Increasing concern about healthy nutrition in recent years has brought with it legislative amendments.
Turkey has also raised its regulative standards in this regard by issuing the Regulation on Turkish Food Codex Food Labelling and the Provision of Food Information to Consumers (“Regulation”), which entered into force on 26 January 2017.
The Regulation, which has been drafted in line with the provisions of the EU Regulation No. 1169/2011, set outs the main principles regarding the mandatory food information requirements and in particular the labelling.
Under Article 9 of the Regulation, the mandatory information to be provided to consumers, subject to certain exceptions (which may require additional information) contained therein, is listed as follows:
- the name of the food;
- the list of ingredients;
- certain substance or products listed in Annex 1 (of the Regulation) causing allergies or intolerances;
- the quantity of certain ingredients or categories of ingredients;
- the net quantity of the food;
- the recommended ‘use by’ date or the actual ‘use by’ date;
- any special storage conditions and/or conditions of use;
- the name or business name and address of the food business operator referred to in Article 8(1) (of the Regulation);
- the business registration number or identification mark referred to in Article 12 (of the Regulation);
- the country of origin;
- instructions for use where it would not be possible to make appropriate use of the food in the absence of such instructions;
- with respect to beverages containing more than 1.2 % by volume of alcohol, the actual alcoholic strength by volume; and
- a nutrition declaration.
The main rule as to the labelling of the mandatory information provided above is that all of the respective information shall be provided on the package of the food or on the label attached to the package. The x-height (as defined in Annex 3 of the Regulation) of the information shall not be lower than 1.2 mm. However, in cases where the largest surface of the packaging or container of the respective food is smaller than 80 cm², the x-height of the letters can be shortened to as little as 0.9 mm. Please note that in certain conditions some of the respective mandatory information can be provided by using other accompanying materials or other means, including technological devices or verbal communication.
The mandatory information shall be in Turkish language, but the official language of other countries can also accompany the Turkish version.
Despite the fact that the Regulation was published and entered into effect on 26 January 2017, the Regulation grants a transitory period for the food business operators who were active prior to the publication of the Regulation. Accordingly, the respective food business operators shall have until 31 December 2019 to comply with the provisions of the Regulation.
Food business operators would nevertheless be well-advised to examine all regulations related to consumers’ product (e.g. price tag regulation) before printing the labels, in order to ensure that they are completely in line with the law.