20 May 2022
Earlier this year, Portugal joined other countries in Europe, such as Belgium, France, Italy, and Spain, where leather is legally protected. In The Official Journal of the Republic of Portugal of January 4, 2022, the “Decree-Lei n.o 3/2022” was published, establishing the mandatory standards of the authenticity of the country’s leather
Hungary is also currently working on similar legislation, and other countries are considering following the same path to protect leather authenticity.. With this legislation, another EU Member State puts an end to misleading practices involving the hi-jacking of the term leather, including false descriptions such as ‘vegan leather’, ‘cactus leather’, ‘synthetic leather’, and artificial leather”.
The decree lays down the strict requirements for using these terms, stating that the term leather cannot be used in conjunction with qualifiers that contradict the intrinsic animal nature of leather. The leather authenticity legislation thus promotes the use of correct and truthful information for consumers, and breaking these rules constitutes an unfair commercial practice that must therefore be punished.
COTANCE was expecting that the European Commission would finally decide to proceed to a long-awaited harmonisation of leather authenticity rules at EU level, according to the president of COTANCE Manuel Rios of Inpelsa. But it looks as if EU member states are applying their own legislation so that the “vegan deception” will have nowhere to hide.