Bill of Law 7646 ("Bill") aims to increase protection of small and medium-sized suppliers against unfair trading practices by powerful buyers within the agricultural and food supply chains through various mechanisms. It transposes Directive (EU) 2019/633 of 17 April 2019 on unfair trading practices in business-to-business relationships in the agricultural and food supply chain ("Directive").
In line with the Directive, the Bill establishes a minimum list of prohibited unfair trading practices related to, inter alia, payment deadlines, unexpected cancellation of orders as well as unilateral modifications of supply agreements. Certain prohibitions are of public order, while other practices are prohibited only in the absence of contrary contractual provisions.
Enforcement is entrusted to the Competition Council, which can investigate following a complaint, including by representative organisations of suppliers, or on its own initiative. As in the field of competition law, the Competition Council will have the power to carry out unannounced on-site inspections within the framework of its investigations. The Bill provides for the power to impose fines (max. EUR 120,000) and, in line with the Directive, cooperation arrangements for coordination between enforcement authorities of different Member States.
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