Labelling requirements for foreign markets (Chemicals)


Under the new legislation we are adopting the uniformed labelling system. However what is not clear is whether local language translation is required on pack for usage and ingredients? Our two department store retailers in Belgium and Germany have so far taken our English packs. Is the reason I am not getting a definitive answer twice because there is no specific legislation just best practice?

Obviously as a micro entity to translate to every language we are getting small trade enquiries from would be prohibitive.

Also do I need to seek licenses for detergent sales in Malaysia and Nordic countries as we have distributor enquiries…manufacturer current licence covers Europe and USA.



Labelling requirements – including linguistic ones – vary from country to country, even within the EU; this might be why you’re getting different answers from different authorities.

This is something we’d definitely be able to advise you on, if you want to get in touch via [email protected]

Unfortunately I don’t think we can help you with your detergent question, but do feel free to get in touch about your other question.

Alex Gibson
Business Development Coordinator
Ashbury Labelling


The ideal scenario is that you translate everything ,but you are right that a small entity may not have the space on the product; nor resources to handle it; nor volume of sales to have more than one stock keeping unit (sku) .
However its not a question of affordability but more of your export sales & marketing strategy. If your approach is to react to enquiries from overseas then you are probably right that a small entity cannot afford to do all of these things.
However your business plan will tell you which markets you are targeting, and then the volumes that you project will tell you whether you can afford to do it or not.
For example I am working for a Toy client at present. They have English, Spanish & French on their packaging as a matter of course going forward. That’s because they have put in place a sales & marketing strategy for those markets. The warnings are in those languages but also product description and instructions. For Italy and Germany they sell some product but the local distributors put on the warnings labels themselves and the rest is left in the original languages. Their sales in those countries are much less, and will remain so until they are able to put their resources into a second variant of the same product but with the correct languages. They are being pragmatic and accept that they will get there when they have everything lined up.



To respond to your question, I would suggest to look for accurate information the ECHA website – the European Chemical Agency :

Here is the link which gives you the labelling requirements in terms of languages per target countries:

I hope these information will be of help,

Should you need further information, do not hesitate to contact me,
Kind Regards,

Export Action Plan