Principle of German Food Law

Are you willing to start your business in the food industry? These article will help you prioritize the most important principle of food law.

The foodstuff regulation applicable in the Federal Republic of Germany is not only determined by the laws and ordinances of the Federal Government and the German Länder, but also to a not insignificant extent by legal acts of the European Union. Both the directly applicable ordinances and directives requiring implementation have an impact on large parts of food law.

  • Principle of freedom of production and marketing

As a rule, there are no authorisation or licensing requirements in food law for the production, import or marketing of food. The fact that exceptions are made to this principle is unavoidable in a multifaceted matter such as food law.

  • Registration obligation

Food businesses are obliged to register with the local food control authority. The authority must be notified of every business establishment. This also applies to short-term changes in the production process.
This registration obligation applies to all food businesses. A food business is a business that carries out an activity related to the production, processing and distribution of food.
Excluded from this regulation are food business operators acting for private domestic purposes. Also excluded are the supply of primary products in small quantities to specific customers, pure animal husbandry operations without food production, and food activities without a certain degree of continuity and organisation.

  • Abuse principle

If you know a little bit about law, you would recognize that in a lot of cases, what is not prohibited is permitted. For certain areas, however, this is different. Make sure to contact an attorney if you are planning about producing, marketing or selling a food product in Germany or in Europe.

  • Free movement of goods

The free movement of goods is enshrined in European law (Article 28 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union [TFEU]). According to this, any quantitative import restrictions or “measures having equivalent effect” are prohibited. Linked to this is the principle of mutual recognition: any product that has been lawfully marketed in one EU member state can regularly be marketed in other member states, even if it does not comply with national regulations there.

However, European and German Food Law is not easy to explain in just a few sentences. In order to start your business in the food law industry with the right legal framework we would suggest you to book an appointment at our law firm. Our legal team is specialized.

Principle of German Food Law

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