EU opens unfair trade infringement procedures against Spain

Spain is one of 12 countries the EU has opened procedures against. Image: Gemma Andreu

The EU has opened infringement procedures against 12 member states, including Spain, for failing to adopt EU rules banning unfair trading practices in the agri-food sector.

The Directive on unfair trading practices in the agricultural and food supply chain ensures protection of all European farmers, as well as of small and mid-range suppliers, against 16 unfair trading practices from larger buyers in the food supply chain. The Directive covers agricultural and food products traded in the supply chain, banning for the first time at EU level such unfair practices imposed unilaterally by one trading partner on another.

The deadline for adopting the Directive into national legislation was May 1, 2021. As of July 27 Bulgaria, Croatia, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Slovakia, and Sweden have notified the Commission that they adopted all necessary measures to ensure fair trading. France and Estonia have informed that their legislation transposes only partially the Directive.

The Commission sent letters of formal notice to Spain, Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Czechia, Estonia, France, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Romania, and Slovenia requesting them to adopt and notify the relevant measures. The member states now have two months to reply.

The 16 unfair trading practices to be banned include late payments and last-minute order cancellations for perishable food products, unilateral or retroactive changes to contracts; forcing the supplier to pay for wasted products, and refusing written contracts.


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Written by

Deirdre Tynan

Deirdre Tynan is an award-winning journalist who enjoys bringing the best in news reporting to Spain’s largest English-language newspaper, Euro Weekly News. She has previously worked at The Mirror, Ireland on Sunday and for news agencies, media outlets and international organisations in America, Europe and Asia. A huge fan of British politics and newspapers, Deirdre is equally fascinated by the political scene in Madrid and Sevilla. She moved to Spain in 2018 and is based in Jaen.

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