A Guide to Labeling Requirements for Food Product Registration in Dubai
Being a vibrant international business hub, Dubai has been long viewed as a highly lucrative market for the trading of a variety of goods including the food products. However, to import or trade the foodstuff in Dubai the importers and manufacturers are required to ensure that they have registered the products with the Dubai Municipality. Products that are not registered with the Dubai Municipality will be considered as fake goods and will be rejected. There are multiple steps that the importers and traders of the food products need to follow in order to register their products at Dubai Municipality and the foremost among them is the labelling requirement. Reputed trademark agents in Dubai assist the importers and manufacturers with the legalities of the product registration process.
Pre-requisites for Food Product Registration in Dubai Municipality
To initiate the process of food product registration in Dubai, the applicant should be registered as a local company in the UAE. The companies can also tie-up with a local distributor in the UAE for registering the products. For labelling assessment and related procedures, the representative of the company should register at the Dubai Municipality’s electronic system called ‘Food Import and Re-Export System (FIRS program)’. Trademark agents in Dubai assist the companies in registering for the FIRS program.
Labelling for Food Product Registration in Dubai: The Key Requirements
a) Registration of the Barcode
A key step in the process of food product registration in Dubai involves the registration of the barcode. The faults that occur during the registration of barcodes are one of the grounds for rejection of the product registration application and therefore the applicants need to be meticulous while dealing with this procedure. The Dubai Municipality mandates that every food product package should have a barcode. Apart from that, every package of the same product should also have identical barcodes. The Municipality stipulates this requirement because the registered barcodes can be used for different consignments and each product should have only a single unique barcode.
b) Laboratory Test
All the registered products need to be tested in a laboratory to ensure that no harmful ingredients are included in the foodstuff. In the normal course, the Municipality will send the samples of the substances to the Dubai Central Laboratory for the first time. In case, the Central Laboratory is unable to test the product in question, then it will be referred to other accredited labs in the UAE. If the accredited lab fails to do the test then the applicant needs to get the product tested at a specific laboratory abroad. Reputed trademark agents in Dubai assist the companies in getting the products tested in accredited labs.
c) Label Assessment
For label assessment, the applicants need to submit the description of the packaging type to the authorities. The packaging type can be carton containers, plastic or metal, etc. Also, a clear picture of the product label and food product in question should be submitted. Here, the applicant should note that the size of the image should not be larger than 10 MB. The wrapper of the food product should contain labelling information. For further information regarding the labelling requirements, consult with reputed trademark agents in Dubai.
d) Rules for Label Information
The Dubai Municipality mandate that the label of food products should be clear, easily comprehensible. Also, the applicants should ensure that the label is not easy to remove under normal conditions during usage. No pictures, designs should cover the label information. Any printed matter or graphic matter should be on the contrasting ground to the background of the label information.
If the container is covered by a wrapper, then the necessary information should be contained in the wrapper. In any circumstance, the consumers should be able to read the information contained on the label such as the name and net contents of the foodstuff products.
e) Language Requirements for Labelling
The official language for verifying the label information on the food products in Arabic. The language on the package should be either Arabic and/ or English. If the label includes details other than the mandatory information, then the mandatory information should be in Arabic at least. Dubai Municipality permits the companies to use stickers to translate the label into Arabic. The Hebrew language has been banned in the past due to the previous Israel Boycott Law. However, the UAE has abolished the Israel Boycott Law on 29 August 2020 through a Presidential Decree.
Consult with the Product Registration Consultants in Dubai
Dubai government has implemented a robust system for ensuring the good health and safety of the consumers by mandating that the products including foodstuff should be registered with the Dubai Municipality. Failing to register the food products with the Dubai Municipality will result in the rejection of the consignment during shipment. Manufacturers, importers, and traders of the foodstuff must register through the FIRS program to avoid rejection. Food product registration at Dubai Municipality involves multiple steps including label assessment, laboratory test, etc. for which the companies need professional assistance. Jitendra Intellectual Property (JIP) is a full-fledged intellectual property firm that also provides product registration services in Dubai. JIP’s trademark agents in Dubai assist the companies with label assessment, laboratory tests, etc.