On 6 December 2018, Ukraine's Parliament adopted at the second reading bill No. 8450 "On Information for Food Products Consumers", which is based on the provisions of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement, Regulation (EU) No 1169/2011 of the European Parliament, and of the Council of 25 October 2011 on the provision of food information to consumers and other EU law requirements.
The Law applies to:
- food business operators at all stages of the food chain;
- all food products intended for either the final consumer or mass caterer (supplied to or sold in restaurants, bars, cafes, canteens, snack bars, pizza restaurants, delis, kiosks, etc.).
The Law prohibits the use of information (including in advertising) that would mislead the consumer or attribute medicinal properties to foods other than natural mineral waters and foods for special medical purposes.
Information on allergens (cereals containing gluten; wheat or barley-based glucose syrups, eggs, fish, peanuts, almond, pistachio nuts, milk, sesame seeds, mustard, molluscs, etc.) should be provided on the packaging and by the mass caterers; the word "unfrozen" (if food was frozen before sale) or "ionised" (if food or food ingredients were treated with ionising radiation) should be included; and the physical condition of the food or the specific treatment it has undergone (for example, "quick-frozen", "concentrated", "smoked") should also be specified.
Moreover, durability should be indicated in a new manner:
- either minimum durability (if kept for less than 3 months – an indication of the day and the month shall be sufficient; if kept for less than 18 months – an indication of the month and the year shall be sufficient; if kept for more than 18 months – an indication of the year shall be sufficient);
- or "use by" for perishable foods.
An indication of the date of minimum durability shall not be required for fresh fruit and vegetables, wines, liqueur wines, sparkling wines, beverages containing 10% or more by volume of alcohol, and bakers' or pastry cooks' products which are normally consumed within 24 hours of their manufacture.
The Law introduces the principle of legibility, under which x-height of the text font size indicating mandatory particulars of food shall be ≥1.2 mm, and in case of containers or packaging, the largest surface of which has an area of less than 80 cm2, the x-height of the font size shall be ≥0.9 mm.
Failure to provide the consumer with the information on substances or products causing allergies or intolerances shall lead to imposition of a fine of approximately 20-30 x minimum salary (UAH 83-125 thousand for 2019).
Violation of the requirements established for the provision of the food information to consumers, provision of inaccurate, false and unclear food information to consumers shall lead to imposition of a fine of 10-15 x minimum salary (UAH 41-62.5 thousand for 2019).
This Law, after signing by the President of Ukraine, takes effect on the day following its publication and shall be implemented in six months upon publication thereof, except for: the obligation to use the units of the International System of Units (SI) when indicating the food quantity or to use arbitrary units allowed, which shall be implemented upon the effective day of this Law.
The full text of the draft Law in Ukrainian can be found by the link: Bill No. 8450 "On Information for Food Products Consumers".
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.