UAE Makes Food Labelling Optional For Product Registration: How Does it Affect You?

The process of product registration in the UAE has often been riddled with certain complexities due to the extensive regulatory requirements mandated by the government. For instance, importers or distributors of packed processed food products were expected to mandatorily apply a colour-coded system of food labelling from January 1st 2022. However, the Federal Government has amended the expensive food labelling requirement and made it voluntary.

The food labelling procedure requires the suppliers to label their products as per the traffic lights system to display critical information about the ingredients of food items. Since the government has made the requirement optional, importers, manufacturers and distributors can get faster approval from authorities and place the products on the market without any hassle. This will also save them from substantial investments as well as bureaucratic complications.

Product registration agents in Dubai can provide you with more information on the impact of the regulatory change. Meanwhile, let’s analyse the potential impact of the regulatory change on suppliers of pre-packed food products. We will also check whether it’s viable for food product suppliers to voluntarily apply food labelling procedures.

What Standard was Amended? 

The UAE Cabinet amended standard No. UAE.S 5034: 2018 which emphasised nutritional labelling of pre-packed products as traffic light colours. The standards were first implemented on 20/09/2018 and included a voluntary traffic-light (TL) supplemental nutritional information labelling system to be shown on the package of processed foods for distribution in the UAE marketplace.

The standard applied to food business operators at every stage of the food chain. The standard was particularly applicable to those entities whose activities concern the provision of food information to the public. Even though started as a voluntary requirement, the standards were designed to go mandatory from 1 January 2022. However, as per the new amendment, the standard will stay as voluntary. Consult with product registration agents in Dubai to assess your food labelling obligations.

What Schemes will be Impacted by the Amendment? 

The decision to make the food labelling requirement will affect the UAE product registration processes implemented by various regulatory authorities. Product registration agents in Dubai can advise you on the procedures implemented by each of these authorities. The DED ion will affect the UAE product registration schemes implemented by the following regulatory authorities:

  1. Dubai Municipality
  2. Ministry of Health and Prevention (MOHAP)
  3. Dubai Municipality
  4. Abu Dhabi Agriculture and Food Safety Authority (ADAFSA)
  5. Abu Dhabi Quality and Conformity Council
  6. Ras Al Khaimah Municipality
  7. Fujairah Municipality
  8. Sharjah Municipality
  9. Emirates Authority for Standardisation and Metrology(ESMA)

Impact of Amendment on Businesses, Government & Consumers 

The UAE Government believes that the new amendment will ease the financial and logistic challenges faced by the businessmen to implement the colour-coded food labelling system. Some of the benefits are:

  • It will reduce the additional costs to label the food information as per the traffic light system
  • Consumers will benefit as ultimately they have to bear the additional costs incurred by suppliers
  • Estimated official saving of around AED 1.4 billion across the food sector to modify labels currently in use or storage
  • Reinstates the investors’ confidence in the UAE’s business environment
  • It will increase more foreign investment into the UAE food sector
  • It will eliminate technical hurdles to trade food products in the UAE market

Should Businesses go for Voluntary Food Labelling? 

Even though the Traffic Light System of food labelling procedures presents many technical obstacles for suppliers, the process has critical benefits as well. Product registration agents in Dubai recommend you to apply for food labelling to help businessmen and consumers to achieve the following core objectives:

  • Food labelling safeguards public health and safety
  • Provides information to consumers and help them make informed choices about the food they purchase
  • Prevents misleading and deceptive labelling
  • Brands can attract the trust and loyalty of customers
  • Proper food labelling helps in establishing the brand & bolster the brand value

Consult with Product Registration Agents in Dubai to Make a Better Decision  

The Cabinet Decision to amend the provisions of standard No. UAE.S 5034: 2018 has proven to be a welcome relief for food industry players. The decision to make food labelling as per Traffic Light System optional removes the obstacles associated with product registration in the UAE. It saves billions of potential additional costs across the sector, which ultimately have to be borne by the end customer. Product registration agents in Dubai such as Jitendra Intellectual Property (JIP) recommend the players in the food sector to use this opportunity wisely.

Even though it’s not mandatory, businesses can voluntarily apply for the Traffic Light System as it would increase trust among consumers and will bolster your brand value. JIP can help you register your food products with regulatory authorities such as Dubai Municipality and ESMA in full compliance with existing laws. Our product registration agents in Dubai are well-versed in applicable standards, technical regulations and standard procedures associated with the process of product registration in the UAE. Book a consultation with us today to safely place your products in the UAE marketplace.

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