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Cocoa and Chocolate

In this section, you can find legislation and guidance for cocoa and chocolate products.

The EU Directive 2000/36/EC relating to cocoa and chocolate products (this opens in a new tab) intended for human consumption lays down rules for the composition and labelling of cocoa and chocolate products and defines different categories of chocolate products, including:

  • chocolate:
  • milk chocolate:
  • family milk chocolate:
  • white chocolate:
  • filled chocolate; etc.

Cocoa and chocolate products may not be marketed in the EU unless they comply with the definitions and rules laid down in the Directive. 

The legislation allows for the use, in the production of chocolate, of six tropical vegetable fats to a maximum 5 % of the chocolate component in the finished product.

Chocolate products containing vegetable fats other than cocoa butter must be labelled appropriately, including the statement 'contains vegetable fats in addition to cocoa butter'.

In addition to the labelling requirements set out in the Directive, these products must also comply with the general requirements set out in Regulation (EU) No 1169/2011 (this opens in a new tab) on the provision of food information to consumers.

EU legislation

European Parliament and Council Directive 2000/36/EC (this opens in a new tab) (OJ L 197, p19, 3.08.2000) of 23 June 2000 relating to cocoa and chocolate products intended for human consumption.

National legislation

European Communities (Marketing of Cocoa and Chocolate Products) Regulations 2003 (this opens in a new tab) (S.I. No. 236 of 2003)