Starting a new business? Here's how
If you want to start a food business in Denmark, your company must be registered by the regional food administration centre that covers the geographical area in which your company is based. Follow this link to find your regional centre.
To register, you must fill out a special form and send it to your regional food administration centre. You can download the form and read more on the webpage virk.dk.
The regional food administration centre can provide guidance, but it is always your responsibility to abide by the rules and to ensure that the products you sell are safe.
You will find more information about starting a new business in Denmark here.
Marketing of food supplements in Denmark
Before selling food supplements in Denmark, you must register the products that you wish to sell, no later than on the first day of marketing.
Register your products via the webpage virk.dk or via the official homepage of the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration, follow this link (please note that the registration form is only available in Danish). From this page you can also unregister any food supplements that you do no longer wish to sell in Denmark.
If you change the composition of a food supplement the product must be registered once again, as if it was new.
Which products can be marketed as food supplements?
The most common food supplements consist of vitamins and/or minerals. But they can also consist of dietary fibers, essential fatty acids, animal ingredients e.g. fish oil or plant ingredients e.g. extracts of garlic. Food supplements must contain any of these ingredients in quantities that are sufficient to have an effect on the body.
It is moreover required that food supplements are sold in smaller quantities, e.g. as pills, fluids or powder, and that they are labeled with information about the recommended daily dose (ADT-value).
Regulations on the composition of food supplements
Food supplements sold in Denmark are regulated by the Commissions Regulation (EC) No 1170/2009 and the Danish regulation on food supplements "kosttilskudsbekendtgørelsen" (1440/2009). A written guidance on the regulation of food supplements is only available in Danish.
General principles and requirements of food law
In addition, all foods including food supplements are regulated by Regulation (EC) No 178/2002 of the European Parliament and of the Council. Especially Article 14 concerning food safety requirements and Article 16 concerning labeling, advertising and presentation of food, are of relevance when selling food supplements.
Food supplements are required to follow the general food labeling rules set down in the Danish regulation on labeling "mærkningsbekendtgørelsen" (1308/2005). According to this regulation the labeling on a food product on the Danish market should be easy to read and written in Danish or a similar language. Furthermore is it required that the labeling contains the name of the food and the company producing it, as well as a list of ingredients.
In addition to the general requirements mentioned above, food supplements should also be labeled with the following:
- Information that the product is a food supplement.
- Information about which vitamins, minerals or other ingredients the product contains.
- Information about the amounts of vitamins, minerals or other ingredients in the product.
- The recommended daily dose (ADT-value). The ADT-values can be seen in Supplement 3 of the Danish regulation on food supplements "kosttilskudsbekendtgørelsen" (1440/2009).
- The amount of vitamins, minerals or other ingredients in the product in percentage of the recommended daily intake values for adults and children over the age of 11. And if relevant also for children between 1 and 10 years of age.
- The Danish and Latin name of any herbal ingredients.
- A warning not to consume more than the recommended daily dose.
- A warning to keep the product out of reach of children.
- Information to the consumer that food supplements should not replace a healthy and varied diet.
- Information that pregnant women and children under the age of 1 should not consume the product without consulting a doctor.
Follow this link to read more about food labeling.
Nutrition and health claims on food supplements
It is voluntary to use nutrition and health claims on food supplements, but if such claims are used they must comply with the rules laid down in Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council.
Products that claim to be able to prevent or cure diseases are considered as medicinal products and are therefore controlled by the Danish Medicines Agency. Follow this link to view their homepage.
If you have a company that sells and/or produces food product you must have a plan that shows how you regularly ensure that your business complies with the rules. This is called self-regulation, and such a plan is called a self regulation program.
The self-regulation program deals with both foodstuffs and with cleaning, machinery and premises.
The program must be simply written, so that all employees can understand it and are not in doubt as to what is to be done.
You will find more information about self-regulation programs here.
Additional food regulations
In addition to the above mentioned rules and regulations, there are more specific rules for some types of food products: