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Designing practical and attractive packaging for an item is an important part of product manufacturing, but ensuring that the packaging meets all the legal standards and requirements is an even bigger task. Failure to properly research the necessary requirements for product packaging can result in extra costs for inspections, returns, and even repackaging. There are many different laws when it comes to product packaging, and they vary depending on the item and the destination country. As a manufacturer you are responsible for ensuring your packaging meets all the legal requirements, and that it will withstand any exposure to water, rough handling, or temperature variation during shipping.

Packaging for Export Purposes

If you are planning to sell your product overseas, it is vital to be fully aware of the packaging and labelling requirements of the destination country. This is especially important if you plan to ship your products in wooden crates or pallets, as the International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures require that all wooden packaging must be chemically treated in order to prevent the spread of disease and insects in foreign ecosystems. Be sure to check with the shipping department who will receive your product to find out what the inspection requirements are, and what information must be displayed on the outside of your item. If you think that your product may be opened for inspection before being shipped on to the end customer, be sure to use packaging that can be easily resealed and will prevent any damage to the product during inspection.

Stay on Top of Rules and Regulations

When labelling food and drink items, there are many rules and regulations which must be strictly adhered to. All packaging labels must include the name of the product and the ingredients list, the name and address of the manufacturer, the best before date, and instructions on how to store the item. There are strict laws which govern the use of terms such as ‘sugar free’ or ‘organic’, and it is an offence to make a false claim on an item that will be sold to the general public. If you intend to use chemical additives or GMO ingredients you must state this clearly on the label, and failure to do so could result in legal difficulties. It is also wise to include the nutritional content, and a small table giving information on the guideline daily allowance of ingredients such as salt, sugar, etc.

Frugal Packaging with Maximum Effectiveness

When designing packaging it is important to use the minimum amount of materials necessary to ensure safety and stability during shipping. If you will be producing many items and a large amount of packaging, then you are responsible for ensuring that the packaging can be ‘recovered’, and that it has minimal impact on the environment. It is not essential to produce your packaging and labels from completely recyclable materials, but it can work to your advantage as many customers are becoming more environmentally aware. Many businesses are now becoming proactive in the way that their waste is disposed, and will include recycling instructions on the label. By showing that you are a socially responsible manufacturer, you can access a whole new potential market and it may even help to increase your client base.

Oliver Sykes left his Wall Street job to make and sell pies. Now retired, he shares what he has learned by posting on various blogs.

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