Food Supplements - What is the typical lead-time for notification in the EU?

Notification procedures for food supplements are not harmonized between the individual EU member states. In member states where no notification is required, food supplements can be marketed within 2-3 if all required information is available and correct for the intended market. In member states that require notification lead-times largely depend on the local authorities and can take several months.

Processing by the local authorities is most time critical

Very often the processing of notifications by the local authorities after submission is time-wise the most critical. Lead times typically vary from 1 week to 3 months, and in exceptional cases may take up to 6 months. Authority notification fees vary up to €250,- per product.

Successful product notification is not to be considered final proof of compliance. In the UK, Netherlands, Austria and Sweden there is no obligation to notify food supplements. Whether or not notification is required, product safety and compliance is managed based on self-regulation and in market inspections by the local authorities.

Delays before notification or active marketing where no notification is required, are mostly caused by information/documents that need to be chased internally or at suppliers, when testing needs to be performed and/or when labelling including claims need to be adjusted.