Product Registration

Only entities with local trade license can register the product with the authorities. 

No, each country has different system & requirements for registration. So the product needs to be registered individually in each country wherever required. 

No, Saudi authority, SFDA, who registers the product does not verify the compliance of the product with relevant regulation. According to the recent circular, the compliance of the product with the relevant regulation rests with the company. Hence, even if  products are registered they can still be rejected from the port or recalled from the market. 

ZAD and DM portals are linked, so registering the product in one of the portal shall suffice. 

For Saudi, re-registration is a must irrespective of the nature of the change.

But for UAE, it depends on the nature of change. In case of major change such as reformulation or new barcode the product has to be re-registered as a new product. 

No. Samples do not require registration in the UAE. 

No, without registration the products will not be allowed to enter the country.

Labelling & Compliance

Normally, authority will hold the local entity such as importer or distributor responsible for compliance. But it is highly advisable that brand owner & manufacture should ensure that their products are compliant to avoid rejection or recall.

Not necessarily. Because UAE & Saudi have their own specific standard for some products which may vary slightly from each other and the regional standard.

No, only mandatory information are required to be in Arabic on the label of food products. 

Only claims prescribed by the standard for the product category can be used on the label. For claims which are neither prohibited nor allowed, special approval will be required to use such claims on the label. Please note the claims should not violate the general requirement of product labelling.

Logos related to managements systems i.e. ISO 9001, etc. are not allowed. Apart from that all other logos can be used as long as valid & recognizable certificate is available for the product.  Please note the logos should not violate the general requirement of product labelling. 

QUID is not a requirement in the MENA region unless otherwise specified in the regulation of the product.

The word “milk” cannot not be used for plant-based beverages. 

Currently, front of pack labelling (FOPL) such as traffic light labelling is not mandatory. But in some countries it may become mandatory from 2022. 

Not necessarily. Though most of the GCC regulations have been referenced from major national & international regulations there are still several differences. 

The UAE & Saudi traffic light labelling regulations have been adopted from and are very similar to the UK traffic light labelling rules. 

Certification

No, not all products require halal certificate to enter the Middle East & North African countries. Only meat based products, products containing animal derivatives or may contain animal derivatives and products that may contain ethanol do require certification. But after the implementation of new halal regulation in Saudi Arabia, a lot more product categories will require mandatory halal certificate to enter the country. 

Saudi, UAE & Qatar have dynamic list of approved halal certification bodies according to the product scope. For more details please contact us.

EQM is Emirates Quality Mark (EQM) of the UAE. To know more about EQM and list of regulated products please click on the following link: 

Emirates Quality Mark (EQM)

Yes, audit is mandatory for EQM certification. But there is an option for exemption from such an audit provided the company meets the required criteria. To know more please contact us. 

ECAS is acronym for Emirates Conformity Assessment Scheme. It is conformity certificate of the UAE. To know more about the ECAS and list of regulated products please click the following link:

Emirates Conformity Assessment Scheme (ECAS)

Certificate is only required when Organic, Vegan or Non-GMO claims are made on certain products. If no such claims are made then certificates are not mandatory. 

Saudi Certificate of Conformity (CoC) is a mandatory certificate for certain products originating from India, Jordan, Egypt and other countries. It is usually issued per shipment in the country of origin.