Misinterpreting Mislabelling: The Psagot Ruling

Printer-friendly version

Table of Contents: I. Introduction. – II. The CJEU recourse to international law in decisions on disputed territories. – III. Court’s analysis in Psagot: mandatory indication of the country of origin or the place of provenance of foodstuffs. – III.1. "Country of origin” v. “place of provenance”. – III.2. Misleading consumers regarding the products’ territory of origin and place of provenance. – III.3. Consumer protection and mandatory nature of origin marks. – IV. Observance of international law as a ground for mandatory origin marking. – V. Conclusion.

Abstract: Mandatory origin labelling of products from occupied territories has been a delicate matter in the EU external trade policy. In the recent judgement Psagot (judgment of 12 November 2019, case C-363/18, Organisation juive européenne and Vignoble Psagot [GC]), the Court of Justice considered consumers’ ethical considerations related to violations of international law as a reason for mandatory origin labelling of products originating in the Israeli settlements. This Insight argues that, in its decision, the Court missed a number of opportunities to clarify some essential concepts of EU food law, consumer protection and customs law and, as such, provided a ruling that is based on flawed and unconvincing argumentation. The Court’s broad interpretation of the notion “ethical considerations” under Regulation 1169/2011 opens a Pandora’s box of trade-restrictive practices while at the same time, continues the EU inconsistent policy towards trade with occupied territories.

Keywords: EU external relations – origin marking – consumer protection – food information – average consumer – ethics in EU law.

European Papers, Vol. 4, 2019, No 3, pp. 763-777
2499-8249 - doi: 10.15166/2499-8249/340

* PhD Researcher, Tilburg Law and Economics Center, Tilburg University, o.s.kanevskaia@uvt.nl.


European Forum


Forum Européen


Forum europeo


Foro Europeo