Country of origin requirements (COOL)  (Italy)

The attribution of a specific origin to a product, whether food or non-food, and its communication to the public as-sume relevance in terms of protecting the consumer to whom that message is addressed. The Italian legal system requires this specific information, along with other determining factors in the choice of purchase, to be conveyed in an accurate and non-deceptive manner. This is for the benefit of the purchaser of the good (pursuant to the Con-sumer Code and the regulations on unfair commercial practices) and to safeguard the fair relationship between pro-fessionals (pursuant to the regulations on unfair competition). There are many examples of this matter in the case-law of the Italian Competition Authority (AGCM). Furthermore, according to the extensive jurisprudence of the Italian Advertising Standards Authority (IAP), the prohibition of deception in advertising, as well as more generally in presentation, does not only concern the “characteristics and effects” of the advertised product, but also covers “any circumstance to which consumers attribute importance and which may therefore influence their choices”. This in-cludes the origin of the company and the products or services from a certain country.

This is general information rather than legal advice and is current as of 30 May 2024. We recommend you contact a specialised food lawyer for legal advice for your particular circumstances to support commercial decisions which could impact your product or business.

Giorgio Rusconi