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New penalties under the EU Pesticides Regulations in Italy

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The Italian Government has recently introduced an extensive reform of the penalty system on violations of EU Regulations No 1107/2009 and No 547/2011 on plant protection products ("PPPs").
EU Regulatory Bulletin contents

 

The Italian Government has recently introduced an extensive reform of the penalty system on violations of EU Regulations No 1107/2009 and No 547/2011 on plant protection products ("PPPs").

Published in the Gazzetta Ufficiale (the Italian Official Gazette) on 6 May 2014 and scheduled to enter into force on 21 May 2014, the Legislative Decree No 69 of 17 April 2014 repeals the previously existing rules on this matter (i.e. Articles 23-28, Legislative Decree No 194 of 17 March 1995, implemented under Directive 91/414/CEE) and provides an accurate set of penalties for infractions related to placement on the market, labelling and advertising of PPPs.

In a nutshell, the system is reorganized and penalties for unlawful placement on the market and mislabelling of PPPs are consolidated in a single text. This better structured system is likely to be beneficial to the Competent Authorities, resulting eventually in a faster and more extended enforcement against violations. At the same time, users must consider the fact that the new legislation almost trebles the maximum fines for some common violations such as the placement on the market of unauthorised PPPs. As a consequence, typical violations of Regulation No 1107/2009, such as marketing products as fertilizers, which are in fact PPPs (i.e. without the due authorisation), will be punished with fines up to EUR 150 000. Also, in the majority of the cases, the infractions also entail the revocation of the authorisation for business activity. Lastly, the administrative penalties are provided in addition to the eventual criminal liability of the person violating the law.

An overview of the most important authorisation- and advertising-related penalties is included below. The Decree also provides further penalties on duplication of tests, violation of the duty of compulsory communications to the Ministero della Salute (Minister of Health), as well as data keeping.

Authorisation-related violations

Penalties (in Euro)

  • Placing in the market or use of an unauthorized PPPs;
  • Importing, placing in the market or use of a PPPs whose chemical composition is different from the one for which it has been authorized.

from 15,000 to 150,000 

(reduced penalty from 1,000 to 20,000 if the impact of the infraction is limited or occasional);

  • Violation of the prescriptions contained in the authorisation concerning the placement in the market;
  • Violation of the obligation concerning information to be included in the label according to the authorisation;
  • Inclusion in the label of information other than those to be included according to the authorisation.

from 40,000 Euro to 150,000 Euro

(reduced penalty from 2,000 to 20,000 if the impact of the infraction is limited or occasional);

  • Violation of other prescriptions contained in the authorisation;

from 35,000 Euro to 100,000 Euro

(reduced penalty from 2,000 to 20,000 if the impact of the infraction is limited or occasional);

  • Violation of the obligation to amend the classification or the label as prescribed by the Competent Authority. 

from 5,000 Euro to 15,000 Euro

(reduced penalty from 1,500 to 4,500 if amended with unjustified delay or occasional);

  • Amendment of the classification or the label in a pejorative manner than as prescribed by the Competent Authority.

from 40,000 Euro to 150,000 Euro

(reduced penalty from 20,000 to 35,000 if amended with unjustified delay or occasional);

  • Violation of prescriptions issued by the Competent Authority concerning the sale, distribution or storing of PPPs' stocks.  

From 20,000 to 35,000

  • Violation of the prescription of the Competent Authority concerning use of PPPs' stocks. 

From 1,000 to 10,000

  • Misleading packaging of PPPs that can be mistaken with food, drink or feed;
  • Violation of the obligation to add components to discourage or prevent the consumption to PPPs that can be mistaken with food, drink or feed.

from 40,000 Euro to 150,000 Euro

 

 

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