As well as introducing a form of quantitative ingredient declaration (QUID), the Directive makes certain other amendments - in particular clarifying the rules regarding the use of a name legally acceptable in one country in another Member State.
The main change is to replace the present Article 7 (which related to ingredients given special emphasis) with the following:
1. The quantity of an ingredient or category of ingredients used in the manufacture or preparation of a foodstuff shall be stated in accordance with this Article.
2. The indication referred to in paragraph 1 shall be compulsory:
(a) where the ingredient or category of ingredients concerned appears in the name under which the foodstuff is sold or is usually associated with that name by the consumer, or
(b) where the ingredient or category of ingredients concerned is emphasized on the labelling in words, pictures or graphics, or
(c) where the ingredient or category of ingredients concerned is essential to characterize a foodstuff and to distinguish it from products with which it might be confused because of its name or appearance, or
(d) in the case determined in accordance with the procedure laid down in Article 17 [Standing Committee procedure].
3. Paragraph 2 shall not apply:
(a) to an ingredient or category of ingredients:
- the drained weight of which is indicated in accordance with Article 8(4); or
- the quantities of which are already required to be given on the labelling under Community provisions;
- which is used in small quantities for the purposes of flavouring;
- which, while appearing in the name under which the food is sold, is not such as to govern the choice of the consumer in the country of marketing because the variation in quantity is not essential to characterize the foodstuff or does not distinguish it from similar foods. In cases of doubt it shall be decided by the procedure laid down in Article 17 whether the conditions laid down in this indent are fulfilled.
(b) where specific Community provisions stipulate precisely the quantity of an ingredient or a category of ingredients without providing for the indication thereof on the labelling;
(c) in the cases referred to in the fourth and fifth indents of Article 6(5)(a);
(d) in the cases determined in accordance with the procedure laid down in Article 17.
4. The quantity indicated, expressed as a percentage, shall correspond to the quantity of the ingredient or ingredients at the time of its/their use. However, Community provisions may allow for derogations from this principle for certain foodstuffs. Such provisions shall be adopted in accordance with the procedure laid down in Article 17.
5. The indication referred to in paragraph 1 shall appear either in or immediately next to the name under which the foodstuff is sold or in the list of ingredients in connection with the ingredient or category of ingredients in question.
6. This Article shall apply without prejudice to Community rules on nutrition labelling for foodstuffs.
The Directive comes into force on the date of publication in the Official Journal. Trade in products complying with the provisions must be permitted within 18 months; trade in products not complying must be prohibited within 36 months.
MAFF have indicated that they will be circulating in the next few weeks a draft paper setting out their views on the interpretation of the new rules.