Labelling: Italy approves the Sanctions Decree on the Regulation (EU) No 1169/2011

[quote align=”center”]Approved, on Monday December 11th, 2017, the Legislative Decree laying down the disciplinary rules for the violation of the provisions of Regulation (EU) no. 1169/2011, on the provision of food information to consumers and the adaptation of national legislation to the provisions of the same Regulation (EU) no. 1169/2011 and Directive 2011/91/EU [/quote] The … Continued

[quote align=”center”]Approved, on Monday December 11th, 2017, the Legislative Decree laying down the disciplinary rules for the violation of the provisions of Regulation (EU) no. 1169/2011, on the provision of food information to consumers and the adaptation of national legislation to the provisions of the same Regulation (EU) no. 1169/2011 and Directive 2011/91/EU [/quote]

The Italian Council of Ministers approved, on Monday, December 11th, 2017, the Legislative Decree laying down the disciplinary rules for the violation of the provisions of Regulation (EU) no. 1169/2011, on the provision of food information to consumers and the adaptation of national legislation to the provisions of the same Regulation (EU) no. 1169/2011 and Directive 2011/91/EU and it’s mandatory only for products that are sold in Italy.

The Decree, therefore, in addition to fixing the sanctions on the subject of labelling, specifies some national provisions on food labelling, presentation and advertising.

It also provides for the adaptation of national legislation on the “lot” to Directive 2011/91/EU; specifies provisions on vending machines, on the sale of non-prepacked products and products not intended for the consumer (B2B).

It defines as “responsible entity” the food business operator referred to in Article 8, paragraph 1 of EU Reg. 1169/2011.

Protection of micro-enterprises as referred to in Recommendation 2003/361/EC of May 6th, 2003 reducing the administrative penalty by up to half. Another important aspect is the exclusion of non-profit organizations, except for omission or non-compliance on allergens and expiry date.

There is no penalty even in the case of an appropriate written correction of non-compliant information.

The violations taken into consideration by the decree are listed in Title II, with the respective penalties ranging from a minimum of €500 up to a maximum of €40000 for the most serious defaults (expiry date or allergens).

The Decree establishes, as the competent authority to implement the sanctions provided for, the Department of the Central Inspectorate for the Protection of Quality and Fraud Control of Agri-Food Products (ICQRF) of the Ministry of Agricultural, Food and Forestry Policies. Naturally, the competences of the Italian Competition and Market Authority remain valid, as well as those due, pursuant to current legislation, to the bodies responsible for ascertaining violations.

In Title III, Article 17, we can find the provisions on the lot. Lot, or batch, means a set of units selling a foodstuff, produced, manufactured or packaged under substantially identical circumstances. It is mandatory to insert it on the label and must be easily recognizable. It may be omitted in some cases, for example when the TMC or expiry date is declared at least with day and month, for single-dose ice creams, agricultural products sold directly by the grower to the depots for packaging or intended for immediate processing, for non-prepacked food products (article 44) and for packages with a surface of less than 10cm2.

For the sale of non-prepacked products at vending machines, Article 18 provides for the reporting in Italian on the distributor for each product of the following information:

  • food denomination;
  • ingredients list;
  • allergens;
  • name / company name / registered trademark and registered office of the plant operator.

In the case of the sale of non-prepacked food (confectioners, bakeries, delis …) Article 19 establishes the obligation to affix a placard on the container of the product or an equivalent system, also digital, with:

  • name of the food;
  • ingredients with an indication of allergens;
  • methods of preserving perishable foods, if necessary;
  • expiry date for fresh pasta and fresh pasta with filling as per the Presidential Decree of February 9th, 2001, n. 187;
  • alcoholic strength by volume of beverages with an alcohol content of more than 1.2% by volume;
  • percentage of frosting, considered tare, for frozen glazed products;
  • word “defrosted” in Annex VI, point 2 of the Regulation, except in cases of derogation.

For the products like ice cream, pastry, bakery, fresh pasta and gastronomy the list of ingredients can be reported on a single sign or register, even digital, provided that the allergens laid down for the Annex II are attributable to the single food offered for sale.

Products not intended for the consumer (B2B) must include on the packaging (or container or label) or on commercial documents (also digital) the indications provided for in Article 9, paragraph 1, letters a), c) and e) of Regulation (EU) 1169/2011 with the same procedures and derogations provided for prepacked products including the name or company name or registered trademark, the address of the food operator and the lot when required.

Our  food quality and safety expert group is available for further information and details

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