Food & Drink

Vantiamo una vasta esperienza in materia di politiche agro-alimentari. I nostri clienti rappresentano l’intera filiera agro-alimentare, dai produttori primari ai fornitori di fattori della produzione, dai produttori e rivenditori di alimenti alle varie categorie di consumatori.

Ci occupiamo di diritto alimentare comunitario e nazionale, così come di diritto alimentare internazionale, anche a livello di OMC e Codex Alimentarius. Abbiamo a che fare con le principali istituzioni dell’Unione Europea e dell’OMC in materia di accesso al mercato, accordi commerciali regionali, quali accordi sugli aspetti commerciali dei diritti di proprietà intellettuale, le misure sanitarie e fitosanitarie e le barriere tecniche al commercio.

Abbiamo collaborato, e ci siamo confrontati, con autorità statali e regolamentari. A livello nazionale, ci siamo occupati di Organizzazioni Comuni del Mercato, autorizzazioni di prodotti, uso di pesticidi, confezionamento ed etichettatura.

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7/04/2017

On 13 March the Commission has adopted a report (hereinafter, the “Report”) on the mandatory labelling of the list of ingredients and the nutrition declaration for alcoholic beverages. The Commissioner for Health and Safety, Vytenis Andriukaitis, said: “This report supports the right of people in the European Union to be fully informed about what they drink. Moreover, it does not identify any objective grounds justifying the absence of the list of ingredients and nutrition information on alcoholic beverages. The expansion of voluntary initiatives from the sector has already been ongoing and is brought to the fore in the report”.

This Report responds to the obligation set for the Commission by Article 16(4) of Regulation 1169/2011 on the provision of food information to consumers. The Regulation establishes the basis for a high level of consumer protection in relation to food information, ensuring that consumers are not misled by food labels and can make informed choices.

Under the current rules, unlike for other foods, the indication of the list of ingredients and the nutrition declaration is not mandatory for alcoholic beverages. With the nutrition declaration having become mandatory for the vast majority of pre-packed food as of 13 December 2016, the particular situation of alcoholic beverages is now even more salient. European consumers have therefore reduced access to the nutrition declaration and to the list of ingredients with the exception of ingredients which may have an allergenic effect.

Therefore, consumers are informed only when a substance or a product, amongst those listed in the Regulation as the most common allergens, is present in alcoholic beverages, like sulphites that are often added to wine.

However, other food ingredients which were not considered for the listing of substances that could trigger allergic reactions in certain groups of consumers are not in the Regulation and would therefore not be present on the label of alcoholic beverages due to the absence of a list of ingredients.

This approach does not seem to be entirely suitable given the recognition of the importance of information and the rights of citizens to be adequately informed of what they consume.

Regarding nutritional labelling, recital 42 of the Regulation encourages food business operators to provide on a voluntary basis the information contained in the nutrition declaration for foods such as alcoholic beverages for which the possibility should be given to declare only limited elements of the nutrition declaration.

Another EU provision on the labelling of alcoholic beverages is set out in Regulation (EU) No. 1308/2013 which provides on exhaustive set of technical standards which fully cover all oenological practices, manufacturing methods and means of presentation and labelling of wines.

In view of the lack of legal action in this area, some Member States have adopted national rules requesting partial indication of ingredients for certain alcoholic drinks. Even if the provisions for the nutrition declaration are fully harmonised, some Member States are also notifying national measures addressing the nutrition declaration for alcoholic beverages. Such behaviour contributes to an increased risk of market fragmentation.

The Report shows that the sector is more and more prepared to provide responses to consumers’ expectation to know what they are drinking. This is demonstrated by the expansion of concerted or independent voluntary initiatives developed and implemented by the sector to provide consumers with information on the list of ingredients, the energy value and/or the full nutrition declaration on or off label. It has to be particularly noted that a rising number of alcoholic beverages present on the EU market already bear the full nutrition declaration.

On the basis the Report, the EU alcoholic drinks industry should propose, within a year, a harmonised approach aiming to provide consumers with information about the ingredients present in alcoholic beverages and the nutritional value of alcoholic beverages. This proposal will be assessed by the Commission. Should the Commission consider the self-regulatory approached proposed by the industry as unsatisfactory, it would then launch an impact assessment to review further available options in line with Better Regulation principles.

In line with the need of transparency on foodstuffs, the European Parliament adopted on 15 March its position on the new Regulation on Official Controls (hereinafter, the “OC Regulation”), proposed by the European Commission to increase Member States’ ability to prevent, eliminate or reduce health risks to humans, animals and plants. The OC Regulation provides a package of measures that will strengthen the enforcement of health and safety standards as an international reference for integrated rules covering the whole agri-food chain.

The new rules aim at modernising and simplifying the European control system to ensure that food in the European Union is safe along the entire agri-food chain. They overhaul the current system and will provide a single framework for all official controls.

From one hand, EU citizens will benefit from safer products and more effective and more transparency on how controls are carried out to ensure food safety and high standards for plant health, animal health and welfare and to prevent the fraud. From another hand, businesses and authorities will benefit from reduced administrative burdens and more efficient processes.

Official controls, undertaken by competent authorities in each Member State, serve to check whether these rules are correctly implemented. It consists in checks performed by Member States in order to verify that businesses comply with agri-food chain rules. These rules cover the safety and quality of food and feed and also apply to agri-food chain products entering the EU from third countries and via the Internet. Consequently, e-commerce must be part of official controls. The OC Regulation aims to tackle food fraud. This includes checking compliance against marketing standards for agricultural products. Financial penalties for fraud will need to reflect the expected economic gain or a percentage of the turnover made by fraudulent operator.

The previous regulation, adopted in 2004, initiated the integration of rules on official controls. The OC Regulation, proposed by the Commission in 2013, takes it further in providing comprehensive risk-based control rules along the agri-food chain. This will allow national authorities to put their resources where they are most needed.

The OC Regulation will enter into force 20 days after its publication in the Official Journal of the EU. The rules will be gradually phased in to give EU countries and industry the time to adapt.

 

Europe Must Go On 

The 60th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome sees the EU much changed from its early origins. We have moved from an economic community to a Union based on civil and human rights and the values common to the peoples of Europe. It has been, and is, a great success.

However it is clear that the Union is not without its troubles on this important anniversary. The Brexit negotiations are about to start. There are nationalist and decentralizing tendencies in many Member States and important elections in Germany and France. There are real problems of immigration and the absence of, or the uneven distribution of, economic growth.

These problems should not daunt us. Our fathers in the integration process faced greater problems. They sought to make peace and to make an institution to guarantee peace from the ashes of the most destructive of European wars.

What we must do is face up to our problems and resolve them. We have great shoulders to stand on. We have been given the evolving EU treaties, the Single Market, a strong Court of Justice in Luxembourg, good competition law, the rights of citizens, in other words a strong legal framework.

This is no time for faintheartedness. We must move on with courage and ensure that the Union is with us for more than another 60 years.

 

In questo numero, analizziamo una pronuncia del Consiglio di Stato secondo la quale non sarebbe necessaria la pubblicazione sulla Gazzetta UE dell’istanza di proroga di una concessione portuale. I terzi eventualmente interessati a presentare offerte concorrenti sarebbero garantiti, infatti, dalla possibilità di potersi preventivamente informare circa la scadenza della concessione e dalla istruttoria della Autorità Portuale (oggi Autorità di Sistema Portuale), che dovrà rispettare il principio dell’affidamento al soggetto che offre le «maggiori garanzie di proficua utilizzazione della concessione».

Approfondiamo poi le differenze nel diritto italiano tra un contratto di trasporto e un contratto di appalto avente ad oggetto l’esecuzione di trasporti. È importante qualificare correttamente il tipo di rapporto e qui spieghiamo il perché.

Passiamo, poi, ad esaminare due recenti sentenze dei Tribunali Amministrativi Regionali. La prima decisione riguarda le possibili modalità di assentimento delle concessioni demaniali marittime. La seconda statuisce l’applicabilità del Codice dei Contratti Pubblici anche alla gestione degli interporti con le inevitabili conseguenze che brevemente ricordiamo.

Alla luce della prossima entrata in vigore della Convenzione IMO per il controllo e la gestione delle acque di zavorra, esaminiamo le prevedibili ripercussioni per il settore armatoriale. Uno dei problemi più rilevanti consiste nel fatto che, ad oggi, mancano chiare indicazioni di come rendere le navi compliant rispetto alla nuova normativa. Vi sono, poi, Stati che hanno normative più stringenti rispetto alla Convenzione IMO. Il rischio è quindi quello di investire in apparecchiature che potrebbero non essere ritenute idonee.

Una recente sentenza della Corte di Cassazione ci consente di fare un breve punto sul tema del mancato pagamento di un premio assicurativo e la conseguente sospensione della garanzia. La Suprema Corte, in particolare, afferma la sussistenza della copertura assicurativa qualora il sinistro si verifichi entro il «periodo di tolleranza», a prescindere dal pagamento della successiva rata di premio.

In materia aeroportuale, la Suprema Corte ha aperto le porte alla possibile configurazione di nuovi profili di responsabilità in capo all’ENAC, l’ente che sovraintende alla attività aereoportuale e della navigazione aerea in Italia, nel caso di inadeguata manutenzione della pista che abbia creato danno ad un aeromobile.

Infine, concludiamo con la consueta rassegna delle notizie dal mondo del lavoro marittimo e portuale. La notizia di maggior rilievo è il rinnovo, in Italia, del contratto collettivo nazionale dei dirigenti delle Agenzie Maritime, che ha portato un miglioramento della situazione corrente.

Ringraziamo i nostri colleghi dell’ufficio di Bruxelles per il loro consueto aggiornamento sulle azioni più significative delle istituzioni dell’UE adottate in materia di trasporti e di commercio intenzionale.

Troverete, infine, un primo elenco dei prossimi eventi previsti nelle nostre sedi di Milano e di Roma, oltre al consueto update sulle attività dello Studio nel bimestre passato.

Per la Cassazione non è fattibile il concordato se il piano non specifica le modalità di attuazione
La Corte di Cassazione (n. 4915 del 27 febbraio 2017) ha ribadito che il Tribunale può sindacare la «causa concreta» del concordato preventivo, interpretando in senso estensivo il criterio della assoluta, manifesta inettitudine del piano del debitore a raggiungere gli obiettivi prefissati.

Spettano ai creditori tutte le risorse generate dalla prosecuzione dell’attività nel concordato con continuità aziendale ?

Il Tribunale di Firenze (2 novembre 2016) ha confermato che il debitore può conservare parte dell’attivo, in un’ottica di favore verso il risanamento dell’impresa ed in deroga ai principi della responsabilità patrimoniale.

Cram down ex art. 182-septies l.fall. se l’accordo è conveniente per la banca rispetto al fallimento

 La recente decisione del Tribunale di Padova (31 dicembre 2016) viene messa a raffronto con i pochi precedenti editi in tema di estensione degli effetti degli accordi di ristrutturazione dei debiti a creditori finanziari non aderenti.

Trade features significantly in this first edition of Across the EUniverse for the year 2017. It cannot be otherwise. US President Trump has said that he will change US trade policy building barriers to market access and forcing US companies to manufacture at home. China President Xi has said that China promotes barrier free trade so long as the barriers are in third countries (not in China). The EU is in the process of reforming its trade defence instruments and digesting how a post Brexit world will look.

This change in trade is evidence of wider change that is taking place around us and which is likely to continue into 2017. There will be federal elections in Germany and national elections in France. If Italy gets to change its electoral law there may well be an election in Italy. Will the forces that backed President Trump in the US win in the EU as well. The country most likely to change is the Netherlands, once a bastion of openness but now toying with the idea of giving the most votes to an anti-Islam party.

In this issue we look at the legal debate concerning an Italian exit from the Euro; a comparison between Trump and Xi approach on the concept of trade; some consequences of the excessive length of court proceeding; we also examine the advantages of the new italian “rent to buy” agreement; as well as the Multilateral Investment Court; an overview of the service sector; a further examination of the trade consequences of Brexit and finally the advantages or disadvantages of enhancing the bilateral framework between EU and US in the field of energy.

As we settle into 2017 the drama of Brexit and Trump seem to have eased somewhat. While the drama might have lifted it doesn’t mean that the complexities that these two phenomena have introduced and are introducing into the practice of law have gone away. In fact, the more we reflect on what needs to be done to achieve Brexit the less clear the situation is. This week President Trump will outline what he means by the Wall and taxes on imports of goods. From a WTO law point of view it can only be disruptive and even destructive. The drama might have gone but the work is only beginning. In this issue we have a range of contributions covering how the Russian constitutional court has reacted to the European Court of Human Rights rulings in favour of the owners of Yukos, the OECD’s review of its own bribery rules, the EU’s new proposed ePrivacy Regulation, how the European Court of Auditors confirms our understanding of the responsibilities and obligations of Port Authorities in relation to concessionaires. We explain the new Italian Save the Banks decree and show how the EU Commission has a strong role in every step of the process and look at how the Commission proposes disciplining insurance distribution agents.

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