This report provides information on the laws and regulations for food, import rules for food, and contact information in the Czech Republic.
THIS REPORT CONTAINS ASSESSMENTS OF COMMODITY AND TRADE ISSUES MADE BY
USDA STAFF AND NOT NECESSARILY STATEMENTS OF OFFICIAL U.S. GOVERNMENT
Required Report - public distribution
GAIN Report Number: EZ1117
Food and Agricultural Import Regulations and Standards -
FAIRS Country Report
This report provides information on the laws and regulations for food, import rules for food, and contact
information in the Czech Republic. It is recommended to read the EU-27 Food and Agricultural Import
Regulations and Standards report because the Czech Republic, a member of the European Union,
follows the EU directives and regulations. The following sections were updated: I-VI, IX, and
Disclaimer: This report was prepared by the Office of Agricultural Affairs of the USDA/FAS (in
Prague, Czech Republic) for U.S. exporters of domestic food and agricultural products. While every
possible care was taken in the preparation of this report, information provided may not be completely
accurate either because policies have changed since its preparation, or because clear and consistent
information about these policies was not available. It is highly recommended that U.S. exporters verify
the full set of import requirements with their foreign customers, who are normally best equipped to
research such matters with local authorities, before any goods are shipped. FINAL IMPORT
APPROVAL OF ANY PRODUCT IS SUBJECT TO THE IMPORTING COUNTRY'S RULES AND
REGULATIONS AS INTERPRETED BY BORDER OFFICIALS AT THE TIME OF PRODUCT
Section I. Food Laws:
The Czech Republic became a member of the European Union in May 2004 and so all EU directions
apply. Any exporter from the United States must be familiar with Czech food laws and EU regulations
and directions which overrule any Czech legislation.
Any food industry area that is not regulated by the EU (so called non-harmonized), is regulated by every
member state individually. However, this regulation cannot restrict free movement of goods. This
report provides summary information on the Czech food legislation.
For more useful information please see our USEU website at
All EU regulations and directives can be obtained at the following web page:
National legislation of EU member states is accessible from:
The Czech Republic follows the EU initiative called 'From the Farm to the Fork' based on risk analysis
and traceability, with the aim of guaranteeing food safety. Therefore an important part of the food
legislation is the EU 'hygiene package'. The hygiene package covers food hygiene, hygiene for food of
animal origin and official controls on products of animal origin intended for human consumption. For
more detailed information on the hygiene package and additional acts in English language, please read
the legislation summary at
The most important Czech national acts and regulations regarding food are:
The food act 110/1997 is amended in 224/2008 by 227/2009 and 281/2009.
The act regulates requirements related to:
hygiene and sanitary condition of food production,
general requirement related to food, additives, foods for special diet, irradiation of food,
classification of slaughter animals,
packaging of food,
placing food on the market,
transportation of food and tobacco products,
the system of official control of food,
penalties for not meeting the requirements.
Basically, imported food products have the same status as domestically produced products according to
food act 110/1997 and amendments and decrees.
Most important laws and regulations regarding food include:
326/2001 (meat, meat preparations, fish, other aquatic organisms and preparations from them,
egg and egg preparations) amended by 264/2003 and 169/2009.
194/2004 (carcasses and animals intended for slaughter) amended by 324/2005.
77/2003 (milk, dairy products, frozen creams, edible fats and oils) amended by 124/2004,
78/2008 and 370/2008.
329/1997 (starch, legumes and oil seeds) amended by 418/2000.
330/1997 (tea and coffee) amended by 91/2000 and 78/2003.
331/1997 (spices, salt, dehydrated products, flavors and mustard) amended by 419/2000.
157/2003 (fresh fruits and vegetables, processed fruits and vegetables, nuts, mushrooms and
potatoes) amended by 650/2004 and 291/2010.
333/1997 (cereals, grains, pasta and bakery products) amended by 93/2000, 268/2006.
76/2003 (sweeteners, honey, cocoa and chocolate) amended by 43/2005.
335/1997 (non-alcoholic beverages, wines, beer, spirits and vinegar) amended by 45/2000,
57/2003, 289/2004, 115/2011.
275/2004 (packed water) amended by 404/2006.
366/2005 (frozen foods).
225/2008 (special nutritional foods) amended by 352/2009.
344/2003 (tobacco products) and 467/2003 (labeling tobacco products) amended by 276/2005.
113/2005 (labeling foods and tobacco products) amended by 368/2005, 497/2005, 101/2007 and
450/2004 (nutritional value) amended by 330/2009.
211/2004 (methods on expertise testing) amended by 611/2004, 238/2005 and 459/2005.
235/2010 (food additives).
Decrees of the Ministry of Health connected to the Food act include:
296/1997 (epidemiological risks).
475/2002 (mushroom classification).
54/2004 (special diets) amended by 402/2006, 473/2006 and 157/2008.
133/2004 (food irradiation).
305/2004 (toxins and contaminants).
447/2004 (aromatic additives).
450/2004 (nutritional value labeling).
4/2008 (additives and extract solvents) amended by 130/2010.
225/2008 (nutritional supplements) amended by 352/2009.
235/2010 (requirements and identification of additives) amended by 319/2010.
Primary veterinary laws and decrees connected to the food act by regulating conditions for veterinary
control, animal diseases and foodstuff safety include:
291/2003 (regulations on feedstuffs for animals and their products intended for human
consumption) amended by 232/2005, 375/2006 and 129/2009.
94/2010 (animal processing).
298/2003 (national and reference laboratories).
373/2003 (trade veterinary control) amended by 164/2005 and 375/2006.
376/2005 (import and transit of products from third countries) amended by 259/2005, 375/2006
377/2005 (import and transit of animals from third countries) amended by 259/2005.
128/2009 (veterinary and hygienic requirements for food companies).
78/2004 (GMO) amended by 346/2005, 124/2008, 227/2009 and 281/2009.
209/2004 (GMO) amended by 86/2006 and 29/2010.
Section II. Labeling Requirements:
Decree 113/2005 recently amended by decree 117/2011 provides general rules for food labeling.
Labels must be on the packaging for the consumer, not easily removable. Labeling must be
understandable, easily visible, not covered by other information, and inerasable.
All labels on products intended for a Czech consumer must be in Czech language. The standard U.S.
label is not sufficient for being placed on the Czech market. Stick-on labels in Czech are widely used
on imported products; the text on the original and Czech translation has to be identical.
The Czech Agriculture and Food Inspection Authority (CAFIA) and the State Veterinary
Administration are the authorities for enforcing labeling requirements. CAFIA takes into account a
general appearance of the label, if it is not in any way misleading. Czech label must be on the product
for customs clearance, in other words before it enters the market.
Food samples do not have to be labeled. Products for the food sector have to labeled like products for
the end consumer, but not their packaging, which only has to carry name of the product, expiration date,
quality category, and irradiation information. Other information from the label on products inside this
package has to be in the documentation.
Information that has to appear on the label:
Name of the product with the information about the product category and its preparation.
Producer and importer with addresses.
Quantity. Liquid products in milliliters, centiliters, or liters and solid products in grams or
Expiration date. Form of the expiration date information varies according to the product. Some
products (such as fresh fruit and vegetables) do not require an expiration date.
Storage instructions (such as temperature, exposure to daylight etc).
List of ingredients listed in the order of their amount in the product.
Information on food additives, enzymes, flavors, and fragrances.
Genetically Modified Foods
Genetically modified foods are to follow the same regulation as well as all applying EU regulations.
Decree 450/2004 about nutritional contents provides rules for labeling information on energetic value,
protein, carbohydrates, fats, fatty acids, fibers, and others. This information should be given in a table
or in a line (due to space reasons) in Czech language.
If the product is packaged at a different location than where it is processed it must be labeled with the
name of the packaging company with address, name of the product, it’s quantity, additives, country of
origin and other requirements mentioned in special laws.
Decree 54/2004 gives regulations on labeling of special foods (diets, baby food, food for sportsmen
etc.). These foods have to follow the same regulations as other foods regarding labeling and including
some additional information as mentioned in 54/2004 – specifics in processing if those cause the foods
characteristics, protein origin (if this protein is mentioned in contents), category and other specification.
There are specifics in labeling tobacco products as mentioned in decree 467/2003 about the size,
placement, and custom look of information and requirements.
According to 225/2008 food additives such as vitamins and minerals must be labeled with the words
“doplněk stravy” (food additive) visibly on the packaging. The label must also carry information on the
character, origin, and amount of content and also about the recommended daily intake and warnings
Foods containing GMOs must be labeled with the words “geneticky modifikovaný organismus”, “tento
výrobek obsahuje geneticky modifikovaný organismus” or “tento výrobek obsahuje geneticky
modifikované organismy” and also with the information about the name of the product, name of the
genetically modified organism(s), conditions of managing the GMO, information on safe use. Only
GMOs listed in the EU GMO register are approved to enter the market.
For regulations and details regarding organic products and market please see Czech Republic Organic
report no. EZ1103. Please note that in Czech language a term “product of ecology".
Section III. Packaging and Container Regulations:
All foods entering the market must be packed appropriately. The packaging must protect the product
from damage and provide prevention against replacement or substitution of the product without
changing or penetrating the original packaging. The packaging itself must not affect the content in any
way. Containers and packages have to suit not only the content but also any other materials and objects
that come into direct contact with the foods.
Foods that are not packed have to be labeled on the transportation/manipulation containers with the
above mentioned information and also this information must be visibly placed while the product is
being offered to the final consumer.
Section IV. Food Additives Regulations:
Decree 235/2010 regulates use of food additives. The decree provides a list of food additives with
additional information such as chemical origin, identification, and purity of flavor and color additives
A list of food additives and conditions of their use is mentioned in decree 4/2008.
If an imported product contains an additive not mentioned on the list, the Ministry of Health may give
an exception after testing and approval of the product by the State Health Institute.
Section V. Pesticides and Other Contaminants:
Maximum contents of contaminant and toxicologically significant substances are regulated by Decree
305/2004. Limits of contaminants in food products are given in mg.kg-1 or mg -1.l .
Several contaminants such as lead, mercury, and arsenic may be found in EU Acts 242/2004, 221/2002,
563/2002, 472/2002, 257/2002, 1425/2003, 2174/2003, 683/2004, 684/2004, 466/2001, 1014/90.
A list of approved pesticides may be found at www.srs.cz (State Phytosanitary Administration – see
Section VI. Other Regulations and Requirements:
All importers of special diet foods from third countries that are not mentioned in a specific law or
regulation are obliged to contact the Ministry of Health and to provide the labeling in Czech language
before the product is first introduced to the market. If this product has been introduced elsewhere in the
EU before, then the approving foreign office must be mentioned as well. The Ministry may request an
expertise confirmation on this product. The Ministry also has the right to ban any product from the
market that does not meet the regulating requirements. Food products must be protected from damage
and depreciation whilst being transported and only appropriate transportation should be used.
Section VII. Other Specific Standards:
All specific acts and degrees are discussed in relevant sections.
Section VIII. Copyright and/or Trademark Laws:
Trademarks and brand names are protected by the following acts:
14/1993 on protection of industrial property (amended by 417/2004).
441/2003 on trademarks (amended by 501/2004 and 221/2006) and decree 97/2004 on
452/2001 on protection of geographical location indication (amended by 131/2003, 501/2004
206/2000 on protection of biotechnology inventions.
408/2000 on protection of rights to plant varieties (amended by 147/2002, 149/2002, 219/2003,
377/2005, 554/2005 and 444/2005).
Trademarks can be registered at the Industrial Property Institute (contact provided in the list of contacts
in Appendix I).
Section IX. Import Procedures:
Products can be cleared through customs by entering the EU or directly in the Czech Republic.
Only GMOs listed in the EU approved register may be imported. All GMO imports to the Czech
Republic, their type, amount and entry place must be announced to the Ministry at least 5 days prior to
entering the county. The appropriate paperwork must accompany the content at all times.
Requirements for import of products of veterinary origin may be found in English on the web page of
the State Veterinary Administration: http://www.svscr.cz/dokumenty/eu/dovoz/dovoz_en.html
Appendix I. Government Regulatory Agency Contacts:
Ministry of Agriculture
Marta Tepla (Director of Foreign Relations Section)
Tesnov 65/17, 117 05 Prague, Czech Republic
Petr Benes (Head of Food Safety Department)
Jindrich Fialka (Head of Food Production and Legislation Department)
Antonin Kralicek (Head of Wine Dept.)
Dr. Pavel Novotny (Managing Director)
Budejovicka 7, 140 96 Prague, Czech Republic
State Veterinary Administration
Amer Mustafa Ali, DVM (Head of Import and Export Control Department)
Slezska 7, 120 00 Prague, Czech Republic
State Phytosanitary Administration
Petr Ehl (Head of Foreign Relations Department)
Ztracena 1099/10, 161 00 Prague, Czech Republic
State Agricultural and Food Inspection
Miroslav Jasek, DVM (Director)
Behounska 10, 601 26 Brno, Czech Republic
Central Institute for Control and Testing in Agriculture
Dr. Jaroslav Stana
Hroznova 2, 656 06 Brno, Czech Republic
Ministry of Industry and Trade
Na Frantisku 32, 110 15 Prague, Czech Republic
Ministry of Health
Palackeho nam. 4, 128 01 Prague 2, Czech Republic
URL : www.mzcr.cz
Appendix II. Other Import Specialist Contacts:
Organic Agriculture Control
Milan Berka (Director)
Podebradova 909, 537 01 Chrudim
Industrial Property Office
Dr. Svetlana Kopecka (Director of the Intl’ Department)
Antonina Cermaka 2a, 160 68 Prague 6, Czech Republic