The fines, other penalties, and interim measures will also be defined through national legislation. Additional powers such as carrying out unannounced on-site inspections will be useful in helping national authorities to enforce the UTP rules.
While the deadline for transposing the Directive into national legislation is 1 May, the national law may postpone applying the adopted measures until 1 November 2021. The national measures will be applicable to all supply agreements concluded after the national law enters into force. When it comes to supply agreements that are already in place, the respective companies will have a period of 12 months to bring their business practices into compliance with the new rules.
With the deadline for transposing the rules on prohibiting UTPs rapidly approaching, food sector companies should press pause and assess the conditions agreed with suppliers to lower the risk of penalties and other sanctions to zero.
To prevent companies trying to circumvent the obligation to refrain from UTPs by transferring their seat to another country, the Directive clearly stipulates that the rules apply to cases where either the supplier or the buyer, or both, are established in the EU.
This overview aims to provide the status of Directive implementation in EU jurisdictions, indicating whether a new UTPs law has been adopted or an existing law amended to meet the Directive’s goals. It should be noted that the overview does not represent an exhaustive list of all laws applicable to the supplier-buyer relationship (such as general trade laws, etc.).
As the companies operating in the CEE region are interested in the status of the regulation of UTPs in non-EU countries, the overview provides relevant information for some non-EU countries as well. If there are no specific UTP laws in non-EU countries, the overview provides a wider picture and refers to the rules that should, nevertheless, be taken into consideration in such supplier-buyer relationships.
The status of UTPs laws in certain CEE countries can be checked in the table below: