APPLYING FOR THE RIGHT TO USE THE ALLERGY LABEL
To apply for the right to use the Allergy Label, simply send an application letter including the following information:
- Details of your business (name, address, business identity code, contact person, email, www)
- Description of the business and its products (history, sector, products for which the mark is being applied for, reseller locations and estimated annual turnover generated with the products)
- Product details (full composition details: INCI names, CAS numbers and content levels). 2 samples of each product are also required.
- Test results and copies of certificates
- Marketing material, user instructions (for technical devices)
The Allergy Label application and enclosures should be sent by email, with attachment file names indicating the content of each attachment.
Expert assessment procedure, timeline and charges
The expert assessment procedure for granting the right to use the Allergy Label mark takes 6-8 weeks. Assessments are carried out as the need arises, and an assessment may include several products of the same company. The expert assessment fees payable per assessment are as follows:
- 1-6 products: €1250
- more than 6 products: €2500
- or €250 per hour spent on an individual product assessment, change assessments, audits or presentations
If a product/product series, service or technical device receives a positive assessment opinion, the right to use the Allergy Label is granted under a specific agreement to this effect. The agreement is for a 2-year term, and a licence fee for the right to use the mark is charged according to the declared turnover figure.
The licence fee schedule for the Allergy Label starts at €3700 p.a. for turnover of less than €200,000 p.a., then increasing to €5000 p.a. for turnover of up to €850,000 p.a. The maximum licence fee is €45,000 p.a., for a turnover in excess of €10 million. Fees between these amounts are charged for turnover figures of up to €1.7 million p.a., up to €3.5 million p.a., and over €3.5 million p.a. Each product group is also assigned an “allergy profile”, indicating the product’s significance in people’s everyday lives, i.e. whether it is used on a daily basis, and for how long.
The expert assessment procedure for granting the right to use the Allergy Label takes place in two phases:
- Allergy risk assessment: this is an internal assessment process, involving determination of the product’s allergy profile, examination of the product samples and composition details, and the exclusion from the external assessment process of any products that clearly would be immediately rejected as not meeting the criteria.
External validation assessment: products that are not eliminated in the internal assessment process are referred for the external validation assessment, conducted by sector experts according to the nature of the product being assessed. The experts may be dermatologists, chemists, allergists, cosmetics allergy experts, indoor air quality experts or researchers, paediatricians or food specialists, for example. The product is rejected if doubts as to the allergy safety of the product, for example, arise at any stage of the assessment process. Other grounds for rejection are the failure to provide sufficient information on the product’s ingredients or constituents, or if the raw materials of the product are found in the external endorsement assessment to cause an allergy risk. The external experts decide whether or not the right to use the Allergy Label is to be granted in each case, providing a statement of the medical grounds for approval or rejection.
Allergy Label also collaborates with impartial testing bodies and expert organisations, such as the VTT Technical Research Centre, the TTS work productivity institute, the Finnish Food Safety Authority, the Finnish Consumer Authority, the Finnish Cosmetic and Detergent Association, occupational health institutes and others, as the need arises.
Allergy Label® logo
Allergy Label is a registered and protected trademark. The logo shows a cumulus cloud, a swallow and the text “Yhteistyössä Allergia-, Iho- ja Astmaliiton kanssa” (= in partnership with the Finnish Allergy, Skin and Asthma Federation). The logo is referred to as the “Allergy Label”. Permission to use the mark must be obtained on a case-by-case basis from the Finnish Allergy, Skin and Asthma Federation. The Allergy Label is quite distinct from the foundation’s commercial logo, whose use in place of the official Allergy Label is strictly prohibited. Logos and instructions for use, including the colour specifications, are available from the Finnish Allergy, Skin and Asthma Federation.
Allergy marks and logos used in other countries
A variety of international and commercial allergy marks are currently in use around the world. Each of these marks has its own national assessment procedures, criteria and right of use agreements. This means that the allergy safety marks used in other countries do not correspond to the Finnish Allergy Label, and products MAY NOT BE SOLD IN FINLAND bearing these other allergy marks. These marks would mislead the consumer, and the product in question could well contain allergenic constituents, ingredients or fragrances. There have been cases of marks used on the Finnish market that differ significantly from the Allergy Label, and are not based on impartial expert appraisals. If a business has obtained an allergy safety mark in another country and then applies for the Allergy Label in Finland, this may however speed up the application process in this country. There is no Europe-wide allergy safety logo, because the criteria in southern European countries are significantly different from those in the Nordic countries. The reason for this is that allergies and sensitivities are often country-specific. For example, around 30% of the Finnish population suffer from atopic dermatitis, as compared with only minimal incidence in southern Europe.
Wrongful use of the Allergy Label
Wrongful use of the Allergy Label has the effect of misleading the consumer. Unauthorised use of the mark incurs a minimum fine of €5000, for the lowest Allergy Label licence fee category. If the Allergy Label is used for marketing purposes after expiry of the right of use agreement under the agreement conditions, and the company continues such misleading marketing in spite of a warning (also applicable to its resellers), it incurs payment of a fine as per the agreement provisions on wrongful use of the mark.
Page last updated: 17.2.2021