Labelling of goods

Product labels are an important source of information for consumers. The main labelling requirements for goods are stated in the Consumer Protection Act. The main things you should know about labelling of goods are the following.

The labelling of goods offered or sold to you must be legible, understandable and unambiguous.

The need for labelling depends on the type, characteristics and intended purpose of the goods. For most of the goods, setting out the name of the goods is not enough; a trader must also add the information on the quantity and dimensions of the goods, the composition of the goods and the quantities of the components, instructions for using and maintaining the goods, warning and precautions to prevent hazards relating to the use of the goods, the shelf life of the goods or the main technical information concerning the goods.

A trader can use instructive or warning drawings, pictograms, signs and symbols on the labelling provided that the information they communicate is understandable to you. For example, pictograms are used on labels for footwear and clothing.

A trader must not cover the original information presented on the labelling of goods by additional information, pictures or stickers. Thus, you must always be able to compare the translation of the labelling with the original information of a manufacturer.

A manufacturer is obligated to accompany the goods which are technically complex, contain hazardous substances or require special skills when using them with an instruction manual.

For labelling of certain goods, specific requirements are established. Food products, footwear, clothing, chemical products, and cosmetic products are the examples of the goods the labelling of which must, in addition to the general requirements set out in the Consumer Protection Act, comply with all specific requirements established for certain goods.

The consumption of food products and some consumer goods (e.g. cosmetic products, consumer product chemicals) is limited in time.

  • The labelling is attached to goods for consumers' sake, so make sure to always read the labels before buying and using the goods in order to be convinced in their suitability.
  • If the information on a label is not understandable to you, you have the right to ask the seller for additional information.
  • An instruction manual must be translated into Estonian at least as far as the information necessary for you to use the goods correctly and for their intended purpose and to maintain the goods is concerned. Thus, you should receive both the original manual and its translation into Estonian. If an instruction manual is not given to you, ask for it from the seller.
  • Do not ignore the information provided on labels or in instruction manuals because by doing so you may put your health at risk.
  • If the information on a label seems inadequate to you or does not meet the requirements, please inform the Consumer Protection Board thereof.