Starting a new business? Here's how
All food business operators must be registered or approved by the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration. This also applies for importers of food from other EU Member States or third countries and producers/importers of food contact materials (FCM).
You will find more information about starting a new food business in Denmark
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.
You can download an English language version of the registration form here.
If you change the composition of a food supplement, the product must be registered once again as if it were a new product. An exception to this rule concerns a change in the amount of technological additives. This will not need to be registered.
Fee for product safety checks
Companies that have registered one or more food supplements in Denmark and that have an annual turnover exceeding 50,000 DKK must pay an annual fee of 9,382 DKK as well as an annual fee of 751 DKK per registered food supplement.
These fees are used to cover the expenses in relation to product safety checks. The payment is charged for companies and products registered as of September 1 that year.
When your food supplement is no longer marketed
You must remember to unregister any food supplements that you no longer wish to sell in Denmark.
Unregistered supplements are not allowed to be marketed neither from the wholesale company, websites, nor retail stores.
Which products can be marketed as food supplements?
The most common food supplements consist of vitamins and/or minerals. However, 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 the ingredients in quantities that are able to exert an effect on the body.
Moreover, it is required that food supplements are sold in smaller quantities (e.g. as pills, fluids, or powder) and that they are labelled with information about the recommended daily dose.
Regulations on the composition of food supplements
The guidance on food supplements contains an overview of the amounts of vitamins and minerals that the DVFA recommend for food supplements not to surpass. If a company wishes to exceed these levels, they must be responsible for documenting the safety of the food supplement. The DVFA typically considers a level above the Tolerable Upper Intake Level (UL) set by EFSA as a potential health risk.
Concerning the addition of other substances than vitamins and minerals national regulation apply. You can read more in our guide on fortified food. This guide also explains the legislative difference between plant ingredients and other substances in Denmark.
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 16 concerning labelling, advertising, and presentation of food as well as Article 14 concerning food safety requirements are of relevance when selling food supplements.
Food supplements are required to follow the general food labelling rules set down in Regulation (EU) No 1169/2011
and the Danish regulation on labelling "Mærkningsbekendtgørelsen
". According to the latter regulation the labelling on a food product on the Danish market should be easy to read and written in Danish or a similar language.
It is required that the labelling contains a list of ingredients, the name of the food as well as the name of the company producing it.
In addition to the general requirements mentioned above, food supplements should also be labelled with the following:
- Information stating that the product is a food supplement.
- Information about which vitamins, minerals, or other ingredients the product contains.
- Information about the amount of vitamins, minerals, or other ingredients in the product.
- The Danish and Latin name of any herbal ingredients.
- The recommended daily dose.
- A warning not to consume more than the recommended daily dose.
- Information to the consumer stating that food supplements should not replace a healthy and varied diet.
- A warning to keep the product out of reach of children.
- Information about the amount of nutrients or substances with a nutritional and/or physiological effect.
- Information about the amount of nutrients or other substances expressed as a percentage of the recommended daily dose.
- The content of vitamins and minerals should be expressed as a percentage of the reference values set out in Annex XIII, Part A, Point 1 in Regulation (EU) No 1169/2011 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 October 2011 on the provision of food information to consumers.
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 claimed to be able to prevent or cure diseases are considered to be medicinal products and are therefore controlled by the Danish Medicines Agency. Follow
this link to view their homepage.
If your company sells and/or produces food products, you must have a plan that shows how you regularly ensure that your business complies with the rules. This is called own-check and such a plan is called an own-check programme.
The own-check programme deals with foodstuffs as well as with cleaning, machinery, and premises.
The program must be plainly written to ensure that all employees can understand it and have no doubt as to what needs to be done.
You will find more information about own-check programmes
Additional food regulations
In addition to the above-mentioned rules and regulations there are more specific rules for some types of food products: