Buyerdock featured in The Grocer

by Kevin Dixie in Buyerdock

As the news of the new laws in France and Italy start reaching brands globally, The Grocer has written an article on the French Triman law and the lack of preparedness of most companies.

We’ve copied the article below for those that do not subscribe.

British food exporters are “petrified” over upcoming French packaging rules that could mean they are hit with fines worth tens of thousands of euros.

From March, any business selling food and drink to French supermarkets must add a new recycling logo to labels, as well as a QR code that gives shoppers detailed packaging and recycling information.

Many exporters are said to be scrambling to meet the new requirements to avoid fines of up to €15,000 per product line.

“Companies are not on top of the regulation and they don’t realise that they face fines or removal of stock from sale,” said Kevin Dixie, COO of Buyerdock, a food-tech company providing labelling solutions to UK exporters.

The law officially started in September. However, a grace period is in effect until March. Stock that is non-compliant during the grace period can still be sold now, but will be removed from shelves in March. 

The government initially warned British exporters of the new rules in October last year, according to the trade department.

“We have taken several steps to ensure UK firms and business groups were made aware of these changes, including a dedicated webinar in November and various other communication through DIT [department for international trade] channels,” said a government spokesman .

“We offer a wide range of tools and services to ensure that businesses get the advice they need to export around the world, and urge any businesses who think they may be affected by these changes to contact our Export Support Service for tailored advice.”

But one advisor helping traders prepare said many businesses were “petrified” after only just learning of the new rules. There is a “lack of preparedness even from the big brands”, they added.

Dixie also reported speaking to many brands, “almost none” of which were aware of the rules. Buyerdock has been working with the trade department to inform companies of its service, which charges brands £1 per line per month for the necessary logo and QR code.

“If they do it themselves, it can be really costly,” said Dixie. “They will require consultants and tech know-how just to build it. If they don’t, it means fines or removal of stock from sale.”

This is the second regulatory change to have hit exporters to Europe this year. Since 13 January, shelf-stable composite food products like canned custard and confectionery have required French versions of sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) documents or else risk being rejected at the border.

However, despite fears ahead of the change, customs agents report it has caused minimal disruption to trade.

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