What does the Italian Government endeavor to protect Made in Italy?


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What falls under the perimeter of this concept?


Fiat 500 Italian style.Import or export to market.

Every unequivocal conduct aimed at commercializing products bearing fake origin or provenance details is an indictable crime.

This conduct is punishable according to the Italian Criminal Code (up to two years of imprisonment and a sanction of up to 20.000,00 euros).

According to the E.U. rules on product origin, any stamp “made in Italy” on products and merchandise not originating from Italy is false.

Although a “foreign origin” or “foreign provenance” of merchandise is exposed along with a stamp “made in Italy,” this nonetheless represents misleading labeling.

Likewise, using signs, pictures, and whatever else may lead consumers to consider the item has an Italian origin.

Similarly, they can use fake or misleading business brands owing to the regulation of deceptive commercial practices.

Italian Law indicates the adjective “fallacious” as regards the act of using the brand in a particular manner. Therefore, “fallacious utilizing.”

The described type of offense is committed from the first item or merchandise presented at the Customs.

No wonder it happens when it is needed for release for consumption or placed into free circulation and up to retailing.

The fallacious labeling.


It can soon be legitimized administratively by striking any:

  • signs;
  • pictures;
  • or other elements that may lead consumers to think they are dealing with an original Italian product.

The offender must remove the caption “made in Italy” and indicate precisely the origin, and the costs to the offender must also be charged.

The licensee commits false labeling by using the brand to lead consumers to believe that the product or merchandise is of Italian origin.

In like fashion:

  • It represents false labeling of items peddled without detailed and blatant indications of foreign origin or provenance;
  • However, if there is not enough information to avoid any misunderstanding of the consumers on the effective product’s origin,
  • Or, again, if a certificate from the brand owner does not accompany the items;
  • Or licensee vouching for effective foreign product’s origin as details to show in sales to be provided by the former and at his costs.

Breach of the rules mentioned above of Law is an indictable crime, and the offender is fined with an administrative sanction of 10.000,00 up to 250.000,00 euros.

In such a case, the products or merchandise must be seized unless the responsible individual provides at his expense the necessary details to be affixed on the product, package, or documentation that must accompany it for consumers.

This said, more considerations can be promoted about a breach of rules on “Made in Italy.”


More recently, the Italian lawgiver meant to establish when the crime of selling with misleading signs is realized, as described in the criminal code, clarifying that the felony recurs since the products are presented at the Customs.

As you can notice, they bring the type of offense punishment forward at the Customs; on the other hand, it can be overcome at the same place and time.

It seems weird that selling a product may bring plenty of trouble with the Italian regulations on the so-called “Made in Italy.”

Here, we are to peruse how the laws must be intended when selling industrial products with mendacious signs.

Entrepreneurs don’t have to indicate the manufacturer’s country on an item.

However, if this place is appended falsely, it will be sufficient to mislead about the product’s origin.

The provision is controversial today because there is no shortage of those who think the manufacturer’s land should permanently be affixed to items.


What’s the crime according to the Italian criminal code?


Banner of Italy


To summarize, businesses affixing to items not only their brand or manufacturer’s premises land do not.

But if they use even fallacious wording, attesting they were made in Italy, the action is not lawful.

Likewise, when another different country from where they were made is shown.

The matter at issue has evolved under some circumstances.

Hence, this allows us to say that if the manufacturer’s country is lacking and the Italian brand is affixed to the items, we need to caveat as follows:

The Detention has become an administrative offense, as outlined in the Italian Parliament’s Law nr. 99 of 2009.

Decriminalization applies, and the judge must order the release of the items from seizure unless the facts represent a crime under the criminal type left in the Law treated earlier.

Who is a producer under the Italian Laws protecting the “Made in Italy?


When peddling industrial products bearing mendacious signs, a producer is not much in the following event:

If goods purchased abroad from a third party are placed into free circulation, he has no role in manufacturing.

Consequently, it would be misleading to consumers if medical devices were transported to Italy from abroad while an Italian concern is shown as the producer.

Ditto, selling products bearing the “Made in Italy” sign, which can’t be considered from Italy, violates the regulation against products bearing mendacious signs.

That brand aims to protect merchandise entirely manufactured in Italy or equated to it according to the E.U. rules on the origin of goods.

Therefore, peddling a product with the wording “Made in Italy” violates the said rules if it is manufactured in a different country from Italy in the following event:

It is made by someone acting as a proxy for an Italian producer who has sent semi-finished products to set up based on a default model.

The Italian High Court of Appeals has illustrated when “Made in Italy” wording can be used lawfully.


According to the E.E.C. Regulation nr. 2913 of 1992, that is when:

–  the item is entirely produced in Italy;

– its last transformation has come about in Italy;

– when the item’s technical processing has come about in Italy, and it led to a brand new product or was its most significant processing phase (Corte di Cassazione Penale, III Sezione, 23.09.2005, n. 34103).

The breach of rules concerning mendacious signs also comes into consideration when someone is selling olive oil made from olive fruits harvested and worked in a place outside Italy but packaged with labeling expressing an Italian origin.

The Community Customs Code provides a balance equalization mechanism related to the excise duty and doesn’t sway State Members’ criminal code applicability.

Once again, regarding peddling industrial products bearing mendacious signs, judicial precedents have hastened to set out the origin and provenance expressions, specifying that we must intend for the product’s provenance to be from a “given producer.”

Not to a given place.

If an item produced with an Italian processing program outside Italy is presented with the wording “Italian design,” no crime would be charged.


In like fashion, the marketing of shades bearing the wording “conceived by” and the non-Italian manufacturing firm’s name shown would not pave the way to a type of offense.

That’s because the corresponding Italian wording for “conceived by” or “imagined by” is not intended for the items’ country of origin or provenance. It just points out the model or brand exploited to make it.

In addition, we should be drawn to other vital elements regarding mendacious signs affixed to products in agribusiness.



The legislation protecting “Made in Italy” must be interpreted so that their origin is defined by their geographical provenance, not binding artistry phases location exclusively on the products having the brand:

  • “D.O.P.” (an acronym for protected origin denomination);
  • or I.G.P. (an acronym for protected geographical indication).

These brands are attributive of traditional and quality products.

As regards all other generic brands of agricultural produce, since they lack those, as mentioned earlier, traditional and quality brands, we must refer to the Community Customs Code’s criteria to establish their origin.

Also, the type of offense against “Made in Italy” must be denied in case produce and vegetables are marketed as Italian, with the indentation “Made in Italy” having a substantial work process in Italy, albeit the raw materials used to produce them coming from outside Italy, wholly or in part.

Suppose a fruit salad has a small percentage of products from outside Italy.


VaseAlso, suppose syrup prunes are entirely picked outside of Italy. According to the Law protecting “Made in Italy” in agribusiness, Jurisprudence held that the origin country must generally be where the produce was gathered or where the product was entirely and exclusively obtained from the produce harvested here or their extracts.

To illustrate, if they are not marketed as produce or not:

  • Entirely and exclusively reaped out of produce harvested in a given nation;
  • Or reaped from their extracts, the criterion to determine their origin is in the Community Customs Code in Article 24.

This rule points out their origin where the transformation or substantial making last came about.

Regularizing at an administrative level produce marketed with mendacious or fallacious provenance details does not imply revoking imposed orders freezing evidence.

The interim measure can be maintained until the judge ascertains that precautionary circumstances persist.

Sure enough, the Italian High Court of Appeals, in judgment nr. 19746 of 2010, established that:

“The regularization after removing signs or pictures or whatever may incite one to think it’s an original Italian product or by exhibiting the correct origin or striking the stamp “Made in Italy” from the product does not cause the extinction of the offense.”

(Cassazione Penale, Sezione III, 25 Maggio 2010, n. 19746).

Thank you for reading this Article.

“Italynlaw” Law Firm issued this Article.

Image 20: Piazza Duca D’Aosta – Milan (Italy).

Image 21: Pink Fiat 500.

Image 22: Italian Flag at a barred window.

Imagine 23: Lemon Harvest in Tubs.

Imagine 24: Wine Pitcher.

Source: “Italynlaw.com.”

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