Product labelling and information
Including instructions, user manuals, warranties and product packaging
What does the law say?
The compulsory details in labelling, instructions and packaging of products distributed in Catalonia must be written at least in Catalan (article 128.1 of Law 22/2010 of the Catalan Consumer Code).
All details, compulsory or not, in the labelling, instructions and packaging of crafted Catalan products with "Denomination of Origin" or with "Quality Seal" that are distributed in Catalonia must be written at least in Catalan (article 34.2 of Law 1/1998 on linguistic policy).
There are also various obligations in other Catalan-speaking territories
In the Principality of Andorra, the Law regulating the use of the official language, from the year 2000, establishes the obligation for labelling to be written in Catalan for almost all products produced, manufactured, packaged or labelled in Andorra and distributed in Andorran territory (article 16). This obligation also applies to instructions, warranties and other written items inserted in product packaging.
What would a good practice be in this regard?
- In addition to the strictly legal requirements, an attempt should be made to provide any supplementary information in Catalan as well. However, the layout and amount of information, font size and text position may vary depending on logistics.
- If the product is for distribution solely in the Catalan-speaking area, or if there is a logistics difference compared to the rest of the territories where other languages are spoken, Catalan must be given a prominent place on the label.
- If the products are distributed in different linguistic communities, there are two possibilities: separation of stocks or multilingual labelling. In any case, details should always be provided in Catalan to the maximum extent possible. On very small or individual packages, "neutral information" is often given, which should be complemented by more comprehensive details in each language on the larger packaging. In extreme cases, when sales in the Catalan-speaking area are minimal, duplication of information may be avoided and the most basic information provided in Catalan, such as essential product instructions.