On 22 April 2016 the German ministries for consumer protection agreed on the definitions of the terms “vegan” and “vegetarian” as follows:
(1) Vegan foods do not contain animal derived products. Animal derived products may not be added at any stage of processing in terms of
irrespective of being used in a processed or unprocessed form.
(2) Vegetarian food must comply with paragraph 1 of this article with the exemption of the following substances:
irrespective of being used in their natural state, in form of their constituents parts or processed.
(3) Unintentional contaminations/traces of products which do not comply with § 1 and 2 of this article are no legal obstacles for the labelling of these terms, provided that the contaminations/traces are unavoidable in a good manufacturing practice.
(4) Paragraph 1 to 3 also applies to terms other than “vegan” and “vegetarian” but with a similar meaning and/or to synonyms.
On 24 March 2016 the district court of Trier ruled that “Vegan Cheese” is not allowed to be used, because according to Regulation (EU) 1308/2103 the term “cheese is exclusively reserved for products on the basis of milk.