REGULATIONS & LEGISLATION
What are packaging labelling regulations and legislation?
Packaging and labelling must meet certain legal requirements designed to facilitate value comparisons and to prevent unfair or deceptive packaging and labelling of consumer commodities. This is achieved by regulating how businesses market their products and services.
THE FOLLOWING LEGISLATION, REGULATIONS, AND STANDARDS FOR VARIOUS TYPES OF PRODUCTS APPLY TO S.A. PACKAGING AND MUST BE CONSIDERED BY THE CLIENT AND DESIGNER.
- Consumer Protection Act (CPA) 68 of 2008.
- The Foodstuffs Cosmetics and Disinfectants Act and its Regulations, the Food Labelling Regulations (R146), and the Regulations Relating to Foodstuffs for Infants and Young Children R991 set out specific labelling requirements for various types of foodstuffs.
- The Agricultural Products and Standards Act and its regulations governing the labelling of agricultural products.
- The Liquor Act and Liquor Products Act set out requirements for the labelling of alcoholic beverages.
- The South African Bureau of Standards who have formulated several labelling standards which are industry-specific, setting out the quality or standards specification marking for different products.
Resources to assist clients with their responsibilities towards checks and compliance.
Start-ups and established clients are often unaware of the regulatory requirements their product labelling or packaging requires, how they would go about complying with legislation and who could assist them in their efforts. In my experience, many clients have fallen short through agencies and designers who lacked the specific skills and legislative knowledge to advise and execute compliant packaging.
THE RESOURCES SHOULD ASSIST CLIENTS WITH COMPLIANCE.
- S.A. Product and Packaging Labelling Regulations
- Food Regulation
Facts SA – Food and Allergy Consulting and Testing
Facts provide the analytical testing, nutritional, ingredients, allergens, warnings and regulations for food labelling.
- Alcohol Regulations
SA Regulations for wine and spirits are found on the SAWIS site for appraisal and study by both the client and designer. Front and back labels need to be submitted to the institution for approval before print.
- Cosmetic Regulations
S.A. Standard Product and Packaging Labelling Regulations apply to cosmetics unless they fall into pharmaceutical categories, in which case Pharmaceutical Regulations apply and must be treated as such.
Product labels must contain the following information
- Name, trade name or description.
- Name and complete address of manufacturer/packer, importer, country of origin of the imported food.
- Net weight, number or volume of contents in metric units
- Distinctive batch, lot or code number.
- Month and year of manufacture and packaging.
- Month and year by which the product is best consumed.
- Information about pharmaceutical and industrial products must be in English.
- If food products have been genetically modified (GM) this must be indicated on the label.
- Include all warnings, allergens, additives or colourants.
- All descriptive words must be cautiously chosen to ensure that no implied claims are inadvertently made and that descriptions are allowable in law as certain words and phrases are banned from product labels, such as "rich in", "excellent source of", and "enriched with".
How can Ginger Storm assist clients with the designers’ responsibilities towards checks and compliance?
If the client is responsible for providing the written content for labelling and packaging, then Ginger Storm is responsible for how the legislative information is represented on the pack. Ginger Storm will advise clients on the mandatory information required by legislation and execute its correct placement, positioning, size and weight.
The consequence of non-compliance.
Consumers and competitors are more often than not the first to call out brands for non-compliance, which can result in:
- Fines by retailers
- Removal of the product from retail shelves
- Extremely costly implications for redoing packaging design and printing
- Reputational damage