- Labeling Requirements
- Packaging Requirements
- Copyright and/or Trademark Laws
- Import Procedures
- Government Regulatory Agency Contacts
- Moroccan Beverage Importers
- The information in this guide was obtained from external sources, including the websites of various governmental agencies and organizations, direct contact with those agencies and organizations, and from Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) Attaché reports. Consequently, the accuracy of this information depends upon the accuracy of the sources.
- TTB is not responsible for the content of external websites.
- This website was last updated on September 29, 2010.
The basic law dealing with labeling in Morocco was published on June 6, 2002. Several requirements are included in this law among them the use of Arabic language and the printing of the importers names on labels.
In general, the law requires that the imported food, whether sold or distributed freely, be labeled in such a way that it is not confusing to the consumer, especially regarding the nature, identity, species, quality, quantity, composition, useful products contents, durability, conservation, origin, and processing methods.
Arabic Labeling Requirement
The implementation of the Arabic requirement has been facing some difficulties, which forced the government to be more flexible during the first few years of the entry into force of the regulation. However, it is obvious that the Arabic labeling has become more common and exporters should try hard to meet this requirement.
For most products, stick-on labels are accepted to comply with the Arabic label requirement. Stick-on labels must be approved by the Ministry of Agriculture and are to be put on products upon their arrival to Morocco in the importer’s facility.
Exceptions for Arabic Labeling
The regulation that exempts some products from the Arabic labeling requirement has not been yet published but this list has already been circulating. Thus Arabic labeling will likely not be required for the following:
- Alcoholic Beverages
- Local and Imported products that are distributed or exhibited as samples and are not for sale and for which the professional must provide evidence.
Explicitly, the food labeling regulation in Morocco requires the following:
- Net quantity: The Net Weight or Net volume must be indicated. It is not necessary for food products when the quantity is less than 5 grams or 5 milliliters except for spices and aromatic
plants. When a food product is presented in cover liquid the net drained weight must
- Production and expiry date (see section below).
- Indication of any special storage conditions.
- Name and address of the manufacturer, the packager, or the importer depending whether the product is imported, locally manufactured, or locally packaged.
a. Name of the importer for imported products;
b. Name of the manufacturer for locally made products;
c. Name of the packager for the locally packaged products.
- Place of origin, if omitting it would generate confusion for the buyer as to the origin.
- Alcohol volume title for drinks that are over 1.2 % of alcohol in volume.
In addition to the general Decree above that sets the basic rules for labeling, there are rules that are specific to some products.
Although imports of alcoholic beverages can be done theoretically by any importer, their marketing, sale, storage, and handling are subject to strict government control. Marketing of wines at the wholesale and retail levels is subject to a special license from the Ministry of Agriculture and to the local authorities (Ministry of Interior). Alcoholic beverages can be sold only at licensed retail and wholesale points.
Alcoholic beverage bottles of more than 25 cc, except wines, whisky, and beers, whether produced locally or imported cannot be distributed to retailers or end-users unless a “Control Stamp” is stuck on the cap of each bottle. The stamp should be long enough to cover part of the bottleneck and should be stuck so that the stamp number remains readable (Ministry of Finance Decision, 723-96, April 12, 1996, Official Bulletin 4383).
Morocco’s regulations recognize four categories of wine (Decree 275-321 of 8/12/77):
“Old Wine” that is over 25 months old and “Selected Wine” that is over 13 months old.
“Vintage Wine”: includes the “Guaranteed Vintage Wine”, the “Controlled Vintage Wine” and the “Local Wine” which are produced under conditions and areas determined by the Ministry of Agriculture.
“Ordinary wines”: Alcoholic content must be at least 12 percent in order to be imported and marketed in Morocco. The law also explicitly prohibits the sale of wines that have alcohol content of less than 12 percent (of volume). The characters specifying the type of wine must be at least 5 millimeters high. The labels “Red Wine”, “White Wine”, “Rosé”, “Table Wine”, and “Mixed Wine” can be used.
The origin labeled wines can be imported into Morocco if they comply with the regulations prevailing at the country of origin. (Ministry of Agriculture Decision 736-96, of June 27, 1996, published in the official bulletin 4384).
Recently the Ministry of Agriculture published a regulation that defines the conditions that wine must meet before it can include the denomination of “Chateau” on the label (Ministry of Agriculture decision 815-04, October 14, 2004, Published in the Official Bulletin 5266 of November 18, 2004).
Labeling and marketing of wine is subject to the basic law issued by the Ministry of Agriculture (Decree 2-75-321 issued on August 12, 1977). Alcohol content must be specified in unit or half units and should not differ by more than 0.5 percent of the content determined by analysis. Non-origin labeled sparkling wines cannot be sold unless the label “Sparkling Wine” is indicated on the bottle. The size of the characters should be at least half of the size of the largest characters used on the label.
Origin labeled wines must have the following information on their label: 1) geographical denomination, 2) the labels “Origin label guaranteed” or “Guaranteed vintage wine” 3) brand name printed in readable characters. 4) Alcohol content 5) name and address of the bottler printed in characters not exceeding two-thirds the size of the characters used to print the geographical denomination.
Bottling of wine is subject to strict requirements. Ordinary wines and common wine can be sold in 1 liter glass bottle or 1.5 liters PVC bottle. Guaranteed vintage wines, old wine, origin labeled wines can be marketed only in glass bottles of specific sizes (75 cc, 37.5 cc, 72 cc and 18 cc) (Article 19 of the 275-321 law on wine marketing). Sparkling wine bottles must have a capacity of 80 cc or 40 cc.
A certificate of origin and a certificate of laboratory analysis are required by the Ministry of Agriculture for imported of origin labeled wines.
Other Alcoholic Beverages
The Ministry of Agriculture amended the regulation regarding the marketing of spirits and similar products (Minister of Agriculture Decision 1628-07 dated August 22, 2007) modifying the May 16, 1916 decision, Official Bulletin 558 of September 6, 2007, Page 1028). Major additions and changes are:
- The denomination “Mahia” that can be used only for brandy issued from fermented figs / dates and aniseed with no ethylic alcohol being added.
- Marketing of alcoholic drinks using designations such as “type”, “style”, “taste”, “brand”, “fantasy” is prohibited.
- Imports, processing, bottling, and trading of alcoholic beverages is subject to a license from the Ministry of Agriculture that will be delivered following authorization of the local authorities (prefecture or province level).
- The Minimum alcohol content by volume must be (in %): Whisky, pastis and Mahia 40; Rum, Wine Brandy, raisin brandy, Fruits Brandy, Gin, Vodka 37.5; Brandy 36 ; anis and spirits from grains 35; spirits drinks from fruit 25; aniseed spirits 15; and spirits called “Mixed Drinks” 5 percent.
- The labeling of spirits must include:
- Commercial Name,
- Net Volume;
- Acquired alcoholometry volume;
- Name and address of the importer for imported products);
- List of ingredient for the spirits drinks other than natural brandies.
- Validity date for drinks having less than 10 percent of alcohol in volume.
- Processing Lot number.
- Place of origin if omitting it creates confusion in the buyers’ mind as to the origin of the product.
Wine and Alcoholic Beverages
Bottling of wine is subject to strict requirements. Ordinary wines and common wine can be sold in 1 liter glass bottle or 1.5 liters PVC bottle. Guaranteed vintage wines, old wine, origin labeled wines can be marketed only in glass bottles of specific sizes (75 cc, 37.5 cc, 72 cc and 18 cc).Article 19 of the 275-321 law on wine marketing). Sparkling wine bottles must have a capacity of 80 cc or 40 cc.
The Ministry of Agriculture revised the regulation regarding the marketing of spirits and similar products (Minister of Agriculture Decision 1628-07 dated August 22, 2007) modifying the May 16, 1916 decision, Official Bulletin 558 of September 6, 2007, Page 1028). Spirits drinks can be sold only in glass and polyethylene bottles of the following sizes (centiliters): 5, 20, 25, 35, 37.5, 50, 70, 75, 100, 150, and 200 or any bigger size provided that the size increases by tranches of 50 centiliters.
Morocco is a member of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and signed several international agreements for intellectual property rights protection.
The law 31/05 amending and supplementing the law 17/97 relating to the protection of industrial property adopted by the Parliament on December the 14th, 2005 is published in the official bulletin n° 5397 of February 20th, 2006. This law comprises provisions, which reinforce the system of the industrial property in Morocco, in particular those relating to the opposition system of trademarks, measurements at the borders and the national register of the geographical indications and appellations of origin.
Under the law #25-06 mentioned above, all food and agricultural products with a distinctive signs of
origin and quality are protected. The Moroccan Office of the Industrial and Commercial Property (OMPIC) is a key member of the distinctive signs National Commission (article 17 of the law).
Foreign companies enjoy trademarks and brand protection in Morocco as stipulated by the Madrid April 14, 1891, Protocol. Exporters from countries not signatory of the Madrid Arrangement must apply through a resident in Morocco to have their trademarks and brand names registered.
Detailed guides for registration can be obtained through FAS- Rabat Office or directly from:
Office Marocain de la Propriété Industrielle et Commerciale (OMPIC)
Route Secondaire 114, Km 9.5, route de Nouaceur, Sidi Maarouf, Casablanca
Tél: (212-52) 233-5486 Fax: (212-52) 233-5480
Web site: http://www.ompic.org.ma
The basic regulation for inspection of food and agricultural products imported into Morocco is the joint Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Agriculture Circular # 1. This circular gives Ministry of Agriculture inspectors and Customs Officials authority to inspect imported food and agricultural products.
Depending on their nature (animal, plant, raw, or processed) imported products are inspected by different divisions. In major ports (Casablanca, Agadir, and Tangier), the importer deals with one Ministry of Agriculture office, the DCQ (Direction de Contrôle de la Qualité) and the dispatch of the file is done internally depending of the type of product.
Typically, the clearing process through DCQ inspectors consists of up to three major steps based on the familiarity with commodity, importer’s experience, and sometimes the origin.
a) Checking the import documents;
b) Physical control of the commodity, and
c) Drawing of sample for more detailed laboratory analysis.
DCQ inspectors issue a certificate that authorizes the importer to clear customs. Customs Officers will not authorize the goods into the country without a certificate issued at the point of entry by the DCQ inspectors.
Dr. Hamid BENAZZOU, Directeur de la DSSPA
Ministère de l’Agriculture et de la Pêche Maritime
Direction de la Sécurité Sanitaire des Produits Alimentaires (DSSPA)
Avenue Haj Ahmed Cherkaoui- Agdal-Rabat- Morocco
Phone: (212-5) 37 68 13 51/ (212-6) 75 39 94 51
Fax : (212-5) 37 68 20 49
Direction du Contrôle de la Qualité (DCQ) - Port Casablanca
Port de Commerce de Casablanca, Morocoo
Phone: (212-2) 231-7047 Fax: (212-2) 231-8648
Port Food and Agricultural Products Inspection, Ministry of Agriculture
M. Ahmed BEN TOUHAMI, Directeur DDFP
Ministère de l’Agriculture et de la Pêche Maritime
Direction de Développement des Filières de Production
Station Dbagh, Av. Hassan II, BP.595; Rabat, Morocco
212-5) 37 69 42 00/ (Phone: . (212-5) 37 69 99 45 Fax : (212-5) 37 69 00 15
OTHER IMPORT SPECIALIST CONTACTS
Agricultural Affairs Office-Rabat
PSC 74, Box 002. APO AE 09718
Contact: Hassan F. Ahmed, Agricultural Attaché
Abdessalam Cherkaoui, Agricultural Specialist
Phone: (212-53) 776-2265 Fax :( 212-53) 776-5493
USDA/FAS, U.S. Agricultural Export Promotion, U.S. Embassy, Rabat
This list is supplied by the USDA-FAS and is for your information only. TTB is not responsible for its use and is not liable for any not not liable for any consequences that might result from its use. TTB does not claim the list is exhaustive and does not endorse or guarantee any contact on this list. Information for contacts may have changed.
You may contact the following USDA-FAS Office for additional assistance:
Foreign Agricultural Service, Rabat, Morocco
Phone: (212-53) 776-2265 ext. 2083; Fax: (212-53) 776-5493
When dialing from outside Morocco replace the first zero with 212.
Atlantic Foods - Groupe KAT
Contact: OUAZZANI Kamil
Address: Espace Porte Anfa, 3 Rue Bab Mansour,
Batiment C, Etage 1, No 123
Phone: (052) 236-3907/236-3925
Fax: (052) 236-3834
Aux Grandes Marques
Contact: KAKON Andre
Address: Quartier Guathier
Phone: (052) 247-4521
Fax: (052) 229-5344
Contact: LAMRANI Said
Address: 72 Boulevard Ibn Tachfine
Phone: (052) 230-7554
Fax: (052) 230-4570
Contact: BILLE Boris
Address: 12, Rue Saad Ibnou Ouakkass
Casablanca 20300, Morocco
Phone: (052) 262-1275/262-1142
Fax: (052) 262-1673
Contact: HAZAN Aime
Address: 26-28, Rue Abdellah El Mediouni
Phone: (052) 220-5674
Fax: (052) 222-2572
Foods & Goods
Contact: BENHAIM George Emmanuel
President Directeur General
Address: Blvrd Chefchaouni, Route 110, Km 12,5
No 47, Fuesenta, Ain Sebaa
Phone: (052) 266-5087/266-5091
Fax: (052) 266-5085/227-7449
Menalco Food of Morocco
Contact: LEMLIH Abdellah
Address: 144, Quartier Industriel Sidi Ghanem
Phone: (052) 433-8000
Fax: (052) 433-5020
Contact: LINARES Tony
Address: Allee des Citronniers, BP 2553,
Phone: (052) 235-0801
Fax: (052) 235-8310/235-1223
Contact: SERGHINI Nabil
Address: 32, Rue Lieutenant Mahroud Mohamed
Phone: (052) 231-0772
Fax: (052) 224-0212
Contact: KHALILI Bouchaib
Address: 50, Rue Karatchi
Phone: (052) 231-8174/244-9746
Fax: (052) 231-8154
Vaissiere & Amar, S.A.
Contact: EL ARABI Driss
Address: 3, Rue Abdelouhab Az-zaqqaq
Phone: (052) 230-1314/230-1403
Fax: (052) 230-5935
E-mail: --- none