The Monti Government passed a package of reforms aimed at
boosting the economy by doing away with restrictive practices and
enhancing competition through the liberalisation of certain
The law, which became effective at the end of March, introduces
in particular new regulations for supply contracts of food and
beverage products. These rules, which will have a significant
impact on the relationship between suppliers and large supermarket
chains, will affect the entire food sector. The purpose of the new
regulations is to protect the weaker contractual party (usually the
supplier) from late payments. The provisions of the law
Requirement that all supply contracts be in writing or risk
being null and void and provide the following information:
duration, quantity and characteristics of product being sold,
price, delivery method and payment details;
Restrictions on the general sale and purchase conditions to
avoid them being unfair to one of the parties;
Payment terms established by law (30 days from delivery,
collection or invoicing for perishable goods and 60 days for all
An additional 2% penalty interest is payable on the amount of
the late payment
Sanctions for non compliance with the new regulations are as
Fines of up to a maximum of €20,000 in respect of the
absence of a written contract;
Fines of up to a maximum of €3,000 for unfair sale and
Fines of up to a maximum of €500,000 for not meeting
the prescribed payment terms.
Responsibility for the verification of any violations of the
regulations will rest with the AGCM (Autorità
Concorrenza ed il Mercato) who may apply for assistance to the
Guardia di Finanza (Tax Police) as
well as other officers and agents.
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