Product labelling


Product labels provide essential information about the characteristics of products you buy. Accurate product labelling helps you make informed decisions, use products safely, and understand what you are buying.

Irish and EU laws mandate that product labels be clear, accurate, and not misleading.

Why accurate product labelling matters

  • Education: labels help you understand the product's attributes.
  • Informed choices: Labels allow you to compare products based on facts.
  • Safety: labels provide instructions and warnings for safe usage.

Manufacturers must follow specific labelling rules. Some information, like cooking instructions on food labels, is provided voluntarily.

Food labelling rules

Food labels must include:

  • Nutritional value
  • Weight
  • Ingredients
  • Country of origin
  • Use-by date
  • Allergen warnings.

EU rules ensure this information is consistent across all food products.

Additional rules apply to certain types of food have additional requirements.


Fish and aquaculture (farmed fish) labels must state:

  • Commercial and scientific name
  • Whether it was caught at sea or in freshwater
  • If it was defrosted

The European Commission has more information on the rules that apply to fishery products.

Organic products

Products labelled organic must be certified by an authorised inspection and certification body. In Ireland, the Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine has approved a number of organic inspection bodies.

The rules for using the word ‘organic’ on food labels are set out in EU regulations. Only producers who follow these rules can use the EU organic logo.

The Department has more information about organic labelling.


A Fairtrade Mark means a product meets international standards for fair and ethical production and is independently certified by FLOCERT. Fairtrade Ireland has more information about the Fairtrade Mark.

The Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) has more information about food information labelling.

Alcohol labelling rules

Alcohol labels must indicate the alcohol strength if it is more than 1.2% by volume (ABV). New regulations coming into effect on 22 May 2026 will require labels to include calorie content, grams of alcohol, and health warnings

For more information visit

Rules covering other product labelling

There are other rules on labelling for various other products sold in Ireland and the EU.

CE Marking

The CE mark on a product is a manufacturer’s guarantee that the product meets all EU Directives and health, safety and environmental protection standards that apply to that product. The CE Marking also applies to products made outside the EU but sold on the EU market.

It is a white rectangular label with the letters ‘CE’ in black lettering. It is required on products like toys, electrical products, and gas appliances.

You can read more about product safety.

Textile labelling

The labels on textile products sold in the EU must show information on:

  • The material composition of the textile product (fibre content)
  • Fibre names and descriptions
  • The percentages of the materials used (for example, ‘100% cotton’.)

The rules apply to textiles like clothes, curtains and bed linens as well as items with at least 80% textile components like furniture covers.

The rules on textile labelling are set out in EU regulations.

Putting care instructions on textile labels is recommended by an industry code of practice but is not required by law.

The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) enforces the rules on textile labelling.

Footwear labelling

The labels on footwear sold in the EU must show information on:

  • The main materials used for the upper, lining and sock, and outer sole (if one material makes up at least 80%)
  • If no one material makes up 80% the two main materials (for example, ‘20% rubber, 60% leather’)

Labels should be on at least one shoe or its packaging.

The rules on footwear labelling are set out in EU regulations.

The CCPC enforces the rules on footwear labelling.

Cosmetic products

The labels on footwear sold in the EU must show information on:

  • Ingredients
  • Safety instructions
  • Minimum safe usage date

The rules on cosmetic labelling are set out in EU regulations.

The Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA) has more information about cosmetics labelling and cosmetics safety.

Hazard labelling

Products that could be dangerous must have a hazard warning label, using symbols or words like ‘Warning’ or ‘Danger’.

The rules on hazard labelling are set out in EU regulations.

The Health and Safety Authority (HSA) has more information on hazard labels and an example of a hazard label.

Who enforces product labelling rules?

Several organisations monitor and enforce product labelling rules.

If you believe a product does not meet labelling rules, you can report it to the relevant authority.

Label type Who is responsible 
Food product labelling Food Safety Authority of Ireland
Textile labelling and general safety or consumer rights concerns Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC)
CE marking National Standards Authority of Ireland (NSAI)
Cosmetics labelling Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA)
Hazards labelling Health and Safety Authority (HSA)

More information

Food Safety Authority of Ireland

The Exchange
George's Dock
Dublin 1
D01 P2V6

Tel: +353 1 8171300
Fax: +353 1 8171301

Competition and Consumer Protection Commission

Bloom House
Railway Street
Dublin 1
D01 C576

Opening Hours: Lines open Monday-Friday, from 9am - 6pm
Tel: (01) 402 5555 and (01) 402 5500

NSAI (National Standards Authority of Ireland)

1 Swift Square
Dublin 9
D09 A0E4

Tel: +353 (0)1 807 3800
Fax: +353 (0)1 807 3838

Health and Safety Authority

The Metropolitan Building
James Joyce Street
Dublin 1
D01 K0Y8

Opening Hours: Lines are open on Monday to Fridays 9am - 3pm
Tel: (01) 614 7000
Locall: 0818 289 389
Fax: (01) 614 7020

Health Products Regulatory Authority

Kevin O'Malley House
Earlsfort Centre
Earlsfort Terrace
Dublin 2
D02 XP77

Opening Hours: Lines open Monday - Friday 9am - 5pm
Tel: +353 (0)1 676 4971
Page edited: 20 June 2024