Articles and essays

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Replacement parts: are they covered by warranty? If so, when, how, and for how long?

Replacement parts can be supplied as a finished product or can be incorporated into a product during a repair. They can be new or refurbished, be intended for a household or professional product, may or may not be subject to warranty and the warranty can be statutory or contractual: in such cases, issues and interpretative problems may arise, which I aim to answer in this article, mainly focused on the relationships between companies and non-business consumers. Insights in my article published in February on Market Place magazine.

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Outside agent or employee?

Companies’ organizational model sometimes include external collaborator, formally classified as commercial agents and often paid entirely through commissions, that perform tasks with a high degree of professionalism, autonomy and decision-making power, under the direction of the company, in coordination with and – at times – with a direct relationship with the company’s top management. However, companies should note that sometimes these professional figures may request the recognition of the employees’ status and, if appropriate, of executives in view of the managerial functions performed. The law in fact takes into account the substance and not the form of a specific working relationship. Insights in my article published in January on Market Place magazine.

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The EU Commission and national authorities’ position on e-commerce

Following the completion in 2017 of the two-year Commission’s inquiry on electronic commerce (e-commerce), specific economic and legal issues have been highlighted which laid the basis for proceedings conducted by EU and national market surveillance authorities, whose outcomes — highly relevant to the economic operators concerned — are examined in my article published in December on Market Place magazine.

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RoHS 2 Directive: THE OPEN SCOPE WILL COME INTO FORCE IN LESS THAN A YEAR FROM NOW

The RoHS 2 regulations entail heavy burdens for Producers, Importers and Distributors of electrical and electronic equipment (EEE). Starting from 22 July 2019, with the addition of category 11, the open scope will be further expanded and extended to include products that are not strictly EEE, in that they use electric current in a purely ancillary way. It is therefore important to understand, as of now, whether under the open scope regime a product will fall or not within the RoHS regulations. Insights in my article published in October on Market Place magazine.

 

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Questions and answers with regard to information on consumer electronics products 

Frequently asked questions concerning the labelling and information that must accompany consumer electrical and electronic products.  Insights in my article published in August on Market Place magazine.

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Conformity regulations and procedures to determine which components fall into the categories in question.

The CE conformity regulations and the EEE environmental regulations (WEEE, RoHS, ErP), apply – as a rule – only to finished products and to stand-alone components: however, it is not always easy to establish when a certain component is covered or not by these regulations.  Insights in my article published in July issue of Market Place magazine.

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Indemnity for termination of the agency contract, limitation period and grounds for forfeiture

If, when and how is the commercial agent entitled to the termination indemnity provided for by law and Collective Bargaining Agreements and grounds for the loss of such right due to limitation periods or forfeiture, also in light of the most recent case-law. Insights in my article published in June issue of  Market Place magazine.

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New regulations on digital radio

All radio reception devices, irrespective of range and price, as from 1 June 2019 (sell-in date) and as from 1 January 2020 (sell-out date), must be capable of receiving digital radio broadcasting, even though no plans have been for the switch-off of analogue transmissions. To which radio apparatus does the new regulation refer to? What happens in other EU countries? Is it legitimate a regulation that, objectively, makes more difficult intra-EU trade?  Insights in my article published in April on the issue of the magazine Market and Place.

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The new European privacy regulation comes into effect in May 2018 

The new Regulation No. 679/2016, also known as The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), will enter into force in all EU countries on 25/05/2018, replacing almost entirely from this date the previous Italian Legislative Decree 196/2003 (Personal Data Protection Code).Insights and examine of the main features and some major innovations of the new Regulation, with a special focus on the ‘novelties’ that businesses will have to face, in my article published in March issue of Market Place magazine.

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Questions and answers with regard to information on consumer electronics products

Frequently asked questions concerning the labelling and information that must accompany consumer electrical and electronic products. Insights in my article published in February on Market Place magazine.

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Documentation and certificates to keep at the disposal of the authority for products on the market but or no longer produced or no longer imported.

What documentation must the Producer or Importer keep available and show to the supervisory authorities − for EC regulation purposes − in the case of equipment no longer produced or imported but still on the market? In other words, should the documentation to be provided be updated at the moment of putting the product on sale to consumers or at some earlier point? Insights in my article published in November-December issues of Market Place magazine.

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E-COMMERCE AND SELECTIVE DISTRIBUTION NETWORKS

Recent guidelines of the European antitrust authority.

Insights in my article published in November-December issues of Market Place magazine.

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Cooperation agreements between suppliers and large-scale distributors for the application of uniform supply conditions –Insights in my article published in September on Market Place magazine.   

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Questions and answers: RoHS, WEEE and RED Directives, indications on products, various questions concerning consumer electronics Frequently asked questions with reference to common legal issues related to consumer electronics. Insights in my article published in June-July on Market Place magazine.

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RTT&E Directive: the Ministry for Economic Development has been brought by the Council of State before the European Court of Justice. During the course of a legal action backed by ANDEC concerning a currently relevant question on radio and telecommunications terminal equipment, the Council of State, by order 01604/2017, referred three questions to the European Court of Justice for a preliminary ruling in order to establish the Ministry’s misinterpretation and incorrect conclusions as regards the information to be provided on the packaging of products. Article published on the March issue of Market Place 2017                                                                                                                                   

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Selective distribution networks and parallel imports within EU countries -Article published on March 2017 issue of Market Place Magazine.

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Directive 2014/104/EU – Private Antitrust enforcement, new legislation on damage compensation. Article published in the January 2017 issue of Market Place magazine.

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ECONOMIC DEPENDENCE: HOW TO PROTECT AGAINST ABUSIVE PRACTICES
Abuse of a position of economic dependence, abuse of dominan position, abuse of law: we examine various types of legally relevant subject of an economic subject to another.

Article published on the December issue of Market Place 2016

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Private copying: bitter news for SIAE from the recent decision issued by the European Court of Justice on 22 September 2016                     Professional devices must right from the beginning be exempt from any payment, even temporary, of the compensation for private copying; agreements entereed into by SIAE with trade associations of producers to regulate this matter, thus not only in respect of professional devices, are not valid. Insights – Article published on the October issue of Market Place 2016

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Recent cases of suggested retail price sanctioned by Antitrust authorities because regarded as vertical agreements on prices. From the examination of some recent decisions by European antitrust authorities, we can deduce important information on what is permitted and what is forbidden in the case of recommended retail prices. Article issued in September 2016 issue of the magazine Market Place

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Keywords or paid placement on search engines unlawful?

Article published on the August issue of Market Place 2016

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Indemnity for termination of the agency contract and new customers. New prospects for agent and possible burdens placed on principals following the recent ruling issued by the Court of Justice on 7 April 2016.  Insights – article published on the June issue of Market Place 2016

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Question and answers on product conformity and CE marking
Questions and and answers on the subject of products conformity, technical assistance, declaration of conformity and CE Marking. Article published on the May issue of Market Place 2016

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Questions and answers on matters of after-sales service

Article published on the April issue of Market Place 2016

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the new directives on Electro-Magnetic Compatibility, Low Voltage and Radio Equipment shall come into force, placing new obligations on Manufacturers, Importers, Distributors and Authorized Representatives
In the course of April and June 2016, the new Directives 2014/30/EU (EMC), 2014/35/EU (LVD) and 2014/53/EU (RED) will become effective. The purpose of this article is to highight the main obligations, often new, imposed by the three important regulations on Economic Operators at which they are addressed (Manufacturers, Importers, Distributors and Authorized Representatives).

article published on the March issue of Market Place 2016

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Technical assistance, legal warranty and standard warranty on parallel-imported products

article published on the February issue of Market Place 2016

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Relation between Supplier and Retailer:questions and answers on the issues of guarantee

article published on the December issue of Market Place 2015

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DIFFERENCE BETWEEN RECOMMENDED RETAIL PRICE AND AGREEMENT BETWEEN PRODUCER AND DEALER ON THE RESALE PRICE

article published on the November issue of Market Place 2015

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Liability and guarantee of the components supplier towards the producer of the equpment/system in which they are incorporated
The supplier TOM sells components/sub-assemblies to the producer DICK (e.g., printed circuit boards, diodes, LEDs, transistors, hard disks, but also finished products, such as vaporizers, fan coils, chillers or industrial PCs) itended to be incorporated by the latter into a final product (whether this is a single good, such as a TV set, or a system as, for example, a refrigeration unit). The question arises as to what are the guarantee obligations of TOM towards DICK and how TOM many somehow limit them. This with particular regard to one of the most transversal rgulations in the electronic sector – where often in such cases conflicts occur between supplier and producer – namely that on electromagnetic compatibility.

article published on the July issue of Market Place 2015

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EEE NOT WEEE
Which electrical and electronic equipment does not fall within the WEEE referred to in the WEEE 2 regulation? It is important for producers and distributors to identify which it is, even if this is not always easy, so as to avoid having to bear environmental costs not attributable to them and safeguard their compstitiveness.

article published  on the April issue of Market Place 2015

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Difference between used products and waste
Used products can be trasported without particularvformalities and costs like any other non hazardous mobile item, waste is subject to a scheme of its own.

article published on the January issue of Market Place 2015

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The Pan- European Guarantee
What happens when a producer provides a commercial guarantee for its products marketed in several Member States of the European Union? In this article we shall examine the producer’s obligations and requirement in line with EU law.

article published on the November issue of Market Place 2014

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Competition regulations and prohibited agreements for which fines are typically imposed – real case Prohibited price fixing agreements Prohibited market sharing agreements to prevent parallel imports    Prohibited discriminatory practices and selective distribution networks Negative examples drawn from real cases and evidences found  on the occasion of legal surveys and legal auditing. Article published on September 2014 issue of Market Place Magazine

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The WEEE and Waste batteries representative in Italy
WEEE 2 regulation and legislation on waste batteries and accumulators: obligation imposed on Producers who introduce EEE, Batteries and accumulators in countries other than those in which they are established.

Article published on the Octorber issue of Market Place 2014

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CE and International trade: which law applies? Which is the competent court to judge?    The Italian commercial sector relating to technical and technological consumer goods is commonly characterized by the marketing of imported products from abroad. Hence the significance of international trade where buyer and seller live in different countries, and the need of knowing some fundamental rules on choosing the law regulating it and on the court having jurisdiction to rule on possible disputes ( Article published on “ Market Place ”,  issue of June 2014 ).     

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Distance selling:  as of 13 June 2014, there are  new important legislative changes regarding consumer rights in distance sales  Distance selling: the Legislative Decree No. 21 of 21 Feb 2014, entering into force on 13 June 2014, will implement in Italy the Directive 2011/83/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 Nov 2011 on consumer rights. From the implementation of the new regulation, new rights for consumers and new burdens on industry operators will ensue, which are useful to know. Article published on May 2014 issue of Market Place magazine.

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How has the WEEE 2 Directive been implemented in Italy? Italian peculiarities, problems and issues
Through the Legislative Decree No.49 of 14 March 2014, Italy before any other EU Member State except the UK, has implemented the Directive 2012/19/EU on Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE 2 Directive). In this memo I shall examine in simple and plain terms some of the main characteristics of this important legislative development, with particular  attention to Italian peculiarities and to critical issues affecting Producers.

Article published on the April issue of Market Place 2014

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TV SETS TYPE APPROVAL OR RATHER THE GRAVEYARD OF DEAD TECH
In full “digital” era, still persists in Italy a form of type approval for television sets conceived and developed during the analog era, which today appears in breah of EU treaties, but that,according to the Italian Ministry of Economic Development (MISE), still currently in force.

Article published on the March issue of Market Place 2014

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ANTITRUST RULES AND GUIDELINES ON MATTERS OF GUARANTEE –  In the last few years, there has been an increasing number of decisions issued by the Italian antitrust authority regarding the legal guarantee. The last pronouncement is very recent and raises some rather serious legal concerns. What the AGCM often criticizes sellers and producers to do, is to intentionally divert consumers away from the legal guarantee in favour of the conventional one offered by them. The aim of this article, besides defining the constituent elements of the legal guarantee, is to explore and examine the main guidelines of the AGCM in this regard, as well as the measures and sanctions imposed so far. Overall, this article, published on the February 2014 issue of the magazine “ Marketplace “ , may be of interest also to those who do not operate, or not solely operate, on the Italian market, since it largely refers to EU regulations and directives.

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Ecolabel, Ecodesign and legislation on energy efficiency
There is much talk at present, especially in the consumer electronics industry, about energy efficiency. It is therefore important for everyone, that is to say consumers, manufacturers, importers, distributors, retailers and industry operators in general, to choose less energy-intensive products and the suppliers – besides producing and selling products which are more eco-friendly, respectfull of natural resources and leading do exonomic benefits – to meet the very strict Ecodesign and Ecolabel requirements set within the EU market and thoroughly sanctioned at national level. In this article I shall examine in a summary but exhaustive and detailed manner the Eropean and national legislation in force.

Article published on the January issue of Market Place 2014

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Selective distribution networks and online shops
It must have happened to everyone to hear about “selected resellers”, “exclusive distributors”, “specialist official retailers”. All these entities refer to the selective distribution networks set up by producers, mostly within Europe, to market luxury and prestige products, or of particular outstanding technological features, requiring supplementary and specific quality services to purchasers such as a physical show-room, sales and technical assistance, complete range of good offered, qualified personnel, etc. But how do these selective distribution networks relate in comparison to online sales operators? Can these latter become part of them? If so, what are the services that online sellers may offer to justify the qualilty and excellence of their performances? The aim of this article ist to answerthese and other questions.

Article published on the December issue of Market Place 2013

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WEB Reputation Legal Aspects
More and more consumers become convinced to buy a product or a service instead of another as a result of the multitude of opinions and reviews found online: but, as also revealed by recent news reports, many of these reviews or opinions may be fake, derogatory or “bought” by interested companies. The purpose of this article is to examine the actual responsibilities of those adopting these illegal practices and the concrete possibility of prosecuting them.

Article published on the October issue of Market Place 2013

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Statutory provisions relating to E-Commerce
In this article I shall introduce and examine the main rules governing e-commerce, as well as some legal issues – including environmental ones – relating to current regulations, among which must be mentioned the lack of a single, homogeneous consolidated law, the insufficient European harmonization and the non-existence of an international regulatory framework applying to operators established outside the EU.

Article published on the September issue of Market Place 2013

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Business-to-business guarantee in the supply of goods or services through sales and contracts
In this article, the Attorney Mr. Maurizio Iorio examines the main rules of the legal business-to-business guarantee (hereafter “B2B”), namely that form of guarantee binding the supplier towards the purchaser (company, professional entity, self-employed etc.), when the object of the supply is a service or product not intended for resale to final consumers.

Article published on the July issue of Market Place 2013

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VOID CLAUSES IN AGENCY CONTRACTS
In this article I shall examine some of the clauses- currently found in agency contracts-which are voids, or, at best, of controversial application since in conflict with mandatory rules provided by law and by collective bargaining.

Article published on the June issue of Market Place 2013

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Product labelling and consumer information
Summary of the contents: Il this period, a number of products have been seized from retailers by the authorities responsible for market surveillance (Italian Financial Police, of Guardia di Finanza, in particular), since failing – usually only in part – to provide information to consumers that by law must accompany the products. However, these measures are not always justified. In this article I shall examine the general provisions to provide information to the consumer established by the Italian Consumer Code, as well as specifying when these do not apply or only partialy apply.

Article  published on the May/June issue of Market Place 2013

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The New RoHS Directive 2011/65/EU: interpretation and application problems for who produces and/or markets electrical and electronic equipment, or similar products, in Italy
Article published on the April/May issue of Market Place 2013

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Legal guarantee and conventional guarantee on products sold to consumers
The article is available also in French at the section”Articles et Publications” of the relevant section of this site. – Article published on the March issue of Market Place 2013

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The new terms of payment in commercial transactions
During November 2012, Itaky has implemented the new European Directive 2011777eu on late payment, which, with effect from 1 January 2013, sets out new mandatory terms of payment – derogable only in part and for specific circumstances – in the commercial relations between undertaking and between undertakings and Public Authorities. The aim of this article is to explain in a clear and concise manner the new rules deriving from such important innovation, which will inevitably have an impact on the financial management of every undertaking, both as creditor and as debtor.

Article published on the February issue of Market Place 2013

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Liability for defective products
In this article, the attorney at law, Mr Maurizio Iorio, examines the main liabilities faced by producers – and in certain cases by distributors or retailers – and when, how and to what extent the same are liable for damages to person or property caused by the defective products placed on the market. This article is available also in French  at the relevant section “Articles et publications” of this site.

Article published on the December issue of Market Place 2012

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Unsafe Products and their withdrawal / recall from the market
In this issue, I will briefly address the complex regulations concerning unsafe, and hence dangerous, products with which anyone – producer, retailer, home or professional user – might have to deal with.

Article published on the October issue of Market Place 2012

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CE mark on products not subject to CE marking –  Article published on September 2012 issue of Market Place magazine

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Questions and Answers regarding compliance, marking, instructions and inscriptions on products instructions
To those who is interested to deepen the topics covered in the article, I indicate the section “QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS” of this site.

Article published on the August issue of Market Place 2012

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The new WEEE Directive – Article published on June 2012 issue of Market Place magazine

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On the seller’s obligation, or not, to make spare parts available for a certain period of time in line with Italian legislation and that of the major European countries   Article published on the number of May ( published in June 2012 ) of the Italian magazine Market Place.   

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Parallel imports: if, when and how you can legally fight them –  Article published on the number of April  ( published in May  2012 )  of the Italian magazine Market Place.A French version is also available in the French part of this site ( at section “ Articles  et publications )  .  

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1. The Italian Administrative court rewrites the RTTE Directive
The article is also available in French at the relevant sections of the site – Always on this site, under the heading “PRODUCT LEGISLATION” is available both the TAR Lazio ruling in the article, and the corresponding Appeal on appeal to the State of Council drawn up and filed at the beginning of April 2012 by the Attorney M. Iorio; an English translation of the appeal is available in the relevant section of the site.

Article published on the issue of April of Market Place 2012