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Belgian authorities have recently adopted guidelines on the use of the term ‘artisanal’ and its derivatives in the names of products. The guidelines apply to all food and non-food products marketed in Belgium unless other rules apply. Food business operators which are not established in Belgium but operate on the Belgian market are also required by Belgian authorities to adhere to the guidelines. When a product can be called ‘artisanal’?…...

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On 21 November 2017, the European Commission has published the Commission Notice on the application of the principle of quantitative ingredients declaration (QUID) which provides further guidance on the obligation to indicate the quantity of ingredients required by Regulation 1169/2011 on the provision of food information to consumers. The Notice replaces and complements the guidelines on QUID adopted in 1998 under Directive 79/112/EEC. Obligation to indicate QUID According to the…...

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As of 27 October 2022, a new framework of rules will apply to total diet replacement products, both in terms of compositional and labelling requirements. In addition, total diet replacement products will have to be notified in each Member State where the product is being marketed. Those new rules are laid down in the Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2017/1798 on total diet replacement for weight control, published on 7 October…...

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Advocate General CAMPOS SÁNCHEZ-BORDONA recently rendered his opinion in the case ‘Champagne sorbet’ (case C-393/16). As expected, the AG confirmed that it is for the national courts to assess, on a case by case basis, if the use of a protected term (in this case, ‘Champagne’) in the name of a food product (in this case, a Champagne sorbet) was not unduly exploiting the reputation of the protected term, taking…...

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On 14 June 2017, the European Court of Justice gave a very strict interpretation of the rules laying down the conditions for the use of designations reserved to milk and milk products (‘milk’, ‘yoghurt’, ‘cream’, ‘cheese’, …). The Court indeed decided that it is in all circumstances prohibited to use dairy names in association with plant-based products, unless those names are included - in the same language - in a…...

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The European Commission’s Regulatory Committee on Medical Devices has adopted a Commission Decision on the qualification of cranberry products. According to the Decision, cranberry products do not fall within the definition of medical devices set out in the Medical Devices Directive.   The European Commission’s Regulatory Committee on Medical Devices has adopted a Commission Implementing Decision on the qualification of cranberry products. The Decision states that products “whose principal intended action,…...

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On 15 March 2017, the European Parliament adopted a codified legislation on official controls, which tightens rules on financial penalties, establishes more and better inspections, and creates a legal framework for the data processed during controls. The new Regulation comes as a response to the horsemeat scandal which hit several EU Member States in 2013 when food labelled as containing beef turned out to contain horsemeat instead. It does not…...

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At Loyens & Loeff, we truly value making sure our newcomers feel at home. One of the ways we do this is through the Loyens & Loeff Academy. The L&L Academy is a comprehensive onboarding program for newcomers that takes place over several months. Consisting mainly in seminars (given by practice group or sector team leaders) or presentations from our various departments, it provides all new trainees with a good understanding…...

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On 28 July 2016, Belgian authorities published an official document interpreting the concepts of food prepacked for direct sale, and food that is supplied in small quantities directly from the manufacturer to the final consumer or to local retail establishments directly supplying the final consumer.  While reference to these concepts is made in Regulation n° 1169/2011 on the provision of food information to consumers, no definition thereof was provided. As…...

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On 14 July 2016, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) rendered its judgment in Case C-19/15 on the applicability of the Nutrition and Health Claims Regulation (NHC Regulation) to B2B communications. As expected, the EU judges followed the Advocate General’s opinion and ruled that the NHC Regulation is not only applicable to commercial communications addressed to consumers (B2C) but also to commercial communications addressed to professionals (B2B).…...

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The date of delivery of the judgment of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) in Case C-19/15 on the applicability of the Nutrition and Health Claims Regulation (NHC Regulation) to B2B communications has been set for 14 July 2016. It is likely that the EU judges will follow the Advocate General’s opinion and rule that the NHC Regulation is not only applicable to commercial communications addressed to…...

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At Loyens & Loeff, in addition to our practice groups, we are also organized in multidisciplinary teams. There, our specialist attorneys combine their respective expertise and experience. They interact with each other and cross their knowledge to come up with round solutions. They also further deepen their market knowledge so as to provide pragmatic advice fitting their clients’ business reality. Our attorneys like to share their expertise. This is why…...

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EU Court of Justice recently confirmed, in a judgement of 16 March 2016 [note]ECLI:EU:T:2016:150, Affaire T-100/15, Arrêt du Tribunal (cinquième Chambre) du 16 mars 2016.[/note] , that a number of health claims related to glucose cannot be authorised : Glucose is metabolised within the normal energetic metabolism of the body Glucose supports physical activity Glucose contributes to the proper functioning of the metabolic system Glucose contributes to the functioning of…...

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In the EU, geographical indications of wines and spirits are protected under Regulation (EC) No 110/2008.[note]Regulation (EC) No 110/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 January 2008 on the definition, description, presentation, labelling and the protection of geographical indications of spirit drinks and repealing Council Regulation (EEC) No 1576/89 (OJ 2008 L 39, p. 16).[/note] Pursuant to that regulation, it is prohibited, inter alia, to misuse, imitate or even evoke protected…...

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Par son arrêt commenté du 4 juin 2015, la Cour de justice de l'Union européenne s'est prononcée sur les critères à prendre en compte lors de l'examen du caractère potentiellement trompeur de l'étiquetage de denrées alimentaires. La question en jeu était la suivante : l'emballage d'une denrée alimentaire peut-il être considéré comme trompeur quant à sa composition si, indépendamment des divers éléments d'étiquetage (sigles, images, mentions écrites), la liste des…...

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On Friday 11 December a new Regulation No 2015/2283 on Novel Food was published. Its aims are to clarify the definition of Novel Food, simplify the applicable procedure for market entry, centralise it at European level, and render it more transparent. The Regulation modifies existing rules dating back to 1997 for the introduction of Novel Food into the EU thus keeping up with scientific developments. Its purpose is also to…...

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Aude Mahy co-authored the article 'L'émergence de l'action en réparation collective: vers un nouveau risque (pour le secteur alimentaire)?' published in the book 'L'action en réparation collective'. Click here to view the table of content Click here to order the book....

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On 17th July 2014, the Belgian legislator adopted a Royal Decree establishing provisions for the declaration of certain substances or products causing allergies or intolerances as regards non-pre-packed food. A. Mahy, C. van Hoeck, Declaration of Allergen Non-Prepacked Foods in Belgium, European Food and Feed Law Review 2/2015, Lexxion, p. 141-143 To order this issue of the EFFL, click here...

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On 4 June 2015, the European Court of Justice (CJEU) issued an important decision, in which it ruled that even though the list of ingredients may be correct and comprehensive, the consumer may still be misled by the labelling about whether a particular ingredient is present[1]. Up till now, in case of a contradiction between the labeling of a food product and its correct list of ingredients, the latter prevailed…...

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At the end of March 2014, Belgium notified its draft Royal Decree on establishing provisions for the declaration of certain substances or products causing allergies or intolerances, as regards non pre-packaged foods, to the European Commission[1]. What, in substance, are the proposed rules? I.        Operators’ new proposed obligations at a glance- a choice between written and oral declaration: The Belgian authorities propose to authorise the declaration of allergens of non-pre-packed…...

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  Loyens & Loeff is proud to announce the first Comparative Food Law Seminar on Food Advertising in the EU which will take place on 5 December 2013 in our Brussels office. This seminar is organised by Lexxion – The Legal Publisher, under the scientific coordination of the Food & Beverages Team of Loyens & Loeff. Discover the differences in national implementations of EU food advertising rules, which may be…...

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These functional health claims relate to the effects of: ‘toothkind’ drinks, which contribute to maintain tooth mineralisation compared to soft drinks; the consumption of slowly digestible starch (SDS) in starch-containing foods, which raises blood glucose concentration less after a meal compared to products low in SDS cocoa flavanols, which help maintain the elasticity of blood vessels, which in turn contributes to normal blood flow.   Important note: These claims may…...

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On 18 July 2013, the Court of Justice of the European Union (“CJEU”) handed down its judgment in case C-299/12, in which it clarified three issues concerning the scope and interpretation of Regulation EC n° 1924/2006 concerning nutrition and health claims made on foods:   1. First clarification: interpretation of term ‘reduction of disease risk claim’ The Nutrition and Health Claims Regulation defines a ‘reduction of disease risk claim’ as…...

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On 12 June 2013, the EU Parliament adopted a new Regulation 609/20131, regarding the rules governing the composition and labelling of baby food, food for special medical purposes and total diet replacement for weight control. This Regulation replaces several other Regulations in order to simplify and clarify the rules regarding the labelling and composition of what is called ‘Foodstuffs for Particular Nutritional Uses’ (PARNUTS). Key changes and provisions: The concepts…...

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A new list of authorised functional health claims was published on 11 June 2013 under the Commission Regulation (EU) No 536/20131. This Regulation adds 6 new health claims to the list of authorised health claims and specifies their conditions of use. These new health claims relate to the health benefits of DHA and EPA, dried prunes and fructose. The new Regulation 536/2013 will apply as from 2 January 2014, providing…...

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In a previous newsflash, we informed you about the adoption of three EU Regulations (published on 12 November 2011) setting the maximum levels for authorised additives in the European territory. These Regulations completed the annexes of Regulation No 1333/2008 on food additives: The new Annex II to Regulation No 1333/2008 (New Regulation No 1129/2011) contains a list of food additives approved for use in foods and their conditions of use,…...

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In reaction to the Horsegate scandal, the Belgian Parliament is currently discussing a proposal for a Resolution on the rights of consumers to have access to healthy and high-quality food, through the creation of a “Belgian Food” label. The concern lies with the quality of the food provided to consumers and the damage that these scandals cause to consumers’ perception of the Belgian food industry. The goal of the label…...

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As from 14 December 2012, Regulation No. 432/2012[1], which contains the list of permitted general health claims made on food, will be applicable. This will have an huge impact on food business operators that are used to claim that their product has role in: the growth, development or the functions of the body; or psychological and behavioural functions; or slimming or weight control. These claims are considered to be ‘General Health…...

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On 8 November 2012 the European Commission adopted new rules amending Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006 with regard to the list of nutrition claims. Therefore, the claim 'no added salt' is now permitted under certain conditions. The conditions for the claims ‘reduced saturated fat’ and ‘reduced sugars’ have become more strict. This new Regulation will enter into force on 29 November 2012. Products placed on the market prior to 1 June…...

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On 6 September 2012, the European Court of Justice ruled that, although correct, describing wine as being “easily digestible”, due to the application of a special process for the biological reduction of acidity, falls within the scope of the prohibition against the use of health claims [1] to promote beverages containing more than 1,2% by volume of alcohol [2]. The referring Bundesverwaltungsgericht had taken the view that a description relating…...

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On 22 November 2011, the EU published its Regulation on Food Information for Consumers, which codifies, replaces and completes the existing regulatory framework applicable to food information for consumers. The so-called ‘FIC Regulation’ notably lists the information required to appear on food labelling (e.g. allergens, list of ingredients, country of origin, nutritional information) and the manner in which such information is to appear (e.g. legibility requirements). The FIC Regulation will…...

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The European Parliament adopted on 6 July 2011, a Regulation on the provision of food information to consumers. The text was warmly welcomed by 606 votes to 46, with 26 abstentions. Upon publication of the Regulation in the EU Official Journal, food companies will have three years to ensure compliance with the majority of these rules, but are granted two additional years for compliance with those on nutrition values. You can find the…...

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On 19 September 2011, the European Commission adopted Regulation 931/2011 on the traceability requirements set by Regulation 178/2002 for food of animal origin. This Regulation lays down rules for the specific sector of food of animal origin to ensure the correct application of the ‘one-step back’-‘one step forward’ approach, for which Regulation 178/2002 provides (the General Food Law Act). This approach represents the requirement that food business operators must be…...

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In a move awaited since the adoption of Regulation (EC) No 1333/2008 on food additives, the European Commission published on 12 November 2011 the maximum levels for authorised additives: The new Annex II to Regulation No 1333/2008 (Regulation No 1129/2011) contains a list of food additives approved for use in foods and their conditions of use, and it is complemented by an inclusion of steviol glycosides (Regulation No 1131/2011); The…...

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On 18 November 2010, the European Court of Justice handed out a new judgment confirming the broad interpretation to be given to the token permission for comparative advertising and that must always be in line with consumer interests 1. The question that was submitted to the Court aimed to determine the lawfulness of a comparison, solely from a price angle, of a basket of food products marketed by two competing…...