Legal Issues In The Packaging Of Food And Drinks

1,519 views
1,358 views

Published on

Presentation Legal Issues In The Packaging Of Food And Drinks - Bird&Bird Seminar The Hague June 2008

0 Comments
0 Likes
Statistics
Notes
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Views
Total views
1,519
On SlideShare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
1
Actions
Shares
0
Downloads
5
Comments
0
Likes
0
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide
  • For a definition of foodstuffs, the Dutch Commodities Act refers to General Food Law. The Dutch Commodities Act re. Labelling of Foodstuffs is based on Directive 2003/13/EC RE. LABELLING, PRESENTATION AND ADVERTISING FOODSTUFFS.
  • I note that I will only address the import side as the same applies for the export side.
  • Legal Issues In The Packaging Of Food And Drinks

    1. 1. Public enforcement Legal Issues in the Packaging of Food and Drinks June 27, 2008 Tim Hesselink – International Trade & Customs
    2. 2. HEADLINES <ul><li>“ Consumers draw benefit from labelling detergents” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Health claims cinnamon capsules illegal” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Dutch Food Authority does not advise against consumption probiotic drinks” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Labelling of cheese products not always correct” </li></ul>
    3. 3. LABELLING FOODSTUFFS <ul><li>LEGISLATION LABELLING FOODSTUFFS </li></ul><ul><li>INSPECTION AT IM- AND EXPORT </li></ul><ul><li>FOOD AUTHORITY INSPECTION </li></ul><ul><li>VIOLATIONS LEGISLATION LABELLING FOODSTUFFS </li></ul><ul><li>ENFORCEMENT </li></ul><ul><li>PITFALLS TRADE & INDUSTRY </li></ul><ul><li>RECOMMENDATIONS </li></ul>
    4. 4. LEGISLATION LABELLING FOODSTUFFS <ul><li>LEVEL 1: EUROPEAN LEGISLATION (GENERAL) </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>REGULATION (EC) 178/2002: GENERAL FOOD LAW </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>LEVEL 2: EUROPEAN LEGISLATION (SPECIFIC EXAMPLES) </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>REGULATION (EC) 1924/2006 re. NUTRITION AND HEALTH CLAIMS (“LOW FAT”/”NO ADDED SUGAR”) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>DIRECTIVE 2003/13/EC re. LABELLING, PRESENTATION AND ADVERTISING FOODSTUFFS (SEE COM(2008) 40 FINAL) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>DIRECTIVE 90/496/EEC re. NUTRITION LABELLING FOR FOODSTUFFS (SEE COM(2008) 40 FINAL) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>DIRECTIVE 87/250/EEC re. INDICATION OF ALCOHOLIC STRENGTH BY VOLUME IN LABELLING OF ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES (SEE COM(2008) 40 FINAL) </li></ul></ul></ul>
    5. 5. LEGISLATION LABELLING FOODSTUFFS (2) <ul><li>LEVEL 3: NATIONAL LEGISLATION (GENERAL) </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Dutch Commodities Act (“Warenwet”) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>LEVEL 4: NATIONAL LEGISLATION (SPECIFIC EXAMPLES) </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>DUTCH COMMODITIES DECREE re. LABELLING OF FOODSTUFFS (“Warenwetbesluit Etikettering van levensmiddelen”) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>DUTCH COMMODITIES DECREE re. IMPORT OF FOODSTUFFS FROM THIRD COUNTRIES (“Warenwetbesluit Invoer van levensmiddelen uit derde landen”) </li></ul></ul></ul>
    6. 6. INSPECTION AT IM- AND EXPORT <ul><li>FOODSTUFFS IMPORTED INTO THE EC </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>APPLICATION COMMERCIAL POLICY MEASURES </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>CHARGING DUTIES LEGALLY DUE </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>COMPLY WITH OTHER FORMALITIES re. THE IMPORT OF GOODS: </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>AGRICULTURAL POLICY </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>ENVIRONMENTAL LAW </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>SAFETY </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>PUBLIC ORDER </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>PUBLIC HEALTH (PRODUCT- AND FOODSAFETY) </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>
    7. 7. INSPECTION AT IM- AND EXPORT (2) <ul><li>FOODSTUFFS ARE BEING INSPECTED AT THE ENTRY INTO THE EC BY DUTCH CUSTOMS </li></ul><ul><li>IF DUTCH CUSTOMS ASSUMES THAT CERTAIN FOODSTUFFS DO NOT COMPLY WITH THE LEGAL REQUIREMENTS FOR FOOD SAFETY, CUSTOMS INFORMS THE FOOD AND CONSUMER PRODUCT SAFETY AUTHORITY (VOEDSEL EN WARENAUTORITEIT: VWA) </li></ul><ul><li>THE VWA PRODUCT SPECIALIST ADVISES WHETHER THE FOODSTUFFS MEET THE LEGAL REQUIREMENTS </li></ul>
    8. 8. INSPECTION AT IM- AND EXPORT (3) <ul><li>IF THE VWA PRODUCT SPECIALIST DECIDES THE FOODSTUFFS DO NOT MEET THE LEGAL REQUIREMENTS, DUTCH CUSTOMS WILL NOT RELEASE THE PRODUCTS </li></ul><ul><li>THIS VWA CONCLUSION CANNOT BE CHALLENGED: THE VWA CONCLUSION IS NOT A DECISION SUBJECT TO AN ADMINISTRATIVE APPEAL UNDER THE DUTCH GENERAL ADMINISTRATIVE LAW ACT (CASE LAW) </li></ul><ul><li>NO CASE LAW (YET) WHETHER DECISION DUTCH CUSTOMS TO DENY RELEASE CAN BE CHALLENGED IN AN ADMINISTRATIVE APPEAL </li></ul>
    9. 9. FOOD AUTHORITY INSPECTION <ul><li>THE VWA NOT ONLY INSPECTS FOODSTUFFS AT IMPORTATION BUT ALSO AT: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>FOOD PREMISES </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>WAREHOUSES </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>DISTRIBUTION CENTERS </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>STORES </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>TRANSPORTATION </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>ETC. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>THE VWA PRODUCT SPECIALIST ADVISES WHETHER THE FOODSTUFFS MEET THE LEGAL REQUIREMENTS </li></ul>
    10. 10. VIOLATIONS LEGISLATION LABELLING FOODSTUFFS <ul><li>A VIOLATION OF CERTAIN ARTICLES OF THE DUTCH COMMODITIES ACT IS CONSIDERED AN OFFENCE (DUTCH LAW ON ECONOMIC OFFENCES) </li></ul><ul><li>THE DUTCH COMMODITIES ACT PROVIDES FOR GENERAL RULES, WHICH ARE FURHTER SPECIFIED IN DECREES (e.g. DUTCH COMMODITIES DECREE re. LABELLING OF FOODSTUFFS) </li></ul>
    11. 11. VIOLATIONS LEGISLATION LABELLING FOODSTUFFS (2) <ul><li>ARTICLE 2 DUTCH COMMODITIES DECREE re. LABELLING OF FOODSTUFFS: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ It is illegal to trade foodstuffs other than in compliance with the requirements as set out in this decree with regard to labelling, presentation and advertising” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>ARTICLE 23 DUTCH COMMODITIES DECREE re. LABELLING OF FOODSTUFFS: </li></ul><ul><li>“ Indications and statements of foodstuffs anyway have to be mentioned in the Dutch language” </li></ul>
    12. 12. ENFORCEMENT <ul><li>IN CASE THE VWA HAS ESTABLISHED A VIOLATION OF THE COMMODITIES ACT (= ECONOMIC OFFENCE), THE VWA HAS TWO OPTIONS: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>DEAL WITH THE CASE ON BASIS OF THE COMMODITIES ACT (ADMINISTRATIVE ROUTE) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>HAND OVER THE CASE TO THE PUBLIC PROSECUTIONS DEPARTMENT (CRIMINAL PROCEEDINGS ROUTE) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>SPECIAL GUIDELINES HAVE BEEN ADOPTED FOR THE DECISION WHETHER TO FOLLOW THE ADMINISTRATIVE OR CRIMINAL PROSECUTION ROUTE </li></ul>
    13. 13. ENFORCEMENT: ADMINISTRATIVE OR CRIMINAL? <ul><li>THE GUIDELINES FOR STARTING CIMINAL PROCEEDINGS IN RELATION TO DUTCH COMMODITIES ACT MENTION 5 SITUATIONS WHICH RESULT INSTANTLY IN CRIMINAL PROCEEDINGS: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>IF THE INTENTIONALLY OR RECKLESS OFFENCE CREATES A DIRECT THREAT TO PUBLIC HEALTH </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>IF THE PENALTY IS EXCEEDED BY THE PROFIT MADE FROM THE OFFENCE </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>IF CRIMINAL ENFORCEMENT IS NECESSARY (e.g. CONFISCATION) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>IN CASE OF CONCURRENCE OF OFFENCES </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>IN CASE OF REPEATED OFFENCES WHERE ADMINISTRATIVE PENALTIES HAD NO EFFECT </li></ul></ul></ul>
    14. 14. Example <ul><li>DECISION BREDA DISTRICT COURT (CRIMINAL SECTION) AUGUST 1, 2005: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>TRADE/SALE/STORAGE WHIP CREAM CANS WITH NO DUTCH LABEL IS A VIOLATION OF ART. 23 DUTCH COMMODITIES DECREE re. LABELLING OF FOODSTUFFS </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>BECAUSE OF REPEATED OFFENCES FOLLOWING CRIMINAL PROSECUTION ROUTE INSTEAD OF ADMINISTRATIVE ROUTE WAS JUSTIFIED </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>CRIMINAL PENALTIES OF EUR 300,-- PER OFFENCE !! </li></ul></ul></ul>
    15. 15. ENFORCEMENT: ADMINISTRATIVE <ul><li>IF SETTLEMENT BY A CRIMINAL COURT IS AN OPTION, THE VWA ASSESSES PER CASE WHICH ROUTE (ADMINISTRATIVE OR CRIMINAL) PROVIDES THE BEST APPROACH </li></ul><ul><li>THE FOLLOWING CRITERIA ARE CONSIDERED IN THIS ASSESSMENT: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>IF THE DAMAGE OCCURED FROM THE OFFENCE EXCEEDS EUR 5,000 </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>EMERGENCY APPROACH (VWA EMERGENCY PLAN) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>PERSONAL INJURY </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>DESIRABILITY TO CONFISCATION OF ILLEGALLY OBTAINED PROFITS </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>PROJECT BASED APPROACH </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>DESIRABILITY TO HAVE A PUBLIC CRIMINAL SESSION </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>DESIRABILITY TO OBTAIN INTERNATIONAL LEGAL ASSISTANCE </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>ACT AGAINST CENTRAL GOVERNMENT </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>ACT AGAINST EXECUTIVE POSITIONS </li></ul></ul></ul>
    16. 16. ENFORCEMENT: ADMINISTRATIVE (2) <ul><li>PUNISHMENTS AND ADMINISTRATIVE MEASURES ACCORDING TO THE DUTCH COMMODITIES ACT: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>ADMINISTRATIVE ENFORCEMENT (e.g. RECALL or RE-LABELLING) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>ADMINISTRATIVE PENALTY: EUR 450 – EUR 1,360 ( MINISTER OF HEALTH, WELFARE AND SPORT) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>TEMPORARY PROHIBITION ON: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>THE MANUFACTURE, TREATMENT, TRADE, PROCESSING, PACKAGING OR TRANSPORT OF FOODSTUFFS, </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>FOR WHICH SUFFICIENT EVIDENCE EXISTS OF A THREAT OF PUBLIC HEALTH, </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>UNTIL AN AUDIT IN RESPECT OF THESE FOODSTUFFS HAS BEEN COMPLETED (e.g. ANALYSIS OF SAMPLES) </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>
    17. 17. ENFORCEMENT: ADMINISTRATIVE (3) <ul><ul><li>CONFISCATION OF FOODSTUFFS ( MINISTER OF HEALTH, WELFARE AND SPORT) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>DESTRUCTION OF FOODSTUFFS ( MINISTER OF HEALTH, WELFARE AND SPORT) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>VWA DECISIONS STATING ADMINISTRATIVE MEASURE OR PUNISHMENT ARE SUBJECT TO AN ADMINISTRATIVE APPEAL (NOT THE VWA DECISION STATING THERE IS A VIOLATION) </li></ul></ul>
    18. 18. ENFORCEMENT: CRIMINAL PROCEEDINGS <ul><li>PURSUANT TO DUTCH LAW ON ECONOMIC OFFENCES INVESTIGATING OFFICERS (OF THE VWA) HAVE SPECIAL INVESTIGATIVE POWERS: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>CONFISCATION OF FOODSTUFFS </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>ORDER INSPECTION OF RECORDS </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>TAKE SAMPLES </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>INSPECTION OF TRANSPORTATION VEHICLES </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>ENTERING PLACES </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>AFTER A CONVICTION OF AN ECONOMIC OFFENCE, THE FOLLOWING PUNISHMENTS AND MEASURES CAN BE ORDERED BY THE COURT </li></ul>
    19. 19. ENFORCEMENT: CRIMINAL PROCEEDINGS (2) <ul><li>PUNISHMENTS (ART. 6 and 7 DUTCH LAW ON ECONOMIC OFFENCES): </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>IMPRISONMENT </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>COMMUNITY SERVICE </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>PENALTY </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>DEPRIVATION OF RIGHT (REMOVAL FROM CERTAIN OFFICES, BEING COUNSEL, ETC.) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>WHOLLY OR PARTIALLY CLOSE DOWN COMPANY OF CONVICTED </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>CONFISCATE FOODSTUFFS OR OBJECTS WHICH RELATE TO THE OFFENCE </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>PUBLICATION OF THE COURT DECISION </li></ul></ul></ul>
    20. 20. ENFORCEMENT: CRIMINAL PROCEEDINGS (3) <ul><li>MEASURES (ART. 8 DUTCH LAW ON ECONOMIC OFFENCES); </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>CONFISCATION </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>CONFISCATION OF ILLEGALLY OBTAINED PROFITS </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>COMPENSATION </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>ADMINISTRATION ORDER COMPANY </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>IMPOSE AN OBLIGATION TO ANNULL THE VIOLATION </li></ul></ul></ul>
    21. 21. ENFORCEMENT: CRIMINAL PROCEEDINGS (4 ) <ul><li>THE PUBLIC PROSECUTION DEPARTMENT COULD ALSO PROPOSE A OUT-OF-COURT SETTLEMENT INSTEAD OF STARTING PROSECUTION </li></ul><ul><li>“ BUY OFF” CRIMINAL PROSECUTION </li></ul><ul><li>THIS CAN BE DONE WITHOUT ADMISSION OF GUILT </li></ul>
    22. 22. PITFALLS TRADE & INDUSTRY <ul><li>THE VWA CONCLUSION CANNOT BE CHALLENGED: THE VWA CONCLUSION IS NOT A DECISION SUBJECT TO AN ADMINISTRATIVE APPEAL UNDER THE DUTCH GENERAL ADMINISTRATIVE LAW ACT (CASE LAW) </li></ul><ul><li>NO CASE LAW (YET) WHETHER DECISION DUTCH CUSTOMS TO DENY RELEASE CAN BE CHALLENGED IN AN ADMINISTRATIVE APPEAL </li></ul><ul><li>ONLY LEGAL PROTECTION IN RETROSPECT AT ADMINISTRATIVE COURT OR CRIMINAL COURT </li></ul>
    23. 23. RECOMMENDATIONS <ul><li>IF YOUR FOODSTUFFS ARE BEING INSPECTED BY THE VWA, MAKE SURE THEY TAKE MORE THAN ONE SAMPLE </li></ul><ul><li>REQUEST THE VWA FOR A COPY OF THE RESULTS OF THE ANALYSYS </li></ul><ul><li>OPERATE PRO-ACTIVE FOLLOWING AN AUDIT </li></ul><ul><li>IF POSSIBLE TRY TO NEGOTIATE WITH VWA – PREVENT CRIMINAL PROCEEDINGS </li></ul>
    24. 24. QUESTIONS ?
    25. 25. <ul><li>THANK YOU </li></ul>

    ×