24 January 2022

With the publication in the official gazette on January 4th, Portugal approves its Leather Decree. The Decree-Lei no 3/2022 defines the term “couro” and the possibilities of its commercial use. Thus putting out of play certain expressions (such as vegan leather, synthetic leather and so on) that are incorrect from a technical point of view and misleading for the public. The law provides for fines and criminal proceedings for offenders. Report by La Conceria.

Portugal approves its Leather Decree

“With this law, the Government recognizes the strategic importance of leather and leather products for the Portuguese economy – comments Nuno Carvalho, president of the trade association APIC and of the Couro Azul tanning group. The government also recognizes the need to protect the sector from fraudulent commercial practices”.

The law, as we said, defines the term leather and regulates its use. It will no longer be possible in the commercial and labeling field to associate the word with prefixes, suffixes and qualifying adjectives if the material in question is not leather. Goodbye eco-leather and vegan leather, in short. The Portuguese decree intends to protect the consumer from misleading information and competition on the market from practices that can distort it.

Cotance’s goal

Cotance, the association representing European tanning in Brussels, rejoices.

In October 2020 Italy had already equipped itself with a regulatory instrument to protect the authenticity of leather. Portugal is now added to the list of European countries with a law on the subject (Belgium, France and Spain), while in Hungary a law on the subject follows the approval process. “We expect the European Commission to decide to proceed with the long-awaited harmonization of the regulations on the authenticity of leather at EU level”, concludes Manuel Rios, president of Cotance.

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