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Spain Labeling and Marking Requirements

Issues related to trading with Spain, such as importing regulations, documentation requirements, custom information, etc.

Spain Labeling and Marking Requirements

Postby bridgat » Mon Nov 17, 2008 1:40 am

In view of the complexity and rapid change in marking, labeling and testing requirements in Spain, U.S. exporters should request pertinent instructions from their importers prior to shipment.

The following are specific categories of goods, for which marking, labeling, and/or testing requirements are applicable:

Foodstuffs: The Directorate General of Health sets human consumption standards for the preparation, residual content and storage media for virtually all classes of foodstuffs. The labels on the container must include the product designation, a list of ingredients, the weight or volume, dates (manufacturing, packing, minimum shelf life, and expiration dates), directions for food preservation (if applicable), identification of the firm involved (manufacturer, packer, or importer) and the country of origin. If the original label is not in Spanish, a similar one must be prepared in Spanish and be firmly affixed to the container. Milk products, margarine, chocolate and soaps have other, more technical labeling requirements. Wines and other alcoholic beverages must meet Spanish standards.

New EU legislation on the labeling and traceability of genetically modified food and animal feed will come into effect in January 2004. As of that date, all foods produced from GMOs will have to be labeled as such, even if they no longer contain any detectable DNA or protein of GM origin. The levels for accidental presence of GM materials in non-labeled, conventional food and feed have been set at 0.9 percent for GMOs that have been formally approved by the EU, and 0.5 percent for GMOs scientifically approved by EU experts, but without final clearance. After three years, the latter threshold will cease to apply. Very strict procedures will also ensure the "traceability" of GM products through the production chain. GM content of products must be transmitted from one operator to the next for five years.

Textiles: Customs and point-of-sale regulations require that all textile goods and ready-made clothing have a Spanish label. Standard Spanish textile nomenclature and content requirements must be stated on the label. Requirements relating to textile content, labeling and packaging are specific and extensive. They are regulated by Royal Decree 928/1987, dated June 5, 1987. Manufacturers' trademarks, duly registered, are permitted on textile products.

Drugs, Pharmaceutical and Cosmetics: These goods are subject to technical inspection and registration by the Directorate General of Health prior to entry. There are also detailed marking and labeling requirements, somewhat similar to those for foodstuffs, which include detailed chemical composition.

Fertilizers and Fungicides: Imported fertilizers must be registered with the local Agriculture Ministry Office. Inspection and analysis will be performed prior to customs clearance. The Ministry of Agriculture must approve all printed advertising and publicity materials, and labels must be in Spanish and include detailed precautions.

Firearms: The Spanish government must clear all firearms, and they must bear a stamp of certification.

Metals: The Spanish Guarantee Bureau provides assay services and affixes its hallmark for all imported precious metals.

Motor Vehicles: Each vehicle will be inspected for engraved serial numbers on both the engine and chassis. If one of these is not available, Spanish customs levies a special charge for stamping the number.

Tires and Tubes: All tires and inner tubes must be marked with a serial number.

Agricultural products: Labeling requirements are fully harmonized with the EU labeling system; however, the labels must be in Spanish.


In March of 1992, the EU Council approved law 880/92 establishing a community-wide system for granting Eco-labels (green label) to products that voluntarily satisfy environmental standards.

The EU's objectives in setting up a system for issuing green labels are twofold. The labels inform consumers of products that are environmentally safer than others in all aspects of a product's life cycle. Furthermore, they improve the design, production and marketing as well as increase the use of products that have low or non-adverse effects on the environment and that use natural resources wisely.

The EU hopes that these objectives will increase the standards of health, security and the condition of the environment of the EU countries. Products imported into the EU that wish to obtain a green label must follow the same strict criteria as EU members.

Spain's participation in the EU Eco-labeling program was established by Royal Decree in April 1994.

For additional information regarding Eco-labels, please go to:
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