United Arab Emirates Adopts a National System for Food Registration

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August 29, 2018Zeina AttarBlog
On 16 July 2018, the United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.) Ministry of Climate Change and Environment, (MOCCAE), issued Decision No. 239 of 2018 Regarding the National System for Food Registration. 
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The decision mandates the registration of all local and imported food products before their circulation on the market. The registration will be performed online through a unified federal system that allows for the registration of all food items being sold across U.A.E. called "ZAD." The ZAD registration system was rolled out in February of 2018 and became active on 1 April 2018.
To register food products, food facility operators must submit an application containing the following information:
  • A copy of the product label (in Arabic and English);
  • An image of the product as it will be presented to the final consumer;
  • In case of health or nutritional claims being present on the label, the applicant must provide a certificate from the country of origin supporting the claims;
  • Product information including:
    • Barcode;
    • Country of origin;
    • Weight and volume;
    • Measuring unit;
    • Trademark;
    • Name of the manufacturing entity and its address;
    • Commercial name of the product;
    • A list of additives if any;
    • Storage temperature;
    • Ingredients.
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The registration requirements will apply to all imported food products, locally manufactured products, and products of which labels and/or formulations have been amended or changed.
The decision requirements will be effective from the date of the publication in the official gazette. The decision did not set transitional provisions for products already on the market. Food products for personal use or served in restaurants are exempt from the requirements of this decision. 
Food Operators are advised to contact the responsible authority in each emirate they plan to import their products to in order to obtain approvals and get their products registered on the ZAD system. 
 For a copy of the source document (pdf), please contact us at 3EMonitorSupport@Verisk3E.com.