FratiniVergano’s latest issue of Trade Perspectives© is published
The first article addresses the issue of Geographical Indications (GIs), in particular in view of an upcoming bilateral agreement on GIs to be concluded between the EU and China, as well as allegation of food fraud concerning GI protected Parma and San Daniele ham in Italy. The article provides some background information on the EU’s GI scheme and its economic value. In a first part, the article then analyses the alleged food fraud in Italy and details the relevant EU legislation. The articles notes the difficulties in the enforcement of the GI scheme. In a second part, the article provides further information and analysis on the bilateral agreement on GIs to be concluded between the EU and China. The article concludes that interested parties should be part of the debate and reach out to the relevant officials, so as to ensure that their business interests are properly considered, be it for the enforcement of the GI rules in EU Member States and in other countries or within the context of the negotiations of dedicated GI agreements.
The second article discusses the continuing debate surrounding the use of crop-based biofuels, in light of recent comments by a senior natural recourses officer with the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation. The article first reviews the comments, including that crop-based biofuels are not necessarily bad for food, and that “oversimplified and sweeping statements” do not reflect reality. The article then places the discussion in the context of the EU’s Renewable Energy Directive (RED), in particular the potential WTO-inconsistency of the Directive, as well as the practical need for first generation biofuels (e.g., palm oil) to be appropriately built into the EU’s energy framework so that it can meet its climate change objectives. The article concludes by urging interested stakeholders to take appropriate steps to ensure that this be done.
The third article addresses the recent judgment of the Court of Justice of the EU, in which it dismissed an appeal of Dextro Energy with respect to the 2016 judgment of the General Court. The original decision found that the Commission had not erred in concluding that certain health claims, for which authorisation was sought, encouraged the consumption of sugar, given that such encouragement is incompatible with generally accepted nutrition and health principles. The article analyses the judgment in light of the judgment in Neptune Distribution and concludes that the provisions of the Nutrition and Health Claims Regulation (NHCR) aim at ensuring a high level of consumer protection, at guaranteeing adequate and transparent information for the consumer, at ensuring fair trading, and at protecting human health. However, information that is incomplete, ambiguous or misleading, which may mislead the consumer, cannot be protected by the freedom of expression, the freedom of information and the entrepreneurial freedom.
Trade Perspectives© is available for full reading at the following link. With this fortnightly publication, we intend to regularly provide readers with a set of recent international trade developments of particular commercial and regulatory interest. Our focus is on those matters that are set to become contentious trade issues or which should be followed closely by traders, government officials, lawyers, consultants and all other concerned parties. Trade Perspectives© does not constitute legal advice and is not, therefore, intended to be relied on or to create any client/lawyer relationship. For new recipients to be added to our circulation list, please contact us at: TradePerspectives@FratiniVergano.eu.