If you intend to sell shoes or other footwear in one or more EU Countries, your products must comply with EU labelling requirements. As a manufacturer, you are responsible for supplying the label and for its accuracy. If the footwear is imported, the organisation that first places it on the EU market assumes this responsibility.
Are footwear labels mandatory?
Footwear labels are mandatory in the EU. According to EU rules, the term "footwear" refers to all articles with applied soles designed to protect or cover the foot. For example:
- flat or high-heeled shoes
- sports shoes (including specialist sports shoes and those with skates attached)
There may be additional requirements, depending on the country where you plan to market the footwear.
What information should be displayed?
When you describe the materials and indicate the parts of the footwear, you should use the pictograms in the EU legislation, or a written indication in the languages of the EU country where you want to market your footwear. Your labelling must describe the materials of the 3 main parts of the footwear:
- the upper
- the lining and insole
- the outer sole
In each case, the label should state whether the material is made of:
- coated leather
- other materials
If no single material accounts for at least 80% of the product, the label should indicate the 2 main materials used.
How do you affix the footwear label?
You must attach the labelling to at least one of the pair of shoes. You can do this by printing, sticking, embossing or tying the label to the shoe.
The labelling must be visible, securely attached and accessible, and the dimensions of the pictograms must be sufficiently large to make it easy to understand.
If you want to give your footwear a recognised sign of environmental excellence, check if you can also apply for an EU Ecolabel.