Chile - Country Commercial Guide
Labeling & Marking Requirements

Overview of the different labeling and marking requirements, including any restrictive advertising or labeling practices and where to get more information.

Last published date: 2021-01-16

Chile has fairly common labeling requirements for imported products. Among the most important requirements for U.S. exporters is that labeling must be in Spanish and measurements must be in the metric system. In addition, consumer products must display the country of origin before being sold in Chile. Packaged goods must be marked to show the quality, purity, ingredients or mixtures, and the net weight or measure of the contents. There are also specific requirements for canned food, shoes, foods, electric machinery, liquid and compressed natural gas equipment (LNG and CNG), plastics, wines and alcoholic beverages, textiles and apparel, wheat flour, detergents, and insecticides for agricultural use.

Canned or packaged foodstuffs imported into Chile must bear labels in Spanish for all ingredients, including additives, manufacturing and expiration dates of the products, and the name of the producer or importer. All sizes and weights of the net contents also must be converted to the metric system. Goods not complying with these requirements may be imported but not sold to consumers until conversion is made. Thus, foodstuffs labeled in English must be re-labeled in Chile before they can be sold. For information on Chile’s labeling requirements for food, see the Foreign Agricultural Service’s Food and Agricultural Import Regulations.

On June 26, 2015, the Ministry of Health published the implementing regulation to Law 20606 that regulates the labeling of the nutritional compositions of food products, Decree 13, 2015. The Decree aims at targeting food products that are intended for consumption by children under 14 years of age if they exceed specified limits of sodium, sugar, energy (calories) and saturated fats, as indicated in the following table below. Enforcement began on June 27, 2016.

 

Energy
Kcal/100 ml

Sodium mg/100 ml

Total sugar q/100 ml

Saturated fat q/ 100 ml

Limits on solid foods.

Values greater than or equal to:

275

400

10

4

Limits on liquid foods.

Values greater than or equal to:

70

100

5

3

Food products that exceed the defined limits are required to be labelled with black stop signs with the words “High in salt, sugar, energy or saturated fat,” according to its nutritional composition. One stop sign must be used for each of the critical nutrients in excess of the specified limit. Therefore, in some products, up to four stop signs may be required for a single product.

The Regulation also states that products bearing one or more stop signs must adhere to the following:

  • The product shall not be sold, marketed, promoted, or advertised within establishments of preschool, primary, or secondary education.
  • The product shall not be advertised on media or means of communication that target children under 14 years of age, such as posters, printed materials, point of sale or textbooks, nor in television, radio, internet, magazines, nor in advertising space during or close to the latter, when at least 20 percent of the target audience includes children under 14 years of age.
  • The product shall not be given freely to children under 14 years of age nor can they use commercial ploys targeting that public, such us toys, accessories, stickers, or other similar incentives.

There are a few products that are exempt of this Regulation, those products are:

  • Food products that do have added sugar, sodium or saturated fat.
  • Foods that are sold in bulk, portioned, fractioned, or prepared at the request of the public, although these are packaged at the time of the sale.
  • Foods for special dietary uses, such as infant formula, commercial preparations for baby food, and foods for medical uses or for weight control.
  • Dietary supplements and food for athletes.
  • Foods and prepared dishes that are packaged to be sold in portions.

Regarding enforcement, this Decree entered into force 12 months after the date of publication in the National Gazette, which was June 26, 2015. The objective of this phased-in reduction over 3 years was to encourage producers to reformulate their products (i.e. reduce fat, sugar, sodium content) and allow time for them to do so. The Decree is being phased in as follows, from the date of June 26, 2015:

For solid products:

Nutrient or Energy

Enforced date

24 months after enforcement

36 months after enforcement (June 27, 2019)

 27,

Energy

Kcal/100g

350

300

275

Sodium

Mg/100 g

800

500

400

Total sugar g/100 g

22.5

15

10

Saturated fat

g/100 g

6

5

4

For liquid products:

Nutrient or Energy

Enforced date

24 months after enforcement

36 months after enforcement (June 27, 2019)

Energy

Kcal/100 ml

100

80

70

Sodium

Mg/100 ml

100

100

100

Total sugar

g/100 ml

6

5

5

Saturated fat

g/100 ml

3

3

3

Finally, the Regulation also notes that small businesses will have 36 months to comply.