Requirements for pregnancy warning labels on alcoholic beverages were gazetted in the Code on 31 July, 2020 with a three-year transition period ending on 31 July 2023. In addition, optional alternative requirements for pregnancy warning labels for corrugated cardboard outer packaging were gazetted in the Code on 4 May 2023.
Businesses have until 1 February 2024 to ensure post-printed corrugated carboard outer packaging, containing more than one individual unit of an alcoholic beverage, displays either the existing or optional alternative pregnancy warning label. Alcoholic beverages in such corrugated carboard outer packaging that is labelled before the end of the transition period (i.e. before 2 February 2024) may be sold without the pregnancy warning label.
For all other packaging and individual containers, businesses must comply with the pregnancy warning labelling requirements, noting an alcoholic beverage produced and labelled before 31 July 2023, can comply with the Code either before or after requirements for pregnancy warning labels were gazetted (31 July 2020)
To assist businesses with the pregnancy warning label requirements, the following are available:
Use of the two documents listed above and/or the pregnancy warning downloadable labels do not negate any legal obligations imposed by the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code (the Code) or other relevant legislation at the Commonwealth or state or territory level in Australia, or in New Zealand. Businesses should ensure they are fully aware of the labelling requirements of the Code and other legislation and seek legal advice.
The information in the documents should not be relied upon as legal advice or used as a substitute for legal advice. Businesses need to apply their own skills and knowledge in determining compliance with the labelling requirements of the Code. Businesses should consider obtaining independent legal advice, or undertaking appropriate training in labelling requirements.
In using these documents, each user acknowledges that Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ), its employees or agents are not responsible for any action taken on the basis of information provided, or any errors or omissions, and expressly disclaim all liability in this regard, including any liability for any loss, injury or damage as a result of product being labelled according to this document and the pregnancy warning label that it contains.
Food Standards in Australia and New Zealand
FSANZ is responsible for developing and maintaining the Code. The Code sets out the legal requirements for food produced or imported for sale in Australia and New Zealand. The Code can be accessed from the FSANZ website.
FSANZ is not responsible for the enforcement of the Code or for providing advice on food compliance issues. In Australia, responsibility for enforcing the Code rests with state and territory government agencies, and in relation to imported food, the Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment. In New Zealand, this is the responsibility of the Ministry for Primary Industries.