Regulations for Labelling Packaged Goods

The labelling of packaged goods falls under rules according to weights and measures law. Other specific rules may also apply when using the e mark or exporting to non-EEA countries.

The weight (grams or kilogrammes) or the volume (millilitres or litres) of packaged goods must show on the label.

Under quantity marking regimes a product label must be:

Weights and measures law allows the display of imperial measurement and the metric measurement. But, an imperial version must not stand out more than a metric measurement.

Note: Further rules clarify what information you must show on packaged food labels (e.g. a ‘best before’ or ‘use by’ date).

Using the Estimated Sign (e mark)

Having the e mark on packages that you export means you avoid having to meet the weights and measures rules of the European Economic Area countries.

But, you would only be able to use the e mark if your goods or packages are:

  • Packed using the average system (often called the ‘three packers’ rules).
  • Between five (5) grams and 10 (ten) kilogrammes or five (5) millilitres and ten (10) litres.

You may still use the e mark even if you pack goods using the minimum system. But, you would need to meet the ‘three packers’ rules of the average system. You would also need to be keeping accurate records for any goods that you export.

The e mark would need to show on the same part of the packaging as the quantity marking. In some cases, you can choose to avoid using the e mark by meeting the rules of the country you export to instead.

Exporting Goods to Non-EEA Countries

Exporting goods outside of the EEA means you would need to meet the rules for packaged goods in that particular country.

You can still use an estimated sign (e mark) even when exporting products to a non-EEA country. But, the country you export goods to may still carry out its own weights and measures checks on your packages.

Related Information and Help Guides

The UK Government has renewed its drive to tackle obesity by helping the nation make ‘healthier’ food choices. Starting April 2022, calorie labelling on menus becomes mandatory for cafes, restaurants, and business that provide takeaway food products.

New regulations require large businesses in England (e.g. employing at least 250 workers) to display the calorie information of any non-prepacked food and soft drink items prepared for sale to customers.

They must display the calorie content at the point of choice for customers. Typical examples are physical and online menus, as well as food delivery platforms and other food labels.

Packaged Goods | A guide explaining the two systems of packing products (i.e. minimum and average).
Specified Quantities | Selling certain goods must take place in fixed sizes called ‘specified quantities’.

Labelling Packaged Goods: Weights and Measures in United Kingdom