Latest updates

Is the 2020 Cannabis Bill a flower among weeds or a weed among flowers?
  • South Africa
  • 17 September 2020

The 2020 Cannabis Bill outlines the regulations under which adults may legally cultivate, possess and use cannabis for private use and recreational purposes. The bill also groups cannabis-related offences into four categories, which each carry different penalties. Even though South African adults can legally possess significantly more grams of cannabis than adults in various other countries, the cost of exceeding these amounts is far greater.

Food and beverage labelling: remedy to obesity epidemic or constitutional violation?
Sanchez DeVanny Eseverri SC
  • Mexico
  • 20 August 2020

Mexico is suffering from a national obesity epidemic; however, it is debatable whether the solution is stricter product marking, labelling and taxation or an approach focused on developing healthier habits and education. The health authorities' latest strategy on food and beverage labelling will likely have a significant economic impact on the food and beverage industry and could be considered a violation of international treaties and agreements.

Cannabis regulation: is third time a charm?
  • Mexico
  • 26 March 2020

Conscious of the challenges that the implementation of a new regulation on cannabis represents, the Senate has concluded that any regulation should be implemented gradually. To this end, a new bill under analysis foresees authorisations (ie, licences) for the personal use, growth, transformation, import and export of cannabis that are mutually exclusive. The bill also authorises scientific (ie, medical) and industrial uses; however, cosmetics and edible and drinkable products which contain cannabis are not authorised.

Mobile phones may cause brain tumours: Turin Court of Appeals revives debate
  • Italy
  • 13 February 2020

After a two-year dispute, the Turin Court of Appeals has dismissed the appeal filed by the National Insurance Provider (INAIL) and upheld the first-instance decision issued by the Court of Ivrea in 2017, which established causation between extensive work-related use of mobile phones and brain tumours and ordered INAIL to compensate the claimant with a lifelong payment.

Food and drink businesses: are you Brexit ready?
  • United Kingdom
  • 06 February 2020

After more than three years of 'will we, won't we?' uncertainty, 31 January 2020 marked the day that the United Kingdom officially left the European Union; however, this is just the beginning of the real process of change. The rest of 2020 will see the United Kingdom transition out of the European Union and there are currently still more questions than answers about what the legal, regulatory and trading landscape will look like for UK food and drink businesses on 1 January 2021.

Hemp food – Ministry of Health sets acceptable levels of THC
  • Italy
  • 06 February 2020

The Ministry of Health recently published the THC Decree, which sets the maximum tetrahydrocannabinol content permitted in food products, together with guidance on the appropriate method of analysis. Some commentators have welcomed the new regulation as a liberalisation of the use of hemp in food products; however, on closer inspection, this conclusion proves to be unjustified.

Chemicals, Brexit and path to UK REACH
  • United Kingdom
  • 30 January 2020

In January 2019 draft regulations were laid before Parliament to ensure that regimes governing biocidal products, hazardous chemicals and chemical classification can continue to operate after Brexit. The regulations swiftly followed similar legislation that would create a UK Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) regime and a UK chemicals agency. Despite industry calls for close regulatory alignment with the European Union, a UK REACH now looks highly probable.

Ministry relaxes rules for affixing technical standard conformity marks
Nagashima Ohno & Tsunematsu
  • Japan
  • 24 October 2019

Following the diversification and miniaturisation of electronic equipment, the means by which technical standard conformity marks must be affixed received significant attention from business operators that sell or import electronic equipment in Japan. As such, the Ministry of International Affairs and Communications recently relaxed the restrictions regarding marks indicating technical standard conformity certification or approval under the Radio Act and the Telecommunication Business Act.

Why is a change to allergen labelling laws necessary and what will happen next?
  • United Kingdom
  • 12 September 2019

The government recently announced that food businesses will soon be required to provide full ingredient labelling on foods which are pre-packed for direct sale. Such products will also need to clearly state whether their ingredients include any of the 14 declarable allergens. This will benefit all consumers with allergies, who will be able to clearly see from the label whether a pre-packaged product contains any of the declarable allergens, regardless of where the product was prepared and packaged.

Regulation of cannabis use in food and cosmetics
  • Italy
  • 15 August 2019

The cultivation and industrial use of hemp in Italy has a long tradition and recent changes to the law have led to a revival in this regard. While a law enacted in 2016 promotes hemp cultivation as a means to preserve biodiversity and reduce the environmental impact of agriculture, hemp-derived products for human consumption are still subject to restrictions. A recent Supreme Court judgment has had the last word on the legality of cannabis.

Radio Act amended to promote innovation using foreign WiFi and Bluetooth devices
Nagashima Ohno & Tsunematsu
  • Japan
  • 08 August 2019

The Diet recently amended the Radio Act to provide simple procedures for using radio equipment that has not been technically certified in Japan for experimental purposes. The amendments are expected to foster innovation with regard to technology-related products by addressing the challenge faced by foreign manufacturers and other business operators that have struggled to bring prototype products with WiFi or Bluetooth capabilities into Japan for experimental purposes.

One small step for alcoholic beverage marketers, one giant leap for wine critics
Westerberg & Partners Advokatbyrå Ab
  • Sweden
  • 06 June 2019

The Patent and Market Court of Appeal recently assessed the use of quotations from wine reviews in ads and found the terms 'bargain' and 'recommended' and the phrase 'an excellent alternative for the big party' acceptable under the applicable Swedish and EU law. This ruling marks a small but significant shift in the strict Swedish jurisprudence on the subject and may give market actors a reason to pop a celebratory bottle.

Recharacterisation of product risks
Nagashima Ohno & Tsunematsu
  • Japan
  • 18 April 2019

Although product compliance has always been an important issue for manufacturers, it has historically been overshadowed by safety-related product risks, and considerations regarding product compliance have typically been integrated with other product risks. However, manufacturers' awareness of the risks associated with product compliance has grown and it is now a top priority. The catalyst for this shift in attitude was a recent spate of data falsification cases.

Chemicals regulation after Brexit: blueprints for BPR, CLP and PIC regimes
  • United Kingdom
  • 07 March 2019

Draft regulations have been laid before Parliament to ensure that regimes governing biocidal products, hazardous chemicals and chemical classification can continue to operate after Brexit. The regulations swiftly follow similar legislation that would create a UK Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals regime and a UK chemicals agency. They are largely consistent with previous implementing legislation published ahead of Brexit and attempt to preserve the status quo.

REACH enforcement in 2019: is your business prepared?
  • United Kingdom
  • 28 February 2019

A statutory instrument was recently published that would create a UK Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) and a UK chemicals agency after Brexit. For companies that manufacture products or import substances into the European Union, REACH compliance will no doubt be part of their 2019 strategy – and if it is not, it should be.

Overseas product manufacturers may be liable for damages caused in Israel
Levitan, Sharon & Co
  • Israel
  • 07 February 2019

Under a recent amendment to the Civil Procedure Regulations, manufacturers that produce products outside Israel can still be sued in Israel. As a result, a claim against a foreign defendant can be dealt with by an Israeli court following a service of suit issued by a court outside Israel. This service applies Israeli jurisdiction to the foreign defendant, thus obliging it to file a defence to the claim in an Israeli court and attend the proceeding as a defendant.

Electronics and product compliance: perils of complex supply chains
  • United Kingdom
  • 17 January 2019

The Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS) was created in January 2018 by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and is tasked with improving protections for consumers and the environment and driving increased productivity, growth and business confidence. A recent case put before the OPSS demonstrates the importance of consumer product manufacturers' control not just over their manufacturing processes, but also throughout the supply chain.

New Year's resolutions for safeguarding food and drink sector
  • United Kingdom
  • 10 January 2019

In view of the challenges faced by the food and drink sector in 2018, businesses across the supply chain may want to make some New Year's resolutions to ensure that they are fighting fit and ready for the year ahead. This article posits a number of key issues for food and drink businesses to consider in this regard, including supply contracts, allergen labelling and food crime.

Brexit and UK consumer law
  • United Kingdom
  • 06 December 2018

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy recently published draft regulations to amend legislation that enforce laws protecting consumers' rights in the United Kingdom. The draft regulations will be effective after exit day and demonstrate the government's approach to ensure that current legislation due to EU membership continues to be operative after Brexit and that UK consumers will be no worse off, while removing the direct influence and jurisdiction of EU member state enforcement bodies.

Recent changes to cannabis legal landscape
Sanchez DeVanny Eseverri SC
  • Mexico
  • 29 November 2018

A number of changes to the cannabis legal landscape have taken place in Mexico over the past few weeks. For example, the Federal Commission for the Protection against Sanitary Risk recently published on its website guidelines on the sanitary control of cannabis and cannabis derivatives. Further, the Supreme Court issued its fifth decision granting constitutional protection against the adult use prohibition and Congress was presented with a bill to implement the General Law for Cannabis Control.

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