Get your international export labelling right of there'll be no gifts this year

Your International Export Labelling Checklist

With the festive season upon us, we thought we’d take the opportunity to share something that would really get you in the mood. And it doesn’t get much more Christmassy than international export labelling!

Those of you who think that export labels are just about the antithesis of Christmas are about to be proved very wrong. We all know Father Christmas is real – that goes without saying – but he can’t deliver every gift we’ll receive this Christmas. Sometimes there’s just not enough room in the sleigh. That’s where international shipping can help.

If Christmas is going to be one to remember this year, then it’s essential that all the international companies you’ve been ordering from get their international export labelling right!

International export labelling 101

As UK exporters will know, every market has its own set of rules. However, no matter where your products go, some rules are relatively constant. This includes the following:

  • Language

It’s a universal rule that all labels must be printed in the official language or languages of the destination country. All the information included on your labels must be translated accurately, as any errors could put your products in violation of local rules. The most notable exception to this rule is a trademark. Trademarks can still be written in English, but only if they have been registered in English in the destination country.

  • Country of origin

The vast majority of destinations require products entering the country to be labelled with their country of origin in the local language. For example, products in the UK but are shipped from China, must be labelled ‘Made in China’. The best practice is to use the most recognisable abbreviations, such as the ‘UK’ or ‘US’, where they exist.

  • The name and location of the manufacturer, packer or distributor

Many countries also ask that the name and location of the manufacturer, packer or distributor are included on the export label. This is known as the ‘declaration of responsibility’, as it provides the details of the party responsible for introducing the product in package form. If the responsible person is a business, then the label must list the legal name of that company.

  •  Product descriptions

The requirement for product descriptions depends largely on the type of product you’re selling and the destination country. However, you’ll typically need to include details of the contents of the product in the local language, along with the net quantity of the item in the measuring system of the destination country.

  • Compliance marks

Some products must also be labelled with a compliance mark, which signals that the product complies with a regulatory standard in the destination country. For example, any product in a category that’s covered by a CE mark must display that mark on its label if it’s to be sold in the EU.

What if you get your international export labelling wrong?

If you do not include the required information on your export labels or it’s not translated accurately into the local language, then your products may not make it through customs. This will lead to significant waste, high costs and unhappy customers.

At Linguistica International, our export labelling translation experts ensure  thatyour products comply with the relevant regulations before they’re shipped. To find out more, give us a call on 02392 987 765 or email today.