16 July 2015: CJEU in UNIC and UNI.CO.PEL (C-95/14)
Not surprisingly, the CJEU followed the AG's opinion in this case (Italian leather shoes not what they used to be...) and declared Italian law that placed more stringent than European rules on marketing and placing on the Italian market of leather shoes coming from other Member States or from third countries, but which have already entered the European market, as inadmissible. While proper labelling of consumer products is important, the national labelling requirements may not, pursuant to the CJEU, go as far as to impede "placing on the market of footwear which complies with the labelling requirements of this Directive". (Par. 42) As a reminder, the Directive requires the label to reveal the composition of the footwear, e.g. whether it's leather, but does not require country of origin of the leather to be revealed. While for many consumers origin labelling is extremely important, since it may allow them to follow their own preferences with regard to domestic/foreign products, exactly for this reason it could hinder the development of the internal market. (Par. 44) Therefore, the CJEU's judgment does not surprise.