On 1 January 2017, France started a two-year trial of a mandatory country of origin labelling (hereinafter, COOL) scheme, which requires producers of milk, food containing milk products and food containing meat to provide information on the country of origin of the products. The scheme was introduced through Decree No 2016-1137 (i.e. Décret n° 2016-1137 du 19 août 2016 relatif à l’indication de l’origine du lait et du lait et des viandes utilisés en tant qu’ingrédient, 1 hereinafter, the Decree). Before the end of this trial period, France has promised to provide a report to the European Commission (hereinafter, Commission) that would allow it to review consumer patterns and the potential impact on the internal market. In view of the report, the Commission may consider implementing such a scheme in all EU Member States. This article also notes that other EU Member States are introducing their own COOL measures and concludes that, when COOL is being made mandatory, the EU’s international trade obligations must be taken into account by the EU and its Member States.
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