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Germany Food Imports: A Short Guide for Exporters and Importers

Germany Food Imports: A Short Guide for Exporters and Importers

Germany has one of the wealthiest consumers based in the world. Currently, the population is about 82 million projected to decrease to a 65million, due to the declining birth rate. Since Germany is an EU member, it follows all the directives.  The country maintains a high level of food safety and continuously monitors the whole supply chain.  Everyone from the vendor to the importer must and keep responsibility for food in the market. The following is a summary of the laws and standards of the country.

German Food Law
Although Germany follows EU regulations and objectives, it maintains the Food, Commodities, and Feed Code called the LFGB. The LFGB is consistent with the EU regulations and states the goals of German food law. It outlines the guidelines for labeling, inspection, seizure, and general food safety.

The rules control both the local and international food markets. In case of problems or law breaches, legal liability falls on the importer. It is because the government cannot punish any foreign producers. However, each federal states enforce the LFGB rules independently; thus, the repercussions vary. 

Usually, a sampling of foreign goods takes place randomly. Each federal state maintains laboratories for conducting the tests, where they look for improper labeling, banned ingredients, and quality. Besides, products found to violate the guidelines, are reported to the press. The press will announce the brand name, and its producer or importer.

BundesamtfürVerbraucherschutz und Lebensmittelsicherheit (BVL) is the German food standards agency that ensures compliance with the food regulations. It operates under the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL).

German Food Labelling Regulations
Food Information to Consumers (FIC) regulation 1169/2011 provides the guidelines for labeling drinks and food entering the EU market. According to the directive, the food labels need to contain the name of the food.

It should list the ingredients and their quantities, allergens, net food quantity, nutritional declaration, 'use-by date,' conditions of use, or special storage conditions. Other information includes the producer's address and country of origin. Amendments in 2016 specified that all the allergens must be listed on the products list instead of using the term “Contains allergens.”

Special Packaging in Germany
Germany requires producers to adhere to the German Packing and Waste Avoidance Law. The importers or manufacturers have to enter contracts with licensed national recycling companies. Products bear the Green Dot, which shows that they are recyclable.

German Customs Declaration Form
Goods moving from one EU country to another do not require passing through customs. However, for non-Union goods, they have to undergo a customs procedure known as “Release for free circulation and consumption.” After the procedure, which involves transiting through the customs warehouse, the importer may freely dispose of them. To find out more about the guidelines, look at the zoll.de website.

Nutrada; Your Germany Food Importers Directory
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