EU Reg. 1169/2011 concerning the provision of food information to consumers, Art. 15:
- 1. Without prejudice to Article 9, mandatory food information shall appear in a language easily understood by the consumers of the Member States where a food is marketed.
- 2. Within their own territory, the Member States in which a food is marketed may stipulate that the particulars shall be given in one or more languages from among the official languages of the Union.
- 3. Paragraphs 1 and 2 shall not preclude the particulars from being indicated in several languages.
Until 9 May 2018
Within the Italian state only the Italian language is considered as the official language to provide information to consumers. Information in Arabic, German, French or other languages may be provided, but only optional and additional information is considered.
- Legislative Decree 109 Implementation of Directives 89/395/EEC and 89/396/EEC on the labelling, presentation and advertising of foodstuffs.
From 9 May 2018
- "Article 19 - Sale of non-prepacked products
[…] 10. The indications of this article must be written in Italian and must be clearly visible and legible. “
- "Article 18 - Automatic dispensers
[…] 2. The information referred to in paragraph 1 must be given in Italian and must be clearly visible and legible.
(see Legislative Decree no. 231 of 15 December 2017)
Autonomy status and language of information
Although the Statute on Autonomy provides for linguistic equality, this right applies only to the public administration and the court. Even in the Autonomous Province of Bolzano - Südtirol the only language used for consumer information is Italian.
- Decree of the President of the Republic of 31 August 1972, n. 670, approving the unified text of the constitutional laws relative to the Special Statute of Trentino-Alto Adige.
- Art 99: In the Italian-speaking territory, which is the state language, the German language is equal.
- Presidential Decree No 574 of 15 July 1988 laying down detailed rules for the application of the Special Statute of the Region of Trentino-Sudtirol on the use of the German and Ladin languages in communication between citizens and the public administration and in legal proceedings.
Where the products are not intended for the final consumer, no linguistic restriction shall be provided.