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REGULATION ON LABELLING AND PRESENTATION OF FOODSTUFFS

REGULATION ON LABELLING AND PRESENTATION OF FOODSTUFFS

Entered into force 29.07.2001. Adopted by Decree No 136 dd 19.07.2000. Promulgated in SG, issue 62 dd 28 July 2000, amended SG, issue 40 dd 19 April 2002, amended SG, issue 19 dd 28 February 2003, amended SG, issue 100 dd 14 November 2003, amended SG, issue 98 dd 5 November 2004, amended SG, issue 82 dd 14 October 2005, amended SG, issue 20 dd 7 March 2006, amended SG, issue 75 dd 18 September 2007, amended SG, issue 48 dd 23 May 2008.

Section I. General 

 

Art. 1. (amended – SG issue 100 dd 2003) The regulation sets out the requirements for labeling and presentation, including advertising , of foodstuffs to protect consumers against false and misleading information.

 

Art. 2. (amended – SG issue 98 dd 2004, entered into force 25.11.2004) (1) (previous art. 2 – SG issue 48 dd 2008 entered into force 31.05.2008) This regulation applies to: 

 

1. Foodstuffs delivered as such to the ultimate consumer;

 

2. (amended – SG issue 48 dd 2008, entered into force 31.05.2008) foodstuffs intended for supply to restaurants, hospitals, canteens and other similar mass caterers.

 

(2) (new – SG issue 48 dd 2008, entered into force 31.05.2008) The provisions of art. 6, para. 1, item 12 and art. 31 apply to all foodstuffs throughout the food chain.

Art. 3. (amended – SG issue 100 dd 2003, amended – SG issue 98 dd 2004, entered into force 25.11.2004) The regulation shall not apply to:

 

1. (revoked – SG issue 48 dd 2008, entered into force 31.05.2008) 

2. requirements to provide information on the energy and nutrient content; 

 

3. products intended for export.

 

Section II. 

 

General requirements for labeling and presentation of foodstuffs

 

Art. 4. (amended – SG issue 48 dd 2008, entered into force 31.05.2008) The labeling of foodstuffs and methods used must not:

 

1. be such as could mislead the purchaser regarding: 

 

a) the characteristics of the foodstuff as to its nature, origin or provenance, identity, properties, composition, quantity, durability, method of manufacture and processing;

 

b) attributing to the foodstuff effects or properties

which it does not possess;

 

c) by suggesting that the foodstuff possesses special characteristics when in fact all similar foodstuffs possess such characteristics;

2. subject to Community provisions applicable to natural mineral waters and foodstuffs for particular nutritional uses, attribute to any foodstuff the property of preventing, treating or curing a human disease, or refer to such properties.

 

Art. 5. (suppl. – SG issue 100 dd 2003) In case of presentation, including advertising, of the foodstuffs the provisions of art. 4 shall be met referring to their shape, appearance,  packaging or the packaging materials used, the way in which they are arranged and the setting in which they are displayed.

 

Art. 6. (1) (previous art. 6 – SG issue 100 dd 2003, suppl. – SG issue 48 dd 2008, entered into force 31.05.2008) Indication of the following particulars alone in Bulgarian language shall be compulsory on the labeling of the foodstuff:

 

1. (amended – SG issue 100 dd 2003, amended –  SG issue 48 dd 2008, entered into force 31.05.2008) the name under which the product is sold;

 

2. the list of ingredients;

 

3. the quantity of certain ingredients or categories of ingredients as provided in art. 23;

 

4. (amended – SG issue 98 dd 2004, entered into force 25.11.2004, repealed  – SG issue 48 dd 2008, entered into force 31.05.2008)

 

5. (amended – SG issue 48 dd 2008, entered into force 31.05.2008) the date of minimum durability or the USE BY date for foodstuffs, which, from a microbiological point of view, are highly perishable; 

 

 

6. (suppl. – SG issue 48 dd 2008, entered into force 31.05.2008) any special storage conditions and conditions of use;

 

7. (amended and suppl. – SG issue 19 dd 2003, amended – SG issue 100 dd 2003, entered into force 15.02.2003, suppl. – SG issue 98 dd 2004, entered into force 25.11.2004, amended – SG issue 48 dd 2008, entered into force 31.05.2008) the net quantity in the case of pre-packaged foodstuffs;

 

8. (suppl. – SG issue 98 dd 2004, entered into force 25.11.2004, amended – SG issue 48 dd 2008, entered into force 31.05.2008) the name or business name and address of the manufacturer or packager, or of a seller established within the Community;

 

 

9. (amended – SG issue 48 dd 2008, entered into force 31.05.2008) particulars of the place of origin or provenance where failure to give such particulars might mislead the consumer regarding the true origin or provenance of the foodstuff;

 

10. for imported foodstuffs –  the label shall include the country of manufacture, or in case the foodstuffs is processed in another country and this led to change in its nature, – the country of processing instead of the country of origin; 

 

 

11. instructions for use when it would be impossible to make appropriate use of the foodstuff in the absence of such instructions;

 

12. (amended – SG issue 48 dd 2008, entered into force 31.05.2008) a marking identifying the batch to which the foodstuff belongs;

 

13. (amended – SG issue 100 dd 2003, amended – SG issue 98 dd 2004, entered into force 25.11.2004, amended – SG issue 48 dd 2008, entered into force 31.05.2008) with respect to beverages containing more than 1,2 % by volume of alcohol, the actual alcoholic strength by volume.

 

(2) (new – SG issue 100 dd 2003) the instruction for use mentioned in para. 1, item 11 shall be written in a way ensuring the appropriate use of the foodstuff. 

 

(3) (new – SG issue 98 dd 2004, entered into force 25.11.2004) the particulars mentioned in art. 6, para. 1 may be indicated in other language besides Bulgarian.

 

Art. 6a. (new –  SG issue 100 dd 2003, entered into force 15.02.2003, amended – SG issue 48 dd 2008, entered into force 31.05.2008) (1) The labeling shall indicate the alcoholic strength of the beverages mentioned in art. 6, para. 1, item 13, other than those classified under headings No 22.04 and No 22.05 of the Common Customs Tariff (Council Regulation (EEC) No 2658/87 on the tariff and statistical nomenclature and on the Common Customs Tariff (OJ, L 256 of 7.09.1987), last amended by Regulation (EC) No 275/2008 (OJ, L 85 of 27.03.2008), determined at 20 °C.

 

(2) The figure for alcoholic strength shall be given to not more than one decimal place. It shall be followed by the symbol '% vol.' and may be preceded by the word 'alcohol' or the abbreviation 'alc.'.

 

 

(3) tolerances allowed  in respect of the indication of the alcoholic strength shall be as follows, expressed in absolute values:

 

1. beers having an alcoholic strength not exceeding 5,5% vol.; beverages classified under subheading No 22.07 B II of the Common Customs Tariff and made from grapes: ± 0,5% vol.;

 

2. beers having an alcoholic strength exceeding 5,5% vol.; beverages classified under subheading No 22.07 In I of the Common Customs Tariff and made from grapes; ciders, perries, fruit wines and the like, obtained from fruits other than grapes, whether or not semi-sparkling or sparkling; beverages based on fermented honey: ± 1% vol.;

 

 

3. beverages mentioned in para. 1 containing macerated fruit or parts of plants: ± 1,5% vol.;

 

4. beverages mentioned in para. 1, other than the ones mentioned in items 1 to 3: ± 0,3% vol.

 

(4) The tolerances set out in para. 3 shall apply without prejudice to the tolerances deriving from the method of analysis used for determining the alcoholic strength.

Art. 7. (1) (amended – SG issue 100 dd 2003) The particulars mentioned in art. 6, para. 1 must be written in clear and understandable way for the user, to be located in an easily visible place, not to be deleted when handling, use and storage of foodstuffs. They shall not be obscured or interrupted by other written or pictorial matter.

 

(2) (amended – SG issue 100 dd 2003, amended –  SG issue 98 dd 2004, entered into force 25.11.2004, amended –  SG issue 20 dd 2006, entered into force 31.03.2006) Particulars set out in art. 6, para. 1, item 1, 5, 7 and 13 shall appear in the same field of vision. 

 

(3) The provisions of para. 2 shall not apply to glass bottles intended for reuse, where some of the particulars are permanently marked.

 

(4) (amended – SG issue 100 dd 2003) In case of the glass bottles intended for reuse, which are indelibly marked and therefore bear no label and packaging the largest surface of which has an area of less than 10 cm2, only the particulars listed in art. 6, para. 1, items 1, 5 and 7 need be given. 

 

(5) (amended – SG issue 40 dd 2002, amended –  SG issue 100 dd 2003) Particulars mentioned in art. 6, para. 1, item 4 are not required in the following cases:

 

1. the foodstuff or its ingredients do not contain protein or deoxyribonucleic acid  (DNA) as a product of genetic modification;

 

2. (amended – SG issue 98 dd 2004, entered into force 25.11.2004) the foodstuff or its ingredients as a result of accidental contamination contain products derived from genetically modified organisms and their content in the foodstuff does not exceed 1 percent.

 

(6) (new – SG issue 98 dd 2004, entered into force 25.11.2004) The provisions of para. 2 can be applied to the particulars listed in art. 10, para. 1 and art. 11.

 

Art. 8. (1) (amended – SG issue 100 dd 2003) Any packaged foodstuffs intended for sale to the ultimate consumer shall have the particulars specified in art. 6, para. 1 shown directly on the packaging or on a label, ring or cap placed on it.

 

 

(2) The labels shall be placed in a way that prevents their separation from the packaging.

 

Art. 8a. (*) (new – SG issue 100 dd 2003) (1) Particulars specified in art. 6, para. 1, items 10 and 11 need appear only on commercial documents in cases of labeling of pre-packaged foodstuffs intended for:

 

 

1. the ultimate consumer, when marketed at a stage prior to sale to the ultimate consumer, and where sale to a mass caterer is not involved at that stage;

 

 

2. supply to mass caterers for preparation, processing, splitting or cutting up.

 

 

(2) Commercial documents mentioned in para.1 containing all the labeling information must accompany the foodstuffs to which they refer or to be sent before or at the same time as delivery.

 

 

(3) In the cases referred to in para. 1 the particulars referred to in art. 6, para. 1, items 1, 5 and 8 shall also appear on the external packaging in which the foodstuffs are presented for marketing. The date of minimal durability, and for perishable foods – the durability period, shall be indicated in accordance with art. 28, para. 2 and 3 and art. 29.

Art. 9. (*) (1) (amended  –  SG issue 100 dd 2003) The labeling of foodstuffs is not required in cases of:

 

 

1. the amount of the foodstuff is measured in the presence of the purchaser; 

 

2. the foodstuffs are not pre-packed in advance in a packaging; 

 

3. the foodstuffs are intended for supply to the mass caterers.

 

(2) (amended – SG issue 100 dd 2003) In the cases referred to in para. 1: 

1. the documents accompanying the foodstuff to the point of selling it, shall indicate the particulars set out in art. 6, para. 1;

 

2. particulars referred to in art. 6, para. 1, items 1, 5, 8 and 12 shall appear on the transport packaging;

 

3. particulars referred to in art. 6, para. 1, items 1 and 8 shall be advertised at the place where the foodstuff is marketed.

 

Art. 10. (1) (previous art. 10, amended – SG issue 100 dd 2003) In addition to the particulars referred to in art. 6, para. 1 the labeling of the foodstuff shall contain also the information according to Annex No 1.

 

(2) (new – SG issue 100 dd 2003, amended – SG issue 48 dd 2008, entered into force 31.05.2008) Paragraph 1 shall not apply to beverages based on coffee, tea, coffee or tea extract, where the name under which they are sold includes the term ‘coffee’ or ‘tea’.

 

Art. 11. (1) (previous art. 11, amended – SG issue 100 dd 2003, amended – SG issue 98 dd 2004, entered into force 25.11.2004) The labeling of foodstuffs may contain additional information via text, pictorial or graphic matter, if it is not in contradiction with the particulars referred to in art. 6, para. 1 and art. 10.

 

 

(2) (new – SG issue 100 dd 2003) In addition to the requirements of аrt. 6, para. 1, items 2 and 5 it is possible to introduce other mandatory particulars in accordance with the provisions of art. 4 of the Law on foodstuffs provided they do not mislead the consumer.

 

 

(3) (new – SG issue 100 dd 2003) When indicating the actual alcoholic strength by volume for the beverages referred to in art. 6, para. 1, item 13 the figure and the symbol may be preceded by the word 'alcohol' or the abbreviation 'alc.'.

Section III. 

 

Specific provisionс for labeling of foodstuffs

 

 

Art. 12. (1) The name of the foodstuff for which there is a definition in a legislative document shall be used in the labeling only if the foodstuff meets the requirements of the legislative document. 

 

 

(2) The name of foodstuff imported is the name under which it is produced and sold in the country of manufacture.

 

(3) If the name of the foodstuff does not enable the consumer to determine its nature and distinguish it from other similar foodstuffs, it must be accompanied by a description of the foodstuff.

 

 

(4) (new – SG issue 100 dd 2003) The name under which the imported foodstuff is distributed throughout the country, may be different from the name in its country of origin, provided that there is a Bulgarian food known under the same name, and it is completely different in composition and method of manufacture.

 

 

 

Art. 13. (аmended – SG issue 98 dd 2004, entered into force 25.11.2004) The manufacturer’s name, trademark or other name other than the name under which the foodstuff is sold may accompany the name of the foodstuff on the labeling, but not to substitute it.

 

Art. 14. The name under which the foodstuff is sold shall include or be accompanied by particulars as to the physical condition of the foodstuff or the specific treatment which it has undergone where omission of such information could mislead the consumer.

 

Art. 15. (1) (previous art. 15 – SG issue 75 dd 2007, entered into force 18.09.2007) Any foodstuff which has been treated with ionizing radiation must bear the indication 'irradiated' or 'treated with ionising radiation'.

 

 

(2) (new – SG issue 75 dd 2007, entered into force 18.09.2007) In case the labeling includes indication in one of the other languages ​​of the European Community, the indication under para. 1 must be in accordance with Annex No 1a.

 

Art. 16. (1) The list of ingredients must begin with the word ‘composition’ or any other equal term or expression.

 

(2) Ingredients are listed in descending order of weight as recorded at the time of their use in the manufacture of the foodstuff.

 

(3) Ingredients used in concentrated or dehydrated from and reconstituted at the time of manufacture shall be listed in order of proportion of their mass or volume as recorded before their concentration or dehydration.

 

 

 

(4) Ingredients of concentrated and dehydrated foodstuffs intended to be reconstituted by addition of water, shall be listed in order of proportion of the mass or volume in the reconstituted product. In these cases, the list of ingredients begins by an expression such as 'ingredients of the reconstituted product', or 'ingredients of the ready-to-use product'.

 

5) (amended – SG issue 100 dd 2003, amended – SG issue 98 dd 2004, entered into force 25.11.2004) In case of mixtures of fruits, vegetables or mushrooms, where none significantly predominates in proportion by weight, which is an ingredient of foodstuff, those may be listed in the list of ingredients by words 'fruits', 'vegetables' or 'mushrooms' followed by the expression 'in variable proportion', immediately followed by a list of the fruits, vegetables or mushrooms, included in the mixture. In such cases the mixture shall be included in the list of ingredients according to art. 16, para. 2 based on the total weight of the fruits, vegetables or mushrooms.

 

 

 

(6) (new – SG issue 100 dd 2003) In case an ingredient contains several components, they are all considered as ingredients of the foodstuff.

 

(7) (new – SG issue 98 dd 2004, entered into force 25.11.2004, amended – SG issue 48 dd 2008, entered into force 31.05.2008) Ingredients are indicated in accordance with Annexes No1 to No4 subject to the exceptions set out therein.

 

(8) (new – SG issue 82 dd 2005, entered into force 25.11.2005, repealed – SG issue 48 dd 2008, entered into force 31.05.2008)

 

(9) (new – SG issue 98 dd 2004, entered into force 25.11.2004, previous para. 8 – SG issue 82 dd 2005, entered into force 25.11.2005) In cases of labeling of beverages other than ones made of grapes and containing more than 1,2 % vol., but not more than 15 % vol. alcohol, the ingredients, specified in Annex No4 shall be indicated provided that these are ingredients of the beverage composition.  The indication shall begin by word ‘contains’ followed by the name(s) of the ingredient(s).

 

 

(10) (new – SG issue 98 dd 2004, entered into force 25.11.2004, previous para.9 – SG issue 82 dd 2005, entered into force 25.11.2005) Ingredients , representing less than 2 % of the finished product may be indicated after the other ingredients in any order.

 

 

(11) (new – SG issue 98 dd 2004, entered into force 25.11.2004, previous para. 10 – SG issue 82 dd 2005, entered into force 25.11.2005) In case of using similar or replaceable ingredients in the manufacture or preparation of the foodstuff without altering its composition, nature or amount, and the ingredients are less than 2 percent of the finished product which contains at least one of these two ingredients, they may be indicated in the list of ingredients by the expression 'contains ... and/or ...'.

 

(12) (new – SG issue 98 dd 2004, entered into force 25.11.2004, previous para. 11 – SG issue 82 dd 2005, entered into force 25.11.2005) The provisions of para. 10 do not apply to additives or ingredients specified in Annex No 4.

Art. 17. Ingredients need not be listed in case of:

 

1. (suppl. – SG issue 98 dd 2004, entered into force 25.11.2004) fresh fruits and vegetables (including potatoes) which have not been peeled, cut or similarly treated;

 

 

2. (amended – SG issue 100 dd 2003, entered into force 01.07.2003) carbonated water, the description of which indicates that it has been carbonated;

 

3. fermentation vinegars derived exclusively from a single basic product, provided that no other ingredient has been added;

 

4. white cheese, yellow cheese, butter, fermented milk and cream provided that no ingredient has been added during the manufacture other than milk, enzymes, micro-organism cultures and salt;

 

 

5. products comprising a single ingredient, where:

 

 

a) the name under which the foodstuff is sold is identical to the ingredient name; 

 

b) the name under which the foodstuff is sold enables the nature  of the ingredient to be clearly identified.

Art. 18. The following shall not be regarded as ingredients:

 

1. the constituents of an ingredient which have been

temporarily separated during the manufacturing

process and later reintroduced but not in excess of

their original proportions;

 

 

2. additives whose presence in a given foodstuff is solely due to the fact that they were contained in one

or more ingredients of that foodstuff, provided

that they serve no technological function in the

finished product;

 

3. (amended –  SG issue 100 dd 2003) the technological aids used as auxiliary substances in the manufacture of foodstuffs and which are not included in the finished product;

 

4. substances used only as solvents of additives and flavorings;

 

5. (new – SG issue 98 dd 2004, entered into force 25.11.2004) the substances which are not additives but are used in the same manner and with the same purpose as the technological aids used as auxiliary substances in the manufacture of foodstuffs and which are included in the finished product, even if in altered form.

 

Art. 19. (1) (amended – SG issue 19 dd 2003, amended – SG issue 100 dd 2003) Added water and volatile products shall be listed in the list of ingredients, in case of exceeding 5 % by weight of the finished product. The amount of water shall be calculated by deducting from the total amount of the finished product the total amount of the other ingredients used.

 

(2) The water content need not be specified in the list of ingredients of the foodstuff:

 

1. where the water is used during the manufacturing process solely for the reconstitution of an ingredient used in concentrated or dehydrated form;

 

2. in the case of a liquid medium which is not normally

consumed.

 

Art. 20. (1) The ingredients shall be designated by their specific names.

 

(2) Ingredients which belong to one of the categories listed in Annex No2 need only be designated by the name of that category.

 

(3) Ingredients which belong to one of the categories listed in Annex No 3 must be designated in the following order: name of the category, name of the ingredient or its EC number. If an ingredient belongs to more than one category, the category appropriate to the principal function in the case of the foodstuff in question shall be indicated.

 

 

(4) (new – SG issue 100 dd 2003, amended – SG issue 48 dd 2008, entered into force 31.05.2008) Quinine and/or caffeine used as a flavoring in the manufacture or preparation of a foodstuff shall be indicated by their names in the list of ingredients according to art. 6, para. 1, item 2, immediately after the word ‘flavoring’.

 

 

Art. 20a. (new – SG issue 98 dd 2004, entered into force 25.11.2004) (1) The label shall bear the exact name of:

 

 

1. each ingredient specified in Annex No4 used in the manufacture of a foodstuff, which is still present in the finished product, even if in altered form;

 

 

2. each ingredient derived from ingredient specified in Annex No4.

 

(2) The requirement of para. 1 is not mandatory where the name under which the foodstuff is sold includes the name of the ingredient specified in Annex No4.

 

 

(3) A substance, which is used in foodstuff manufacture and originates from the ingredients specified in Annex No4 and which is still present in the finished product, even if in altered form, is considered as an ingredient and shall be indicated on the label by the name of the ingredient from which it originates.

 

 

Art. 21. (amended – SG issue 100 dd 2003, amended – SG issue 48 dd 2008, entered into force 31.05.2008) (1) Flavorings shall be indicated in the list of ingredients by the word ‘flavor/flavors’ with the substance name or description.

 

(2) (amended – SG issue 98 dd 2004, entered into force 25.11.2004) The word 'natural' or any other equal word may be added to the name of the ingredient, which is a natural flavoring compound and/or flavorings according to Regulation No 15 dd 2002 on the requirements for use of flavorings in foodstuffs (SG issue 70 dd 2002).

 

 

 

(3) (amended – SG issue 98 dd 2004, entry into force 25.11.2004) When the name of the flavoring contains a reference to a vegetable or animal nature or origin of the products used, the word ‘natural’, as well as any other equal word shall be used provided that the aromatic substance is isolated through appropriate physical, enzymatic or microbiological processes, as well as traditional methods of foodstuff preparation, completely or almost completely from the foodstuff or from the source of the respective flavoring.

 

 

Art. 21a. (new – SG issue 82 dd 2005, entered into force 25.11.2005, amended – SG issue 48 dd 2008, entered into force 31.05.2008) The labeling of foodstuff and

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