On October 26, 2021, the Front-of-Pack Labeling of Food bill was signed into Law by the National Congress. Last Friday, the Law was published in the Official Gazette and the deadline for its entry into force has begun.
The Front-of-Pack Labeling of Food Law ("The Law") seeks to guarantee the right to health and adequate food, mainly through simple and comprehensible nutritional information on packaged food and soft drinks, and warnings about the excess of certain components.
All persons (human or legal) who manufacture, produce, prepare, fractionate, package, commission to package or manufacture, distribute, commercialise, or import food or beverages, who have placed their brand or who are part of the marketing chain of food and soft drinks for human consumption in Argentine territory will be subject to the Law.
Moreover, the Law states that food and soft drinks, packaged in the absence of the customer and marketed in our territory, must include an indelible warning stamp on the front side for each critical nutrient in excess. This, provided that in their final composition the content of critical nutrients and their energy value exceeds the values established in accordance with the Law.
The warning stamp shall have the form of a black octagon with a wide border and white capital letters. The seal size shall cover at least 5% of the package´s main front.
The enactment of this Law will have significant consequences in terms of legal advertising and marketing. Article 10 establishes that all forms of advertising, promotion and sponsorship of packaged food and soft drinks containing at least one warning label and which are specifically targeted at children and adolescents, are prohibited.
In addition, in all other cases that contain at least one warning label:
- it is prohibited to highlight positive and/or nutritional qualities of the products to avoid confusion about nutritional value;
- the warning labels must be exhibited and/or enunciated in their entirety every time the packaging is displayed;
- The inclusion of children's characters, animations, cartoons, celebrities, sportsmen, mascots, etc. is prohibited, as is the giving or promising of prizes. It remains to be seen what will happen to those trademarks that cannot be used as a result of this provision.
- it is prohibited to promote or give away products that are free of charge.
Furthermore, the sale, advertising, promotion, or sponsorship of food and soft drinks containing at least one warning stamp at school are prohibited.
The provisions of the Law are integrated with the Argentine Consumer Protection Law and the Fair-Trading Decree. In case of infringement, the Fair-Trading Decree sanctions will apply.
Finally, within 90 days of the enactment of the Law (until February 10, 2022), the National Executive Branch shall regulate it, as well as issue the complementary rules necessary for its application.
The professionals who offer advice on regulatory matters and legal marketing must be prepared to face the new challenges that this Law brings with it in Argentina.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.