Current Issues

Food Labeling


The new FIC Regulation


As of 13 December 2014, Regulation (EU) No 1169/2011 of 25 October 2011 on the provision of food information to consumers (the “FIC Regulation”) replaces EU legislations on food labeling and the provision of nutrition information with a single regulation.

Among others provisions, a minimum font size for all mandatory information has been introduced: mandatory particulars shall be printed in characters using a font size that is equal to or greater than 1,2 mm and of 0,9 mm in case of packaging or containers the largest surface of which has an area of less than 80 cm².

The FIC Regulation also specifies that the consumers of the Member State where a food is marketed should in a language easily understand the labeling of food products.

The food industry will have two more years to comply with the mandatory nutrition declaration, which will be effective as of 13 December 2016. Producers will be obliged to display a table on food packaging including information on energy, fat, saturated fat, carbohydrates, sugars, protein and salt - the 'Big 7' -, thereby imposing a major change to food labeling rules in the EU. But producers will still be able to choose where to put this table on their products, as there will be no mandatory front-of-pack labeling.

While the industry has worked with the EU institutions during the adoption process of the FIC Regulation to seek support for a specific language regime for food supplies in the duty free and travel retail sector – where ‘gifting’ is a primary motivation for purchasing, this proposal was ultimately rejected, and any reference to language exemptions was removed.

Therefore, the travel retail and duty free market operates according to the same EU and national regulatory policies as applicable to the domestic high street retailer. Member States will carry out official controls in order to enforce compliance with this Regulation and may impose sanctions in accordance with national rules.

However, many travel retailers have identified a number of serious issues arising from this regulation, which does not take account of the unique nature of the duty free and travel retail channel. This market is made up of a global customer base of internationally diverse travellers, where the consumer may or may not even speak the language of the airport they are travelling through or airline or maritime vessel they are travelling on. Furthermore, many of the confectionery products supplied to this channel are travel retail gifting and/or travel retail exclusives, packaged specifically for this global retail channel and not available on domestic markets.

The industry continues working with the European Commission to find a pragmatic solution to this issue.

For more detailed information please download from the “members only” section of this website a Q&A document helping to understand the complex issues and COMMISSION REGULATION (EU) No 1169/2011.

Please also go to the website of the European Commission for more information.

Ceetra is a proud member of

The European Travel Retail Confederation

Contact us on phone +32 2 234 6860 or e-mail


Central & Eastern European Travel Retail Association

c/o Hume Brophy

41 Rue de la Science

1040 Brussels


Registered in Belgium, reg. no. 0597.926.905