Updated: Sep 8
This is our best interpretation of the upcoming laws in the European Union around the nutritional and ingredient declaration for Wine, Beer and Spirits. The laws have been adopted, however there is still the possibility of a "corrigendum". Please consult legal advice from a professional for the most up-to-date information.
Top Questions about E-label
When will the European legislation come into effect?
The regulation applies to wines produced on and after the 8th of December 2023 for sale in the EU.
There is no clear definition of "produced" in the legislation. Practically, many legal experts think 2024 will be the first vintage that will be regulated.
Producers have started to comply. Bottlebooks is offering forever discount codes so that any additional cost to start early will be recovered over time.
How do Bottlebooks e-labels work?
The consumer will pick up your bottle, scan the Bottlebooks e-Label QR code and be taken to the e-label for this specific product.
How are e-labels automatically translated?
First you choose the countries you wish the e-label to work in, this could be all EU languages. Any information that is chosen from a list, dropdown or selector is automatically translated. For official values such as ingredients, Bottlebooks uses the official dropdown values from the EU. Any custom text you enter, needs to be translated by you within Bottlebooks. When consumers scan the code, they will be taken to the correct product in their language.
May I just print labels?
Yes you may. Long term, you might want a solution that does not crowd out or distract from the marketing on your labels.
What if I just put the information on my website?
There are many issues to be aware of if you publish your information on your website. You will need to translate the site into the languages of any country you might sell in. Be careful that if you change the way you publish your website, you could easily lose all your e-labels. You will also need to remove any extensive tracking of users such as cookies used for google analytics. Finally, you need to ensure you are not marketing or selling your wines or you could face fines, so the page needs to be independent of any online store you might have.
If you choose to publish on your own website, you are able to use Bottlebooks to create your QR codes for free.
The Main EU Regulations
These are some of the key EU regulations and drafts you should be aware of:
Outlines the use of electronic labels to deliver nutritional and ingredient information.
Will be updated in the next months
Set the tolerances for nutritional values
Ingredients names and terms are contained here
A draft of the legislation in progress
Clarification on ingredients terms
Clarification on the use of electronic labels
Italian recycling regulations
To Do and not To Do
What you must do
Identify the specific product with name, image, and other differentiating factors such as vintage. Note: a few legal advisors are saying that is is not important and multiple wines can be linked to just a nutritional table and ingredient list. This is not clearly specified in the legislation either way. In 2027, there is a plan to replace the bar code with a QR code, which would require one QR code per one wine and vintage.
List the ingredients
Declare the nutrition information
Continue to publish all previously required information on the back label including the energy, produced or imported by and allergens
What it can contain
The logo of the company and an external link can be included on the e-label.
Other EU mandatory and optional particulars including packaging information and recyclability can be included.
This includes information on responsible consumption, sustainability, packaging and recycling.
What not to do
Users should not have to download any apps that are not normally pre-installed. QR scanning is already preinstalled in the camera of all new smartphones today.
The QR code should directly open the e-label without further action by the user.
The E-label can not contain any type of sales or marketing information. The EU regulation states that the sole purpose is to provide nutrition and ingredient information. It should not promote or encourage consumption. However, the logo of the company and an external link can be included on the E-label.
You are not allowed to track consumers, The only exception is to track the location of the user. This helps deliver the correct language to users.
Attach a PDF on the e-label page that needs to be downloaded.
Guidelines for printing the QR codes
1.25 cm squared
Add a border to separate it from the background
Test it and test again!
Recommended guidelines here: https://bottlebooks.freshdesk.com/a/solutions/articles/19000142352
What Is Included?
Which products fall under the legislation?
The CMO Regulation applies to alcoholic products sold in the European Union that are produced and labeled after December 8th 2023. This includes products imported to the EU.
Retailers and customs officials might also be gatekeepers and demand that any products delivered after December 8th comply with the regulation.
What about products that are exported outside of the European Union?
The Commission has the authority to make exceptions for products being exported to certain third countries as required by the law of that country. If a compulsory requirement under EU labeling laws is not allowed by the law of the importing country, then the wine product does not need to include that information when exported to that country.
Is Bulk wine included?
For bulk wine, the list of ingredients must be included in the accompanying documentation. Those involved in the trade, such as producers, bottlers, processors, and merchants, must ensure that the list of ingredients is current and accurate.
Is blended wine ?
As indicating nutritional information and ingredients has become mandatory for wine products, further clarification is needed on how to provide this information for blended wines.
When do I need a new QR code?
You need a new QR code every time the information on the QR code (nutritional and ingredients) change.
Note: this might change with a "corrigendum" to exempt wines produced before Dec. 8th 2023.
There are tolerances within the legislation that should allow for keeping the same information during vintages etc.
We recommend a new QR code when there is a:
new vintage (non vintage products could use the same QR code)
new container size (it might be possible to to use the same QR code here)
How long must an e-label stay active?
E-labels must be kept accessible until the producer is certain that all products have been consumed and all bottles have been disposed of. This is because even though a specific product may be out of stock, some bottles of the product may still be in circulation (in private homes or restaurants) and if the e-label is removed, consumers will not have access to the information provided.
What languages should it be translated in?
All declarations, including the heading, must be in a language that is easily understood by consumers in the country where the product is marketed, and this language must be one of the official languages of the Union. Member States where a grapevine product is sold may also require that the details, nutritional information, and list of ingredients be provided in a language that is easily understood by consumers, and this language must be one of the official languages of the Union.
What is the order in which ingredients should be listed?
Ingredients must be listed in descending order of weight as they were used during the manufacturing of the food. Ingredients that make up less than 2% of the finished product may be listed in a different order, but after the other ingredients.
Are wine processing aids required to be listed in the list of ingredients?
Food additives used as processing aids do not need to be included in the list of ingredients.
However, if their use results in the presence of substances that cause allergies or intolerances, they must be included in the list of ingredients.
Should the substances used for enrichment be indicated in the list of ingredients?
Yes, the substances used for enrichment are considered as ingredients in accordance with Article 2.2(f) of the FIC Regulation if they are added during the manufacturing process and present in the final product, even if in an altered form, and therefore must be indicated in the list of ingredients.
Should additives that can also be naturally present in the grape/must be indicated in the list of ingredients?
Yes, additives that can be naturally present in the grape/must are considered as ingredients in accordance with Article 2.2(f) of the FIC Regulation if they are added during the manufacturing process and present in the final product, even if in an altered form, and therefore must be indicated in the list of ingredients.
Who is responsible for deciding to use the term "grape" irrespective of whether grapes or grape must have been used as raw material?
The wine operator (not the Member State) is responsible for deciding to use the single term "grapes" for indicating the raw material used in the production of grapevine products. This allows for harmonized, comprehensible, and clear information for consumers.
Could an E number be used as an alternative to a specific name for the purpose of indicating the additives?
Yes, an E number can be used as an alternative to the specific name for the purpose of indicating the additives.
What about substances or products causing allergies or intolerances? How these substances shall be indicated?
You can provide information on substances or products causing allergies or intolerances. When indicated on the list of ingredients, these substances or products - such as sulphites/sulfites, eggs, and egg-based products, and milk and milk-based products - must be emphasized through a typeset that clearly distinguishes it from the rest of the ingredients of the list. If the list of ingredients is not indicated on the label (because indicated online), the presence of a substance or product causing allergies or intolerances must be indicated on the label using the word "contains" followed by the name of the corresponding substance or product. The terms to be used to indicate these substances on the list of ingredients are those listed in Part A of Annex I of Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2019/33.
Nutritional declaration: What tolerance limits will there be for the nutrition labeling?
According to the current legislation, the tolerances for nutrition labeling are based on the Commission's guidance document for competent authorities for the control of compliance with EU Legislation on Regulation (EU) No 1169/2011 (Guidance document for 1169/2011). The provisions concerning the indication of the actual alcoholic strength in Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2019/33. These tolerances specifically refer to the sugar and alcohol content.
Can you calculate the energy?
Bottlebooks has an energy calculator using following formula
kcal = ((7.9 x alcohol) x 7) + (residual sugar x 4) + (total acidity x 4)
Is it possible to use the value of “zero” for certain nutrients within the full nutritional declaration?
Yes, it is possible to use the value of “zero” for certain nutrients within the full nutritional declaration if the product does not contain those nutrients or if the product contains very small amounts of nutrients that failed to be detected by analysis.
How shall the average values be determined for the nutritional declaration?
The energy value and the amounts of nutrients in the food shall be those of the food as sold. The declared values may be average values based on: (a) a manufacturer's analysis of the food, (b) a calculation from the known or actual average values of the ingredients used, or (c) a calculation from generally established and accepted data.
Is it necessary to have a laboratory analytical test for all the parameters of the nutritional declaration?
No, it is not necessary to have a laboratory analytical test for all the parameters of the nutritional declaration. For example, laboratory tests are not required for the indication of proteins, fats and salt as they are typically zero for wines.