FratiniVergano’s latest issue of Trade Perspectives© is published
The first article addresses the EU’s efforts to modernise its trade relations with Latin American countries. The article first addresses the final stage of negotiations between the EU and Mercosur countries, as well as between the EU and Mexico. In particular, it analyses the remaining issues currently impeding the conclusion of negotiations. The article then discusses the initial textual proposals setting out the EU’s position in specific areas of the negotiations for a modernised FTA between the EU and Chile. Finally, the article analyses the respective ratification processes and points out that, while the updated EU-Mexico and EU-Chile agreements will arguably be considered mixed agreements and require the ratification by all relevant institutions of all EU Member States, the EU-Mercosur FTA will likely only have to be ratified by the EU. The article concludes, that EU negotiations with Mexico and Mercosur will possibly be concluded soon and that negotiations with Chile will likely progress swiftly.
The second article addresses the EU’s Draft Implementing Regulation on the country of origin or place of provenance labelling of the primary ingredient of a food in case it is different to that that food. The article first provides some background information on the rules on country of origin labelling provided in the EU’s Food Information Regulation (FIR). The article then details the proposed aspects of the Draft Implementing Regulation and identifies key issues and possible controversies and shortcomings. Thirdly, the article provides an overview of reactions to the Draft Implementing Regulation, as submitted to the EU in the context of a public consultation. Finally, the article notes that in preparing the Implementing Regulation, the EU would also have to take its international trade obligations into account and address any comments by WTO Members. The article concludes the Draft Implementing Regulation was an important step to begin harmonising the country of origin labelling for food products in the EU, but that the ambiguities of the current draft do not appear to be going in the right direction.
The third article discusses a public consultation on a draft guidance document for the risk assessment of nanoscience and nanotechnology applications in the food and feed chain that the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) opened on 12 January 2018. It covers the relevant areas within EFSA’s remit, such as novel foods, food contact, materials, food and feed additives, and plant protection products. The article also addresses reports on the French consumer organisation UFC-Que Choisir, which recently filed a legal complaint to the High Court of Paris’ prosecutor against four food manufacturers over undeclared nanoparticles. The article analyses that the actual definition of nanomaterials is of great interest, in the EFSA’s draft guidance, as well as in EU food labelling and novel food law.
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.