United Arab Emirates: New licensing and labelling requirements for juices and drinks sold in the UAE (2019-01)

Date of issue: 5 April 2019

Date of effect: 22 May 2019

Reference Number: MAA2019-01

Attention:

Industries—Industry bodies – Australian Food and Grocery Council
Department of Agriculture and Water Resources—Central and Regional offices

Purpose

To advise Australian grocery exporters that the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has introduced new controls on the sale and distribution of juice and drink products. UAE Cabinet Decree No. 30 of 2018, due to come into force on 22 May 2019, requires products sold in the UAE to be registered according to the Emirates Conformity Assessment Scheme (ECAS) and to bear an ECAS Mark of Conformity as evidence of registration. The department understands that imported products must bear the ECAS Mark of Conformity prior to entering the UAE. This market access advice outlines the known requirements for ECAS registration.

Summary of key points

  • The UAE Cabinet Decree No. 30 of 2018 on Regulations for Control on Juices and Drinks is due to come into effect on 22 May 2019.
  • The decree introduces a mandatory registration system for juices and drinks including fruit juices, juices with milk, flavoured artificial drink/powders and fresh fruit juice in the UAE. An official label confirming product registration - the ECAS Mark of Conformity- must be applied to products before import into the UAE.
  • The ECAS is administered by the Emirates Authority for Standardization and Metrology (EMSA).
  • To be eligible to register products with ESMA, suppliers must demonstrate compliance to all relevant UAE regulations via a Certificate of Conformity. A Certificate of Conformity is issued by third party certification bodies that have been approved by ESMA. A list of approved certification bodies is provided at Attachment 1.
  • ESMA has advised the department that products that are eligible for export certification are able to be assessed for a Certificate of Conformity via a document review. A single approval is required for groups of products of the same type (e.g.: fruit juices).
  • After successfully obtaining a Certificate of Conformity, suppliers must apply to ESMA for a licence to use the ECAS Mark of Conformity.
  • The department understands that, from 22 May 2019, products that do not bear the ECAS Mark of Conformity are not allowed to be distributed for sale in the UAE.
  • An unofficial translation of the decree is provided at Attachment 2.
  • Further information can be obtained by contacting any of the ESMA approved certification companies via customercare@esma.gov.ae.
  • Exporters are advised to work with their importers to ensure all imported product is in full compliance with UAE registration requirements.
  • The Manual of Importing Country Requirements (MICoR) will be updated to reflect the changes.
  • The decree does not affect other UAE requirements for imported foods, which includes export certification to facilitate import clearance of prescribed and some non-prescribed goods.

Further information

Contact Exports if you have any queries.

The information provided in this advice is current at the time of writing and is intended for use as guidance only and should not be taken as definitive or exhaustive. The Commonwealth endeavours to keep information current and accurate, however, it may be subject to change without notice. Exporters are encouraged to verify these details with their importers prior to undertaking production/exports. The Commonwealth will not accept liability for any loss resulting from reliance on information contained in this notice.

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Last reviewed: 4 November 2019
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