What is the legislation in Europe for the languages to use on labels for each countries?


Our Company is expanding quite quickly worldwide, and our products are quite technical. I need to know what are the rules in term of languages and wordings on the packaging. Do we need to translate all the technical information in each languages for each countries we are entering? Can we get away with English language in Europe?
Thanks for your feedback


Hi Melanie,

According to EU food (and water and beverage) legislation food labels must be given in a language that is understandable by consumers in the country in which you are selling your products. Therefore English will be good in the UK (and in Malta!) but not throughout Europe. This is the situation in EU countries but also the rest of the world.
With regards to the actual rules there are generic labelling provisions as well as product-specific, and in the EU these can be common provisions established by the EU itself as well as national provisions. I presume that your company sells water and therefore I know that the rules can be quite specific.

Ashbury Labelling specialises in providing regulatory services for food companies including adapted translations (because literal translations don’t always work) for several countries. Please let me know if we can be of assistance.

Many thanks,



Hi Melanie,

If you haven’t already seen it, you might be interested to see a recent webinar we ran with Vanessa, titled “Understanding food labelling for export & the new EU rules” as part of our Food and Drink feature.

I hope this helps.

kind regards
Open to Export Administrator


Hi Melanie,

I agree with the response from Vanessa. Just as an example we are currently printing, labelling & re-wrapping soft drinks that are going to Spain and these need a Spanish translation label applied to each bottle.

We currently deal with several companies that export their food and drink products into Europe and each country does require the translation label.

If we can help with any other guidance or you need assistance with your re-labelling then i would be more than happy to have a chat with you.

kind regards, Mark

Export Action Plan