• April 27, 2020
  • WTO

Switzerland | Revision of the Ordinance on Foodstuffs and Utility Articles >> derogations due to COVID-19

Your substances


Title of document
Revision of the Ordinance on Foodstuffs and Utility Articles (2 page(s), in German; 2 page(s), in French; 2 page(s), in Italian)

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic certain food ingredients and packaging material may be in short supply. To provide food manufacturers more flexibility and to avoid reduced availability of foodstuffs for consumers, the labelling requirements for food products are relaxed for a time limited period of six months. The derogation will allow food producers to source alternative ingredients or packaging materials to substitute ingredients or materials in short supply without having to amend the packaging information. For the derogation to apply, the following conditions have to be met: First, the manufacturer has to demonstrate that the supply shortage is a direct consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic; Second, the alternative ingredients used have no bearing on the relevant health information provided on the packaging (e.g. ingredients that are allergen or may cause undesired reactions); and  Third, foodstuff produced according to this derogation has to be labelled with a red round sticker followed by an internet address where consumers can obtain information about the ingredients and packaging materials used, and how these may differ from the information contained on the packaging.

Notifying member: Switzerland


Objective tag
Consumer information, labelling; Protection of human health or safety

The changes are aimed at ensuring the availability of foodstuffs whilst ensuring human health and avoid misleading consumers.


Agency responsible
Federal Food Safety and Veterinary Office


  • Submission: 23/04/2020
  • Reception: 23/04/2020
  • Distribution: 24/04/2020
  • Final date for comments: N/A
  • Proposed date of adoption: N/A


Related News