Source: All England Reporter
Publisher Citation: [2003] All ER (D) 296 (May)
Court: Court of Justice of the European Communities
Judge:

Judges Rodriguez Iglesias (President), Puissochet, Wathelet, Schintgen and Timmermans (Presidents of Chambers), Gulmann (Rapporteur), Edward, Jann, Skouris, Macken, Colneric, von Bahr and Cunha Rodrigues

Judgment Dates: 20 May 2003

Catchwords

European Communities - Consumers - Consumer information - Product labelling - Protected designation of origin (PDO) requiring grating and packaging to take place in particular region - Compatibility of requirement with EC Treaty - Necessity to bring requirement to attention of third parties - Effect of certain third parties having carried out grating and packaging prior to entry into force of PDO whilst situation governed by Franco-Italian convention - art 29 EC.

The Case

A condition within the protected designation of origin (PDO) relating to 'Grana Padano' that the cheese be grated and packaged within the region of production was equivalent to a quantitative restriction on exports, within the meaning of art29 EC. However, it was in the circumstances justified, but could not be relied upon against economic operators for the purposes of criminal penalties or civil proceedings, as it had not been adequately brought to their attention. The situation was different where operators who had carried on the activity of grating and packaging the product in the period prior to the entry into force of the PDO were involved, as there had previously been a Franco-Italian convention on the matter. Where the national court considered that the convention was capable of being relied on against those operators, by virtue of the national rules on publicity, the PDO could also be so relied upon.

Practice Areas

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