Selling your products in another country sounds like a fantastic opportunity. In most cases, it is. However, it’s also more complicated than selling goods in just one country. Multilingual labelling is particularly tricky. Different regions have different requirements, and if your labels are found wanting, your products will likely end up stuck in limbo at the border.
Obviously, the potential business impact of such a mishap is enormous. If your products are stuck at the border, they aren’t selling. If they aren’t selling, you’re losing money.
So, how do you get them moving again? The exact steps you need to take will vary depending on where your products are stuck, and why they’ve been barred from entry. That said, we’ve put together a guide to common labeling problems and solutions to get you started. Here’s what to do if your products get stuck at the border.
Common Labeling Issues
Labels matter. Here are 3 reasons your product labels might be rejected at the border.
Missing allergen information
Food allergies are a hot topic these days. Their frequency and severity seem to be on the rise, as is media attention on the subject. Food labelling regulations give allergy sufferers the ability to do things the rest of us take for granted. Like going to the shop, buying a chocolate bar, and eating it without going into shock.
When allergens aren’t labelled, tragedy can result. For example, in the UK, two people died recently due to incorrectly marked sandwiches from popular ready-to-eat chain Pret A Manger. One victim, Natasha Ednan-Laperouse, was only 15 years old and allergic to sesame. She read the label on the sandwich she picked up at the airport. Unfortunately, it didn’t list the sesame seeds baked into the bread. Under the current “fresh foods exception,” it didn’t have to. She collapsed on the plane and died a few days later.
Incidents like these generate new labelling laws that can vary by country. The “fresh foods” loophole is likely to close soon in the UK, with the expected passage of “Natasha’s law.” Read more