SUP Directive: European Commission opens infringement case against Italy

(Picture PxHere)

An infringement case has been opened by the European Commission against Italy for the "exceptions" introduced into the transposition of Directive 2019/904 on single-use plastics, the so-called SUP Directive. The European Commission sent a letter of formal notice to the Italian Government - the first step in this proceeding - for not having fully and correctly transposed the directive on single-use plastics and for failing to comply with the obligations set out in the Single Market Transparency Directive.

The SUP Directive is an essential element of the European Commission's plastics strategy and circular economy action plan. The aim is to prevent and mitigate the impact of certain plastic products on the environment and the human health, as well as to promote the transition to a circular economy. According to the Commission Italy failed to transpose or correctly transpose several provisions of the SUP Directive into its national law, with the result of affecting its scope and application. The aim of the Single Market Transparency Directive is to prevent the creation of barriers in the internal market. Member States must notify the Commission of all draft technical regulations concerning products before they are adopted into national legislation. According to the Directive, Member States must respect a three-month suspension period between the notification of a draft technical regulation and its adoption.

Italy allegedly violated the procedural rules laid down by the Directive by adopting its transposition legislation during the suspension period, while the dialogue with the European Commission was still ongoing. The European Commission, therefore, sent a letter of formal notice to Italy, which now has two months to respond and take remedial action. In the absence of a satisfactory response, the European Commission may decide to issue a reasoned opinion.