United Arab Emirates: Prepackaged Food: Mandatory Nutritional Labelling requirements from 1 January 2022 (2020-03)

Date of issue:  6 March 2020

Date of effect: 1 January 2022

Reference Number: MAA2020-03

Attention:

  • Industries - Industry Bodies – Australian Food and Grocery Council (AFGC), Australian Honey Bee Industry Council (AHBIC)
  • Licensed exporters
  • State regulatory authorities
  • Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment—Central and Regional offices

Purpose

The Australian Government understands the Emirates Authority for Standardisation and Metrology has informed the United Arab Emirates (UAE) food industry from 1 January 2022, pre-packaged food, including imported food, must be labelled with a traffic light label showing the contents of fat, saturated fats, sugars and salts.

Summary of key points

The UAE’s labelling system will require the contents of fat, saturated fats, sugars and salts in the pre-packaged food to be shown by using traffic light signals for high (red), medium (amber) and low (green) percentages for each of these ingredients.

The traffic light system is to be printed on the front side of the packaging.

The traffic system WILL NOT negate the requirement for conventional nutritional labelling (based on the US system) on the back of the packaging.

The following products will be EXEMPT from the proposed UAE’s traffic light system:

  • Unprocessed products that are composed of a single ingredient or category of ingredient
  • Processed products for which the only processing applied is a maturation process and the processed products are composed of a single ingredient or category of ingredient
  • Bottled water for human consumption, including those which the only added ingredients are carbon dioxide and/or flavourings
  • A herb, a spice or a mixture thereof
  • Salt and salt substitutes
  • Table top sweeteners
  • Coffee extracts and chicory extracts, whole or milled coffee beans and whole or milled decaffeinated coffee beans
  • Herbal and fruit infusions, tea, decaffeinated tea, instant or soluble tea or tea extract, which do not contain other added ingredients than flavourings and do not modify the nutritional value of the tea
  • Fermented vinegars and substitutes for vinegar, including those where the only added ingredients are flavourings
  • Flavourings, food additives, processing aids, food enzymes, gelatine, jam setting compounds and yeast
  • Chewing gums
  • Energy drinks
  • Carbonated beverages and non-carbonated water based flavoured drinks
  • Food in packaging or containers where the largest surface has an area of less than 25 cm sq.
  • Food that is handcrafted food and in small quantities, directly supplied by the manufacturers to the final consumers or to local retail establishments directly supplying the consumers.
  • Food for special dietary purposes

The Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment will publish a further Market Access Advice on this matter, when information on the detail of requirements becomes available.

Further information

Contact Export Standards 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.

Last reviewed: 6 March 2020
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