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Labelling of footwear

The labelling of footwear and its components helps to give consumers greater choice, protect the industry and enhance the operation of the internal market.


Directive 94/11/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 March 1994 on the approximation of the laws, regulations and administrative provisions of the Member States relating to labelling of the materials used in the main components of footwear for sale to the consumer [See amending acts].


The provisions concerning labelling apply to the materials used in footwear, including parts sold separately.

For each pair, at least one of the footwear items (defined and illustrated in the Directive) must bear information relating to the upper, the lining and insole sock, and the outer-sole of the footwear article. The information may be conveyed by means of approved pictograms or textual information, as defined and illustrated in the Annex to the Directive, and must relate to the material which constitutes at least 80 % of the surface area of the upper, the lining and insole sock of the footwear article, and at least 80 % of the volume of the outer-sole. However, if no single material accounts for at least 80 %, information must be given concerning the two main materials in the composition of the article.

Given that the aim of the above measures is to provide information, the label must be legible, durable and accessible, and the manufacturer or his authorised agent established in the Community is responsible for supplying the label and for the accuracy of the information contained on it. Only the information provided for in the Directive has to be supplied, but there is nothing to prevent additional information being given on the label.


ActEntry into force - Date of expiryDeadline for transposition in the Member StatesOfficial Journal
Directive 94/11/EC09.05.199423.09.1995OJ L 100 of 19.04.1994

Amending act(s)Entry into forceDeadline for transposition in the Member StatesOfficial Journal
Directive 2006/96/EC01.01.200701.01.2007OJ L 363 of 20.12.2006


Council Regulation (EC) No 1472/2006 of 5 October 2006 imposing a definitive anti-dumping duty and collecting definitely the provisional duty imposed on imports of certain footwear with uppers of leather originating in the People's Republic of China and Vietnam [Official Journal L 275 of 6.10.2006].

Directive 2002/61/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 19 July 2002 amending for the nineteenth time Council Directive 76/769/EEC relating to restrictions on the marketing and use of certain dangerous substances and preparations (azocolourants) [Official Journal L 243 of 11.09.2002].
Azocolourants may not be used in textile and leather articles that are likely to come into prolonged and direct contact with human skin, such as footwear (Annex 1, point 43.1).

Report from the Commission to the Council, the European Parliament, the Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions of 7 December 2000, "Evaluation Report on the Implementation of Directive 94/11/EC: Labelling of materials used in the main components of footwear" [COM(2000) 812 final - Not published in the Official Journal].
Based on information from the Member States, footwear industry associations and consumer associations, this report gives an overview of the Directive's application, taking into consideration the difficulties encountered by the sector in its implementation. It concludes that, in most Member States, the national transposition measures, which often follow the text of the Directive word-for-word, are enough to guarantee proper application of the Directive and ensure better information and increased transparency for consumers. The objectives of the Directive have therefore been achieved.

For further information on the footwear industry, visit the site of the Directorate-General for Enterprise and Industry.

Last updated: 06.06.2008
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