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When the law was issued January 4, 2013, n. 9 "Rules on the quality and transparency of the virgin olive oil supply chain" were many criticisms of those who, up to that moment, had been able to produce and market oil that conformed only formally (when it was) to what was established by the standards in force regarding virgin oils.
The oil artisans, the artisan mills, could only rejoice at the new rules, supported from the beginning of the parliamentary process. Finally, a space had been opened for the artisan oil mill: the quality of virgin oil has become the subject of specific protection with positive results both for the millers, finally able to monetize on the market the highest and guaranteed quality of their product , both on olive growers for the consequent positive effects on the market price of the raw material, the olives.
A gap remained (and in part still remains). The artisan oil mill is, from a regulatory point of view, an evanescent reality: everyone knows it exists, but what elements identify it remains quite uncertain, as well as the figure of the oil master, without any precise identifying elements that is, that supervising the production process in the oil mill is the guarantor of the quality of it, if not also legal.
The law of the Puglia Region, March 24, 2014 intervened to fill this void defining the oil company, and the artisan one in particular, with the reserve to establish subsequently the technical characteristics of the mills, and introducing the qualification of the oil mills through special courses of training.
Naturally, obstacles were not lacking to achieve this result, repeatedly advocated by the artisan mills and contrasted in particular by those who believe that this constitutes a further step towards a market of quality virgin oils capable of attracting due to the transparency of the indications of supply chain increasingly Italian and foreign consumers.
Less and less force seems destined to have oppositions to the mention on the label of the artisan character of oil mill in the presence of a rule, albeit a regional one, but which is fully included in our legal system, which defines the artisan oil company as an entity distinct from the oil company. The judge, called to judge a possible controversy on this point, could not ignore, even for the purposes of the interpretation and systemic reconstruction of the laws in force, the regional norm now indicated.
It should also be added that the oil masters, trained in the Puglia region, have the right to the recognition of this qualification throughout the national territory.
 

REGIONAL LAW 24 March 2014, n. 9
"Rules on the oil business".

Art. 1

Oil company

1. The oil company is the artisan production unit in which oil is extracted from olives in compliance with the regulations in force and, in particular, those relating to food hygiene, work safety and protection. environment, in order to provide the necessary information on the identity, quality and traceability of the product.

2. In the artisan oil company, the mill must be placed, the centrifuge for the extraction process, suitable storage containers and, therefore, in accordance with the regulations in force, the appropriate equipment for placing oil in containers, in addition to the machines for bottling and packaging, for the purpose of marketing the product.

3. The technical characteristics of the rooms used for the processing of olives and oils are established by decree of the Regional Councilor for agri-food resources, together with the Regional Councilor for Health.

Art. 2

Oil master

1. The olive oil master is responsible for the technical management of the mill and, normally, coincides with the owner of the company. In the hypothesis of a person other than the owner of the company, the latter complies with the instructions of the owner, operating within the limits of the powers granted to him.

2. The oil master coordinates:

a) warehouse management and registers;

b) the milling phase;

c) the packaging phase;

d) the management, use and disposal of processing by-products: vegetation water and pomace.

3. The regional register of oil mills is established and held at the Regional Department for Agri-food Resources.

Art. 3

Formation of oil mill masters

1. The Puglia Region favors the formation of oil mill masters and takes care of carrying out specific training courses.

2. The courses are of a propaedeutic nature for those possessing a secondary school diploma of a second grade and technical-practical nature for those who have obtained the final certificate of attendance of the preparatory course or who are in possession of one of the qualifications. indicated by the regional law 5 August 2013, n. 23 (Norms regarding training courses aimed at orientation and insertion into the labor market), with the exception of the compulsory school diploma.

3. The duration of the courses, the methods of carrying it out and the relative programs are established by resolution of the Regional Council upon proposal of the Councilor for agri-food resources in concert with the Councilor for professional training.

Art. 4

Training courses

1. Tenders for the realization of the training activities referred to in Article 3 may be attended by consortia of companies and / or their professional associations, temporarily associated with accredited training institutions, in compliance with the legislation in force on the subject, with specific and documented expertise in the processing of agricultural products and laboratories and equipment for the training activities referred to in Article 3.

2. The carrying out of the technical-practical part of the courses must, however, be carried out at the oil companies.

3. The submission of the applications for participation in the courses, the ascertainment of the possession of the requirements and the issuing of the qualification certificates are regulated by the regional norms on vocational training.

4. The certificate issued at the end of the technical-practical course is a title for the registration in the regional register of master oil mills.

Art. 5

Transitional rules

1. For a period of two years from the date of entry into force of this law may apply for registration in the regional register of master olive oil those who prove to have performed in the last five years preceding the tasks attributed to the master olive oil under the Article 2.

This law is published in the Regional Official Bulletin pursuant to and for the purposes of art. 53, paragraph 1 of the L.R. 12/05/2004, n ° 7 "Statute of the Puglia Region". Anyone responsible for observing and enforcing it as a law of the Puglia Region is obliged to do so.

Date in Bari, on 24 March 2014

VENDOLA

 



Amendments to the regional law 24 March 2014 n. 9 (Rules on the oil business).

Art. 1

(Amendments to article 3 of law r. 9/2014)

1. Paragraph 1 of Article 3 is replaced as follows:

"1. The Puglia Region favors, through specific courses, the training and the professional updating of oil mills ".

2. Paragraph 2 of Article 3 is replaced as follows:

"2. The courses are intended for those who carry out the tasks attributed to the olive oil master pursuant to Article 2 and to those who, in possession of a second degree secondary school diploma, intend to carry out the activity of olive oil master. Those who demonstrate that they have carried out the tasks referred to in paragraph 2 of article 2 of the l.r. 9/2014, will be able to benefit from training credits ”.

3. In paragraph 3 of article 3, after the words "relative programs", the following "the methods of implementation and the relative programs, the procedures for issuing the certificate following the passing of the final exam of the course and the attribution of training credits are ".

Art. 2

(Amendments to article 4 of law r. 9/2014)

1. Paragraph 1 of Article 4 is replaced as follows:

"1. The training activities referred to in Article 3 may be carried out by consortia of companies and / or their professional associations, temporarily associated with authorized training institutions, in compliance with the relevant legislation in force, with specific and documented skills in processing agricultural products and equipped with laboratories and equipment for training activities. "

2. In paragraph 3 of Article 4 the words "qualification" are deleted.

3. In paragraph 4 of Article 4 the words "technical-practical" are eliminated.



LAW January 14, 2013, n. 9
Rules on the quality and transparency of the virgin olive oil supply chain. 

Head I

RULES ON THE INDICATION OF ORIGIN AND CLASSIFICATION OF VIRGIN OLIVE OILS

The Chamber of Deputies and the Senate of the Republic have approved;

THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC

issue the following law:

Art. 1

Mode for the indication of origin

The indication of the origin of virgin olive oils provided for in Article 4 of the decree of the Minister of Agricultural Food and Forestry Policies 10 November 2009, published in the Official Journal n. 12 of 16 January 2010, must appear in an easily visible and clearly legible way in the front visual field of the container, so as to be distinguishable from other indications and from the other graphic signs.

The indication of the origin referred to in paragraph 1 is printed on the container or on the label affixed to it, in characters whose median part is equal to or greater than 1.2 mm, and so as to ensure a significant contrast between the characters printed and the background.

By way of derogation from paragraph 2, the characters referred to in the same paragraph may be printed in equal size to those of the sales denomination of virgin olive oil, in the same visual field and in the same chromatic relevance.

In the case of mixtures of olive oils extracted in another EU Member State or in a third country, the indication of the origin referred to in paragraph 1 is immediately preceded by the indication of the term "mixture", printed pursuant to of paragraphs 2 and 3 and with different and more evident chromatic relevance with respect to the background, the other indications and the sales denomination.

The indication referred to in paragraph 4 is without prejudice to the observance of article 4, paragraphs 3 and 4, of the aforementioned ministerial decree 10 November 2009.

Art. 2

Tasters Committee

To the article 43 of the decree-law June 22nd 2012, n. 83, converted, with modifications, by the law 7 August 2012, n. 134, the following modifications are made:

a) in paragraph 1-ter, the last period is deleted;

b) after paragraph 1-ter the following are inserted:

"1-ter.1. The head of the tasters' committee is responsible for the organization and functioning of the assessment referred to in paragraph 1-ter and has the task of calling the tasters on the day and at the time established to take part in the test. He is responsible for inventorying the tools, cleaning them, preparing and coding the samples to perform the test.

1-ter.2. In order to carry out the assessment referred to in paragraph 1-ter, the analyzes are carried out on identical packaging lots, proceeding to take samples based on the following methods:

a) the quantity of samples contained in each glass for tasting the oils must be 15 ml;

b) the oil samples for tasting in glasses must have a temperature equivalent to 28 ° C p2 ° C.

1-ter.3. The taster, in order to participate in an organoleptic test of virgin olive oils, in addition to being registered in the national list referred to in paragraph 1-ter, must also:

a) having abstained from smoking for at least thirty minutes before the time set for the test;

b) not having used perfumes, cosmetics or soaps whose smell persists at the time of the test, as well as rinsing and drying the hands whenever necessary to eliminate any odor;

c) not to have swallowed any food for at least an hour before tasting.

1-ter.4. If the taster, at the time of the test, is in a condition of physiological inferiority such as to compromise the sense of smell or taste, or in altered psychological conditions, he must notify the head of the committee, which provides for the exemption from work.

1-ter.5. For the purposes of the validity of the organoleptic tests, a report is prepared from which the following elements must appear:

a) number of the report;

b) date and time of sampling;

c) description of the lots of oil, with reference to the quantity, the origin of the relative product, the type, the containers;

d) the name of the head of the tasting committee responsible for the preparation and coding of the samples pursuant to Annex XII concerning the organoleptic evaluation of virgin olive oil, pursuant to Commission Regulation (EEC) 2568/91, of the 11 July 1991, and subsequent amendments;

e) certification of the requirements of the samples referred to in paragraph 1-ter.2;

f) names of the persons participating in the assessment as tasters;

g) declaration attesting compliance with the conditions for intervening in an organoleptic test referred to in paragraph 1-ter.3;

h) start and end time of the test procedure ».

Art. 3

Further amendment to Article 43 of the Decree-Law of 22 June 2012, n. 83, converted, with modifications, by the law 7 August 2012, n.134

To the article 43 of the decree-law June 22nd 2012, n. 83, converted, with modifications, by the law 7 August 2012, n. 134, after paragraph 1-bis the following is inserted:

"1-bis 1. In order to ensure consumers the possibility of identifying oils with better quality characteristics, for the years 2013, 2014 and 2015, as part of the control and analysis of virgin olive oils in whose designation of origin is indicated the reference to Italy, the authorities in charge of searching for the content of alkyl esters plus methyl alkyl esters disclose the results of the analysis, which are published and updated monthly in an installment of the internet portal of the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Forestry Policies. In the implementation of the fulfilments provided for by this paragraph, the concerned administration shall provide with the human, financial and instrumental resources available under current legislation and, in any case, without new or greater burdens for public finance ".

Chapter II

RULES ON TRANSPARENCY AND CONSUMER PROTECTION

Art. 4

Ban on deceptive commercial practices

A commercial practice is misleading, in accordance with articles 21 and following of the consumer code, as per legislative decree 6 September 2005, n. 206, when it contains indications that, even through wordings, images and graphic symbols, evoke a specific geographical area of ​​origin of virgin olive oils not corresponding to the actual territorial origin of the olives.

It is also misleading the commercial practice that, omitting relevant indications regarding the geographical area of ​​origin of virgin olive oils, can lead to the belief that the olives used are of territorial origin different from the actual one.

It is misleading to attribute organoleptic evaluations to olive oils other than extra virgin olive oils and in any case to indicate positive attributes not provided for in Annex XII regarding the organoleptic evaluation of virgin olive oil, pursuant to Regulation (EEC) n. 2568/91 of the Commission, of 11 July 1991, and subsequent amendments.

Art. 5

Unlawfulness of trademarks

The signs that can deceive the public on the geographical origin of raw olive oil raw materials cannot be registered as a trade mark.

The registered trademarks for which the characteristics referred to in paragraph 1 are present lapse due to unlawful occurrence pursuant to article 26 of the industrial property code, as per legislative decree 10 February 2005, n. 30. The forfeiture is declared with the procedures referred to in the aforementioned legislative decree n. 30 of 2005.

In the cases referred to in paragraph 2, the owner of the trademark is obliged to give notice of the forfeiture and related reasons of illegality, at his own expense, in at least two national newspapers.

The owner of a lapsed trademark pursuant to this article must immediately initiate the procedures to withdraw from the market the products marked by the trademark, ensuring its complete withdrawal within one year from the declaration of forfeiture.

Art. 6

Crimes related to the misleading indication in the use of the trademark

Article 4 of the law of 24 December 2003, n. 350, the following is inserted after paragraph 49-ter:

"49-quater. Without prejudice to the provisions of paragraph 49-ter and without prejudice to the sanctions referred to in Article 16, paragraph 4, of Decree-Law of 25 September 2009, n. 135, converted, with modifications, by the law 20 November 2009, n. 166, the misleading indication in the use of the trademark, referred to in paragraph 49-bis, is punished, when it concerns virgin olive oils, pursuant to article 517 of the penal code ".

Art. 7

Minimum period for storing and presenting olive oils in public establishments

The minimum conservation term within which virgin olive oils retain their specific properties under appropriate conditions of treatment cannot be greater than eighteen months from the date of bottling and must be indicated with the words «to be consumed preferably within» followed by the date .

The virgin olive oils offered in packs in public establishments, subject to the uses of cooking and preparation of meals, must have a suitable closing device so that the contents cannot be modified without the packaging being open or altered, or must be labeled so as to indicate at least the origin of the product and the production batch to which it belongs.

The violation of the prohibition referred to in paragraph 1 involves the application to the holder of the public exercise of an administrative sanction from € 1,000 to € 8,000 and confiscation of the product.

To the article 4 of the decree-law 10 January 2006, n. 2, converted, with modifications, by the law 11 March 2006, n. 81, paragraphs 4-quater and 4-quinquies are repealed.

Chapter III

RULES ON THE FUNCTIONING OF THE MARKET AND COMPETITION

Art. 8

Powers of the Antitrust Authority in the field of restrictive agreements in the virgin olive oil market

The Antitrust Authority in accordance with the powers conferred to it by the law of 10 October 1990, n. 287, supervises the price trend and adopts suitable acts to prevent agreements or concerted practices between companies whose object or effect is to consistently hinder, restrict or distort competition within the national olive oil market virgin through the determination of the purchase or sale price of the product.

The Antitrust Authority carries out the supervisory power referred to in paragraph 1 on the basis of information provided by the Customs Agency and submits an annual report to Parliament.

Art. 9

Admission to the inward processing regime for virgin olive oils

In order to prevent fraud in the application of the inward processing regime, admission to the same regime, when the request concerns virgin olive oils, is subject to prior authorization from the Ministry of Agricultural, Food and Forestry Policies, subject to mandatory opinion and binding of the coordination committee referred to in article 6 of the decree-law 18 June 1986, n. 282, converted, with modifications, by the law 7 August 1986, n. 462.

The authorization referred to in paragraph 1 is also necessary in the case of processing on behalf of clients established in countries that are not part of the European Union.

Art. 10

Rules against the secrecy of agri-food imports

The maritime, air and border health offices make the information at their disposal concerning the origin of virgin olive oils and olives accessible to all control bodies and administrations concerned by the subject. Access to the documents referred to in this article does not entail the risk of distorting disclosures for competition and the functioning of the market.

Without prejudice to the hypotheses in which the preliminary investigation is carried out, for which the authorization of the competent judicial authority is necessary, the authorities referred to in paragraph 1 make the information available available through the creation of links to information systems and electronic databases managed by other public authorities.

Art. 11

Discipline on the sale below cost of extra virgin olive oils

In the extra virgin olive oil sector, selling below cost is subject to communication to the municipality where the commercial operation is located at least twenty days before the start and can be carried out only once during the year. It is however prohibited to sell below cost carried out by a business which, alone or jointly with those of the same group to which it belongs, holds a share of more than 10 percent of the total sales area existing in the territory of the province where the exercise.

Chapter IV

RULES ON FRAUD CONTRAST

Art. 12

Responsibilities of institutions for administrative offenses dependent on crime

Entities operating in the field of virgin olive oil are responsible, in accordance with Legislative Decree 8 June 2001, n. 231, for the offenses referred to in articles 440, 442, 444, 473, 474, 515, 516, 517 and 517-quater of the penal code, committed in their interest or to their advantage by persons:

a) who perform functions of representation, administration or management of the entity or one of its organizational units with financial and functional autonomy, or that exercise, even de facto, the management and control of the same;

b) subject to the management or supervision of one of the parties referred to in letter a).

The liability of the entity exists even when the offender has not been identified or cannot be charged.

Art. 13

Supplementary sanctions for the conviction for the crime of counterfeiting geographical indications or designations of origin of food products

The conviction for the crime referred to in article 517-quater of the penal code, when the counterfeiting of geographical indications or designations of origin of food products concerns virgin olive oils, involves the publication of the sentence at the expense of the convict in at least two newspapers national distribution, pursuant to article 36 of the criminal code.

The conviction for the crime referred to in paragraph 1 implies the prohibition for five years to carry out any conduct, commercial communication and advertising activity, also through a third party, aimed at the promotion of virgin olive oils.

Art. 14

Strengthening of procedural and investigative institutions

For the crimes of adulteration or fraud of virgin olive oils committed in order to obtain an unjustified profit with more operations and through the preparation of organized vehicles and ongoing activities, the suspension in the working period of the preliminary investigation is not applied, the whose total duration cannot be more than twenty months.

In the event of conviction or application of the penalty upon request for a crime committed for the purposes of paragraph 1, the confiscation of the money, assets or other benefits of which the convict cannot justify the origin or of which , even through a third party natural or legal person, proves to be the holder or have the availability for any reason in a value that is disproportionate with respect to one's declared income or economic activity.

In article 266, paragraph 1, of the criminal procedure code, the following letter is added at the end:

«F-ter) crimes provided for by articles 444, 473, 474, 515, 516 and 517-quater of the penal code».

Art. 15

Additional sanctions in the event of conviction for the crime of adulteration or counterfeiting

The definitive sentence for one of the crimes referred to in articles 439, 440, 441, 442, 473, 474 and 517-quater of the penal code in the virgin olive oil sector involves the prohibition of obtaining:

a) registrations or provisions in any way named, with authorization, concession or authorization content, for the performance of entrepreneurial activities;

b) access to grants, loans or subsidized loans or other disbursements of the same type, however named, granted or granted by the State, other public bodies or the European Union, for the performance of entrepreneurial activities.

Art. 16

Obligation to set up and update the company file

In order to guarantee full traceability of the production destined for trade and to prevent possible fraud, it is mandatory for all producers of virgin, extra virgin and glaring oils to establish and update the company file, pursuant to the regulation referred to in the Presidential decree of the Republic December 1, 1999, n. 503, and of the legislative decree 29 March 2004, n. 99. In the event of failure to comply with this requirement, the productions cannot be destined for trade.

The violation of the prohibition referred to in paragraph 1 implies the application of the pecuniary administrative sanction of the payment of a sum from 500 euros to 3,000 euros.

Unless the fact constitutes a crime, to the recognized companies that provide for the registration in the register of loading and unloading, foreseen by the decree of the Minister of agricultural food and forestry policies 10 November 2009, published in the Official Journal n. 12 of 16 January 2010, of olives or oils from producers who do not comply with the obligation referred to in paragraph 1, the pecuniary administrative sanction for the payment of a sum from 500 euros to 3,000 euros is applied, as well as the accessory sanction of suspension of recognition for a period of one to six months.

Head V

FINAL STANDARDS

Art. 17

Invariance of charges. Entry into force

The implementation of this law must not result in new or greater burdens on public finance.

This law enters into force the day after its publication in the Official Journal.

The present law, bearing the seal of the State, will be included in the official Collection of normative acts of the Italian Republic. Anyone responsible for observing it and enforcing it as a state law is obliged to do so.

Data in Rome, January 14th 2013

GIORGIO NAPOLITANO, President of the Republic

MARIO MONTI, President of the Council of Ministers

Given, the Minister of Justice: PAOLA SEVERINO