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March 04, 2019

Article 3-bis of Law no. 12/2019 - Food labeling: change of the legislation concerning the origin place or provenance of food products

Parliament in converting the so-called "simplification" into law, made changes to the provisions concerning the indication of the place of origin or provenance of food products. 

With the article 3-bis of the Law of conversion of the Decree Law of 14 December 2018 n. 135, concerning urgent provisions for support and simplification for companies, the national legislation that laid down provisions concerning the indication of the place of origin or provenance of food products was modified.

The provisions envisaged by the Law in question, enter into force three months after the date of notification of the Decree which will identify the specific categories of food for which it will be required to indicate the place of origin to the European Parliament and Council. The notification date will be communicated by publication in the Official Gazette of the Italian Republic.

Provisions envisaged by the Simplification Law

The law in question provides that:

  • with a special Decree of the Minister of Agricultural, Food and Forestry Policies, in agreement with the Minister of Economic Development and the Minister of Health, cases are defined where the indication of the place of provenance of foodstuffs becomes mandatory;
  • with the Decree in question will be identified the specific categories of food for which it will be required to indicate the place of origin;
  • in implementation of the Community provisions on food labeling, the Ministry of Agricultural, Food, Forestry and Tourism Policies will provide:
    -) carry out specific studies to identify the presence of a link between the quality of the food and its provenance;
    -) evaluate to what extent the indication of the place of provenance is perceived as significant and when its omission is misleading;
  • the results of the consultations and studies will be made public and transmitted to the European Commission together with the notification of the relevant Decree;the indication of the place of provenance is always mandatory:
    -) in the event that the omission of such an indication may mislead the consumer as to the country of origin or the place of provenance of the food, in particular if the information accompanying the food or contained in the label in the they can make people think that food has a different country of origin or place of origin;
    -) where the country of origin or place of provenance of a food is indicated by any means, such as statements, illustrations, symbols or terms referring to geographical locations or areas, with the exception of the geographical terms appearing in usual and generic names , when such terms literally indicate the origin, but whose common interpretation is not an indication of the country of origin or place of provenance.The provisions in question apply from April 1, 2020;
  • for violations of the provisions concerning the mandatory indication of origin or provenance established by the law in question and by the implementing decrees, the sanctions provided for by Legislative Decree 15 December 2017 no. 231.

 

Products subject to national indicationRecall that until March 31, 2020, are subject to the obligation to indicate the place of origin or provenance:

  • the raw material for milk and dairy products;
  • rice;
  • durum wheat for durum wheat semolina pasta;
  • tomato.