Preparations are already advanced for Portugal’s assumption of the presidency of the European Union (EU), which it has taken up for six months in January 21, reports Leatherbiz.
Lei do Couro
Officials have confirmed that one of the proposed items for its programme is a new law defining how much leather finished products need to contain before they can use ‘leather’ as a label.
The head of the enterprise policy department at Portugal’s national agency for innovation and competitiveness (IAPMEI), António Oliveira, has told World Leather that a lot of work and thought have already gone into the proposal but that it is still too soon to say if there will be space for it in the programme.
He explained that it’s important for Portugal’s programme not to contain any element that would overlap or clash with those of the member states that will have the presidency immediately before and after, in this case Germany and Slovenia.
“We work in an EU context,” Mr Oliveira said. “That means there is a lot of regulation. We need to try to use that as best we can.”
The European footwear labelling directive of 1994 gives a good definition of leather shoes, saying that manufacturers must only describe their footwear as being made of leather when at least 80% of the material in the upper is leather. At the moment, in Europe, nothing similar applies to leathergoods, garments, furniture and so on, which some brands take advantage of to cash in on leather’s cachet.