I don’t know the answer. I would contact the national regulators in your country.

        2. Yes that is generally required

    14. Benny at 6:25 pm

      Hi Fredrik,

      I am planning on importing AC to DC power supply (12V 200watt) into EU market and have already gotten my CE certificate + ROHS.

      However do we also need a WEEE sticker on my power supply as well? If so must we do a WEEE evaluation in the lab first? Also do we need WEEE evaluation + official WEEE registration? Or is WEEE evaluation only acceptable. I only ask because the WEE evaluation + registration is really expensive.

      Thanks for your answer in advanced.

    15. Lisa at 1:50 am

      Hi Fredrik,
      We are importing into EU, and will have country of origin printed on package and product. However, do we need to translate this into multiple languages to where products will be shipped? example, Polish, German?

      1. Fredrik Gronkvist at 1:03 pm

        Hi Lisa,

        Which country are you shipping from?

    16. Leo Suszek at 10:27 pm

      Hi, great article, i do have a question, what is the minimum % of a product needs to be made in Europe to be labeled as “Made in EU”?

      1. Fredrik Gronkvist at 7:12 pm

        Hi Leo,

        I have no idea if that is even regulated by the EU. It may be up to each individual country.

    17. Diego at 2:14 pm

      Hi, great article, I have a question I’m having issues finding the answer. Is it mandatory to include the IMPORTER details on the outer package? I see that the Country of origin is not required at least for Europe. However, is the importer detail required? Thank you!

      1. Fredrik Gronkvist at 6:57 pm

        Hi Diego,

        Yes, that can be the case for specific product categories. It depends on the regulation/directive.

    18. gary at 7:26 pm

      for non food products imported from China to UK do i legally need to include the importers address on the packaging ?

    19. KJ at 11:34 am

      Hi there – We are importing equipment (cleaning and washing machine type product) from China. Are we required to list our importer on the label? Thanks!

    20. STACY D. MORITZ at 6:18 am

      I am looking for assistance with an EU nutritional panel

    21. Chris at 10:03 pm

      hi there,
      If I import from China items, how do I need to mark products? Is it nessesey to put my name or company details for each items?Mostly I am intrested about garden equipment and electronic staff but not only. Any regulation for that?
      Thanking you
      Chris

      1. Fredrik Gronkvist at 5:49 pm

        Hi Chris,

        What kind of electronics and garden equipment do you have in mind?

        Note that CE marking is mandatory for all electronic products sold in the EU.

    22. Winnie at 1:32 am

      Hi ,
      I would like to import infrared thermometer to UK and Europe from China, what are the requirements for labeling? CE, Weee mark? Does it need to carry manufacturer name, address, phone number and website ? Or any other information need to carry?
      Thanks,
      Winnie

      1. Fredrik Gronkvist at 6:43 pm

        Hi Winnie,

        I would guess it goes under the Medical Devices Directive.

        I suggest you read this article: https://www.compliancegate.com/medical-devices-directive/

    23. Edwin at 11:48 am

      Hello Fredrik,
      I would to know if KN95 masks that passed Chinese standard GB2626-2006 are now allowed to be shipped to EU in response to Covid-19? if yes, what are the packaging requirements or markings that need to be put on the product, the packaging box, the inner box, the outer shipping carton? Thanks for the help.

      1. Fredrik Gronkvist at 3:28 pm

        I have no idea to be honest. Things are changing so fast right now.

    24. Amani at 12:07 pm

      have an inquiry dose CE regulation omit manufacture address and include legal address

      1. Fredrik Gronkvist at 7:47 pm

        Hi Amani,

        Are you referring to the registered company address?

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