The reform of Law 12/2013 of August 2, on measures to improve the functioning of the food chain, came into force today, December 16. This reform has raised great concern in the fruit and vegetable export sector grouped in FEPEX because it generates a disruptive change in the regulation of commercial relations with parties abroad, which was in force until now.
The Law will generate an increase in the bureaucratic management of commercial transactions as it will require the operators of fruit, vegetable, flower, and plant exports (which account for 65% of these Spanish sectors' turnover) to submit to Documentary obligations and responsibilities, when legislation of other Member States is not applicable, that are not required in commercial relations between other EU states or with competing third countries, such as the obligation to contract.
According to FEPEX, the Chain Law does not and cannot provide an answer to two basic problems: the globalization of the market, a consequence of multilateral trade negotiations and bilateral agreements between the EU and third countries, and the absence of effective sectoral measures for market management that contribute to supporting prices. The law can lead to a paradoxical situation in which, in a market crisis situation, part of the production cannot access the market, causing greater damage than it is intended to prevent.
The reform of the Law broadens its scope of application to include the entire agricultural sector and affects other sectors, such as the flowers and live plants sectors, which are characterized by great commercial activity.