Pre-packaged food must have an EU or Northern Ireland (NI) address of the manufacturer, or an address of the EU or NI importer of the food on the packaging or food label. A GB address alone will not be sufficient. If an importer’s details are used as an alternative, this must be the name and EU address of the importer who imported the goods into the EU market. A single manufacturer/importer address in the EU or NI is sufficient for the food to be allowed to freely circulate throughout the EU.
The address on the label must be genuine and substantive enough to meet the purposes of the provision of the Food Information to Consumers Regulation which is to enable the manufacturer or importer to be contacted directly, quickly and easily concerning any issue arising from their product and to allow enforcement notices to be served if necessary. If PO boxes are used on the label they must serve this purpose and do not replace the need for the business concerned to be established with a physical presence.
It is not clear whether the EU will find PO boxes acceptable on food labels in EU27 countries as this is down to EU interpretation and is not within the UK’s control.
Information on labelling of food products for sale in the UK and the EU from Jan 1, including requirements for Northern Ireland, have been published.