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Leather, hide, fur and products manufactured from hide, leather, fur

Article regulating the use of the terms ‘leather’, ‘hide’, ‘fur’ and terms derived therefrom

The draft article, which will seek inclusion in the draft law of the next ‘European Law’ currently being prepared laying down provisions for the fulfilment of the obligations arising from Italy's membership in the European Union, consists of 27 paragraphs.

The first three paragraphs identify the subject of the provisions, the definitions of the terms ‘leather’, ‘coated leather’, ‘fur’ and ‘bonded leather’, and refer to Regulation (EC) No 765/2008 for definitions relating to economic operators.

Paragraph 4 excludes the application of the article, as a whole, to the products defined by Directive 94/11/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 March 1994 on the approximation of the laws, regulations and administrative provisions of the Member States relating to labelling of the materials used in the main components of footwear for sale to the consumer, transposed by the Decree of the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Craft Trades of 11 April 1996.

Paragraph 5 stipulates that the definitions in paragraph 2 can be adapted to take any technical changes into consideration, by decree of the Minister for Economic Development.

Paragraph 6 provides for a ban on the placing and making available on the market of materials and products manufactured with such materials, which use the terms ‘leather’, ‘hide’, ‘full-grain leather’, ‘coated leather’, ‘coated hide’, ‘fur’ and ‘bonded leather’ (even in a language other than English) if they do not correspond to the terms defined in paragraph 2. The same terms are prohibited even if used as adjectives, nouns or suffixes and prefixes for other words, and all terms that have similarities with the definitions referred to in paragraph 2 but with a different composition from the definitions indicated therein are further prohibited.

Paragraph 7 introduces a labelling or marking obligation, only for those who make use of the terms identified and defined in paragraph 2, on the materials or products placed or made available on the market.

Paragraph 8 assigns responsibility for the accuracy of the information contained on the labelling, marking or in the commercial document to the manufacturer or importer.

Paragraph 9 confers to the distributor the task of verifying the presence of the labelling or marking in the event of the occurrence of the conditions laid down by this article.

Paragraph 10 establishes the characteristics of the labelling and marking and the method of application.

Paragraph 11 introduces a derogation from the obligation of the presence of labelling or marking on products, in the case in which the materials and products manufactured with such materials are contracted out to operators forming part of the supply chain, allowing for the use of the accompanying commercial document in place of labelling or marking.

Paragraph 12 stipulates the obligation to include reference to the materials defined in paragraph 2 on the labelling, even when they are part of a manufactured product made up of other materials of a different nature.

However, paragraph 13 excludes the obligation referred to in paragraph 12 for all textile products defined by Regulation (EU) No 1007/2011 containing non-textile parts of animal origin and governed in accordance with Article 12 of the same Regulation.

Paragraph 14 establishes the principle of mutual recognition for materials and products manufactured with such materials, manufactured or marketed in another Member State of the European Union or in Turkey or in an EFTA Member State, which is party to the Agreement on the European Economic Area (EEA).

Paragraphs 15 to 25 lay down, in full, the system of penalties to counteract infringements of the provisions of the article.

Paragraph 26 provides for the possibility of the disposal of stocks of products already labelled and placed on the market before the entry into force of the article, in accordance with the existing provisions.

Finally, paragraph 27 repeals Law No 1112 of 16 December 1966, indicating that the provisions of the article, since regarded as a technical regulation, have been notified to the European Commission in accordance with Directive (EU) 2015/1535 and to the World Trade Organisation in accordance with the Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade in force from 1 January 1995 for possible adaptations to the text resulting from the outcome of the above notifications.