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Italian leather reopens - UNIC clarifies what is going to happen from today and from May 4th
29 April 2020

ILM  reports on an alarming trend in mainstream media outlets regarding inaccurate and defamatory journalism when it concerns the leather and meat industry. Several publications in recent weeks have prompted public responses from leading industry institutions and have even led to legal steps.



Italian leather reopens (from May 4th)

The new Government Decree, which dates to April 26th, has set the guidelines to comply with during Phase 2. As explained by UNIC, it modifies “the list of activities that are not suspended following Covid-19 emergency”. In other words, “they added, in the newly published list, the Manufacturing of Leather Articles and similar products (Code 15). Therefore, leather-tanning activity is meant to be generally allowed, with no need to submit any further notice to the Prefect, starting from the date of validity of the decree”. Such decision will enter into force on May 4th. Therefore, next Monday, “pursuant to art.2, comma 9, companies, which are due to start again their work from 4 May 2020, are allowed to carry out the whole of activities that are preparatory to reopening, starting from 27 April 2020”. That is, from today.

Let us see what can happen starting from today

Yet, we have to move further on. In fact, starting from today, 27thApril, “companies are allowed, prior notice to the Prefect in charge, to carry out leather-tanning activities oriented towards export”. They set such decision in a joint release made public yesterday by Mise, the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Transport (forwarded to the Ministry of Domestic Affairs), therefore interpreting the guidelines specified in the Government Decree of last April 10th. Furthermore, “companies are still allowed, prior notice to the Prefect in charge, to carry out activities that are functional to the permitted ones”. For example, “leather-tanning activities that are functional to samples”, ex Ateco code 74.10.10, or to clients oriented to export; moreover activities, carried out by contractors or sub-suppliers, that are functional to permitted leather-tanning activities, etc.” Besides that, all tanneries (even though they are not oriented towards export) are allowed, prior notice to the Prefect in charge, to let their working personnel, or authorized third parties, get into corporate facilities to carry out conservation and maintenance works. Including, among others, the ones that aim to stabilise hides and leather in danger of getting deteriorated or mouldy”.

One-metre distance

UNIC “strongly advise all companies, which are about to start again their working activities, to strictly abide by the guidelines pinpointed in the Protocol for Covid-19 prevention at work. On top of that, “as regards the social distance issue, on 24 April 2020 social parties approved a supplemental note to the above-mentioned Protocol, therefore confirming that social distance must be one metre”. Such distance will not be valid in Tuscany though: here, in fact, “higher restrictions are still into force, as distance must be 1.8 metres, pursuant to Ordinance n.38, issued by the President of Tuscany Region on 18 April 2020”.