S.I. No. 23/1992 - European Communities (Labelling of Additives For Use in Foodstuffs) Regulations, 1992.

S.I. No. 23 of 1992.


The Minister for Health in exercise of the powers conferred on her by Section 3 of the European Communities Act, 1972 (No. 27 of 1972) hereby makes the following Regulations:—

1. These Regulations may be cited as the European Communities (Labelling of Additives for use in Foodstuffs) Regulations, 1992.

2. These Regulations shall come into force on the 31st day of January, 1992.

3. (1) In these Regulations "The Council Directive" means Council Directive 89/107/EEC(1).

1 O.J. No. L40, 11.2.89, p.27-33.

(2) In these Regulations words and phrases shall have the same meaning as in the Council Directive.

(3) In these Regulations any reference to an article or schedule shall, except where otherwise indicated be construed as a reference to an article contained in these Regulations or, as the case may be, to a Schedule thereto; any reference in an article to a sub-article shall be construed as a reference to a sub-article of that article.

4. (1) Subject to sub-article (3) these Regulations shall apply to food additives, the various categories of which are given in Schedule 1 and which are used or intended to be used as ingredients during the manufacture or preparation of a foodstuff and are still present in the final product, even if in altered form, hereinafter called "food additives".

(2) For the purposes of these Regulations "food additive" means any substance not normally consumed as a food in itself and not normally used as a characteristic ingredient of food whether or not it has nutritive value, the intentional addition of which to food for a technological purpose in the manufacture, processing, preparation, treatment, packaging, transort or storage of such food results, or may be reasonably expected to result, in it or its by-products becoming directly or indirectly a component of such foods.

(3) These Regulations shall not apply to:

( a ) processing aids;

( b ) substances used in the protection of plants and plant products in conformity with Community rules relating to plant health;

( c ) flavourings for use in foodstuffs for human consumption in accordance with the EC (Flavourings for use in Foodstuffs for Human Consumption) Regulations, 1991;

( d ) substances added to foodstuffs as nutrients (for example minerals, trace elements or vitamins).

5. For the purposes of these Regulations, "processing aid" means any substance not consumed as a food ingredient by itself, intentionally used in the processing of raw materials, foods or their ingredients, to fulfil a certain technological purpose during treatment or processing and which may result in the unintentional but technically unavoidable presence of residues of the substance or its derivatives in the final product, provided that these residues do not present any health risk and do not have any technological effect on the finished product.

6. Where the Minister for Health is of the view that the use or intended use in foodstuffs of any food additive, although complying with these Regulations, endangers human health she may take appropriate measures including the temporary suspension or restriction of trade in that food or food additive in order to protect public health.

7. (1) Food additives not intended for sale to the ultimate consumer shall not be marketed, imported, manufactured, sold, distributed, offered or kept for sale, unless their packaging or containers bear the following information, which must be conspicuous, clearly legible and indelible:

( a ) (i) in the case of food additives sold singly or mixed with each other, for each additive, the name laid down by any regulations made by the Minister for Health and its EEC number or, in the absence of such regulations, a description of the additive that is sufficiently precise to enable it to be distinguished from additives with which it could be confused, in descending order of the proportion by weight in the total,

(ii) when other substances or materials or food ingredients to facilitate storage, sale, standardization, dilution or dissolution of a food additive or food additives are incorporated in the additives, the name of the additive in accordance with sub-article (1) (a) (i) and an indication of each component in descending order to the proportion by weight in the total;

( b ) either the statement "for use in food", or the statement "restricted use in food", or a more specific reference to its intended food use;

( c ) if necessary, the special conditions of storage and use;

( d ) directions for use, if the omission thereof would preclude appropriate use of the additive;

( e ) a mark identifying the batch or lot;

( f ) the name or business name and address of the manufacturer or packager, or of a seller established within the European Economic Community;

( g ) an indication of the percentage of any component which is subject to a quantitative limitation in a food or adequate compositional information to enable the purchaser to comply with any European Economic Community provisions, or in their absence national provisions, applying to the food. Where the same quantitative limitation applies to a group of components used singly or in combination, the combined percentage may be given as a single figure;

( h ) the net quantity.

(2) By way of derogation from paragraph 1, the information required in sub-article (1) (a) (ii) and sub-article (1) (d) to (g), may appear merely on the documents relating to the consignment which are to be supplied with or prior to the delivery, provided that the indication "intended for the manufacture of foodstuffs and not for retail sale" appears on a conspicuous part of the packaging or container of the product in question.

8. Food additives intended for sale to the ultimate consumer shall not be marketed, imported, distributed, manufactured, sold or offered or kept for sale, unless their packagings or containers bear the following information, which must be conspicuous, clearly legible and indelible:

( a ) the name under which the product is sold (this name shall be constituted by the name laid down by any Regulations made by the Minister for Health in relation to the product in question plus its EEC number or, in the absence of such provisions, by a description of the product that is sufficiently precise to enable it to be distinguished from products with which it could be confused);

( b ) the information required by article 7 (1) (a) to (f) and (h);

( c ) the date of minimum durability within the meaning of the Council Directive 79/112/EEC1 as amended by Council Directive 89/395/EEC2.

1O.J. No. L33, 8.2.1979, p.1.

2O.J. No. L186, 30.6.1989, p.17.

9. (1) Articles 7 and 8 of these Regulations shall not affect more detailed or more extensive laws, regulations or administrative provisions regarding weights and measures, or applying to the presentation, classification, packaging and labelling of dangerous substances and preparations or the transport of such substances.

(2) The particulars required in this article shall be given in the Irish or English language unless other measures have been taken to ensure that the purchaser is informed. This provision shall not prevent such particulars from also being indicated in various other languages.

(3) A person shall not import, manufacture, sell, distribute, or offer for sale or keep for sale, food additives except in conformance with these Regulations.

10. (1) In any proceedings for an offence under these Regulations it shall be a defence for the person charged to show that the food in respect of which the offence is alleged to have been committed was intended for export and complied with the domestic food legislation of the importing country relevant to the alleged offence.

(2) For the purpose of ensuring compliance with these Regulations the control system established under the provisions of the Health (Official Control of Food) Regulations, 1991 shall apply.

11. A person who contravenes these Regulations shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding £1,000 and, in the case of a continuing offence, to a further fine not exceeding £100 for each day on which the offence is continued.

12. (1) Where a sample of any foodstuff or food additive has been certified under the provisions of the Health (Official Control of Food) Regulations, 1991, not to comply with these Regulations, an authorised officer may seize, remove and detain such foodstuffs as being a foodstuff which is unfit for human consumption.

(2) With the consent in writing of the owner or person responsible for such foodstuff, an authorised officer may destroy or otherwise dispose of it so as to prevent its use for human consumption.

(3) An authorised officer who has seized any foodstuff in pursuance of the provisions of this article may, on giving notice in writing to the owner or person responsible for such foodstuff of his intention to do so, apply to a Justice of the District Court for an order directing that such food be destroyed or otherwise disposed of as being a foodstuff which is unfit for human consumption.

(4) A Justice of the District Court to whom the application is made for an order under sub-article (3) of this article shall, if satisfied that such foodstuff does not comply with these Regulations, order that it be destroyed or otherwise disposed of after such period, not exceeding fourteen days, as may be specified in such order, as being a foodstuff which is unfit for human consumption and an authorised officer shall destroy or dispose of it accordingly.

13. A person shall give to any authorised officer all reasonable assistance that the officer may require in the performance of his duties under these Regulations and such assistance shall include the giving of information relating to the composition and use of any foodstuff and the identity of the person from whom or the place from which any such foodstuff has been obtained and the person to whom and the place to which it has been consigned or the manner in which it has otherwise been disposed of.

GIVEN under the Official Seal of the Minister for Health this 30th dayof January, 1992.


Minister for Health.


Categories of Food Additives





Emulsifying salt


Gelling Agent


Flavour enhancer


Acidity regulator(2)

Anti-caking agent

Modified starch


Raising agent

Anti-foaming agent

Glazing agent (3)

Flour treatment agent

Firming agent


Sequestrant (4)

Enzyme (4) (5)

Bulking agent

Propellent gas and packaging gas

(1)This category also comprises foam stabilizers.

(2)These can act as two-way acidity regulators.

(3)These substances include lubricants.

(4)Inclusion of these terms in this list is without prejudice to any future decision or mention thereof in the labelling of foodstuffs intended for the final consumer.

(5)Only those used as additives.


The Regulations, which come into operation on 31 January 1992 specify how foodstuffs, containing additives, must be labelled when intended for sale to the ultimate consumer. The Regulations implement Directive 89/107/EEC.