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THE CONTROVERSY

Wine labels in EU, Unione Italiana Vini (Uiv): “untimely and harmful “ingredients” quibble”

New regulation goes into effect on December 8. But “50 million labels already printed in Italy. Revise rule and authorize out-of-stock”
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U-Label platform developed to respond with Qr code to new rules

As December 8 approaches, the date from which the new European Wine Labeling Regulation will come into force, tension in the sector is rising, because the European Commission is not providing the expected reassurance on the chaos caused by the latest quibble wanted by the European executive (the word “ingredients” instead of the acronym “i” next to the QR code on the list of ingredients). “There are more than 50 million Italian wine labels already printed according to the model initially shared and then disavowed by the EU Commission’s guidelines”, says the Unione Italiana Vini (Uiv), reiterating how “the untimely intervention of the Commission, 2 years after the drafting of the EU Regulation (2021/2117) and just 2 weeks (8 days, ed.) after the launch of the new European labeling, is an unexpected and important damage for the sector”. The Unione Italiana Vini (UIV) also notes that the clarifications made yesterday by the Commission’s Agriculture spokesman, Olof Gill, “do not satisfy wine businesses and do not solve the chaos. It is impossible, among other things, for producers to proceed, within the legal timeframe, with adjustments, orders and reprints”. According to Unione Italiana Vini (UIV) and the European Committee of Wine Businesses (Comité Vins - Ceev, of which Federvini is also a member, for Italy, and which precisely to respond to the new features of the Regulation has developed the U-Label platform), the new interpretation provided by the institution “lends itself to several violations, starting with the legislative text, since it is not up to the Commission to make new rules at the level of interpretative guidance. In addition, there is the prospect of a violation of general principles of the EU, such as legal certainty and proportionality: it is established case law that entities cannot adopt new obligations without a reasonable period of time to implement them. There is also, according to the two organizations, a violation of procedural rules: in fact, imposing a different interpretation of the Regulation a few days after the adoption of the rule infringes on the EU principle included in the Commission’s work program aimed at reducing unnecessary administrative burdens. To the goodness of millions of labels that have already been printed, in good faith and in compliance with the Legislation, destined for destruction. This attitude is also contrary to policies on environmental protection”. For these reasons, the Unione Italiana Vini (Uiv) calls for “an immediate suspension regarding the main critical issue contained in the Commission’s guidelines (Q&A No. 38), in order to review their content and ensure legal certainty for companies. At the same time, it will be necessary to obtain consent for the use of all labels printed prior to the publication of the guidelines and while stocks last”.

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