Skip to content

How will the new language law affect the order of product labeling?


For many years after Ukraine's independence, the use of the state language was not regulated. On February 28, 2018, the Constitutional Court recognized the Law of Ukraine “On the Principles of State Language Policy”, the draft of which has been finalized since 2012, as unconstitutional.

On April 25, 2019, the Verkhovna Rada adopted the Law of Ukraine “On Ensuring the Functioning of the Ukrainian Language as the State Language” (hereinafter - the Law). It came into force on July 16, 2019, and some provisions will come into force in 3 years.

There is already a lot of news in the media that the new law will significantly affect all areas of public relations, including the procedure for product labeling and technical documentation of enterprises. We consider it necessary to understand in more detail whether this is really the case.

 Provisions on product labeling

As for the labeling of non-food products, there has always been a gap in the legislation, and in the new law there is only general provision, which provides for the provision of information to consumers about products (goods), works or services in the state language. This is a provision comes into force in January 2021

Much better situation with the regulation of food labeling.


Notwithstanding the provisions of the new Law, on August 6, 2019, the Law of Ukraine “On Information for Consumers on Food Products” came into force, which establishes that information on food products is provided in the state language, and the labeling of food products intended for export is carried out in accordance with the terms of the relevant export agreement.

In addition, there is a special Technical Regulation on the rules of food labeling, the requirements of which apply to the labeling (packaging) of prepacked food sold to the final consumer through the wholesale or retail trade network, as well as restaurants (restaurants, canteens, hospitals and other similar I bet). The provisions of this regulation provide that food labeling is performed in Ukrainian, and if necessary can be additionally applied in other languages.

In parallel with these regulations in Ukraine is the Law of Ukraine "On Basic Principles and Requirements for Food Safety and Quality", which states that all foodstuffs in circulation on the territory of Ukraine must be labeled in the state language.


Liability in the amount of 3 to 5 minimum wages (currently 12,519 to 20,865 hryvnias) has already been established for violating the order of food labeling. The Law “On Ensuring the Functioning of the Ukrainian Language as the State Language” provides for a fine in the amount of UAH 3,400 to 5,100 or a warning. As you can see, the difference is huge.

Thus, the labeling of food products has been regulated by law before, and the language law has not changed this procedure in any way.


According to the provisions of the Law, from July 2020 preparation of technical, design documentation in accordance with the contract to which the state-owned enterprise is a party must be carried out in the state language.

Exept this, technical and design documentation will be approved by state authorities, local governments, provided that it is prepared in the state language.

As we can see, innovations related to the language of technical documentation are significant in the context of interaction in government agencies. 

As for the internal documentation of enterprises, the provisions of the Law are ambiguous and need to be clarified. 

The law states that legal entities registered in Ukraine make decisions in the state language, but it is not clear which decisions of legal entities should be included in the state language. As this provision will come into force only in a year, it is possible that by that time we will have an official explanation from the state authorities.

For violation of the requirements of the law on the use of the state language in the technical and project documentation established administrative liability - a fine of UAH 3,400 to 5,100 or a warning. 

All relevant provisions of the Law liability for violation of the procedure for the use of the state language, take effect only after 3 years.

Thus, the Law "On Ensuring the Functioning of the Ukrainian Language as the State Language" does affect some legal relations in the field of providing information to consumers about products and services, as well as technical documentation of manufacturers, but these changes are not significant and most will not take effect soon.

Ksenia Zakharova, a lawyer at Bargen Law Firm

The article was published in the journal "Quality Management" №7 2019



Did you sign up for Business Lawyer?

A channel with legal advice and news for the successful development of your business

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website.


Leave the phone number