FOODSTUFFS : ECJ VOIDS ITALY'S PURE CHOCOLATE' LAW.

Italy infringed European Union law by authorising use of the term pure chocolate', according to the EU Court of Justice. It handed down a ruling(1), on 25 November, in favour of the European Commission, which had brought an action against Italy for failure to fulfil obligations.

The Italian rules in question permit the term pure chocolate' to be added to or incorporated in the sales names or indicated elsewhere on the labelling of products not containing substitute vegetable fats and provide for administrative fines for infringement.

The court noted as a preliminary that the EU has introduced full harmonisation of sales names for cocoa and chocolate products in order to guarantee the single nature of the internal market(2). These terms are mandatory and are reserved for the products listed in the EU legislation. This legislation makes no provision for the sales name pure chocolate' and does not permit its introduction by a national legislature. In those circumstances...

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