On 18 June 2021, the Unfair Trading Practices in the Food Supply Chain Regulations (Legal Notice 266 of 2021 and hereinafter the ‘UTP Regulations’), transposing Directive 2019/633 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 April 2019 on unfair trading practices in business-to-business relationships in the agricultural and food supply chain, came into force.
The UTP Regulations aim to combat practices that deviate from commercial conduct that is contrary to good faith and fair dealing and which are unilaterally imposed by one trading party onto another. They list several unfair trading practices that are prohibited in relations between buyers and suppliers operating in the agricultural and food supply chain, including:
- i. having a buyer refusing to confirm in writing the terms of a supply agreement for which a supplier asked for written confirmation, and
- ii. having a buyer unlawfully acquiring, using, or disclosing trade secrets of a supplier.
The UTP Regulations also establish an Unfair Trading Practices (Agriculture and Fisheries) Board to act as the enforcement authority tasked with enforcing the prohibition of unfair trading practices in the agricultural and food supply chain.
Supply agreements in force upon the coming into force of, and falling within the scope of the, UTP Regulations must comply with the provisions of these regulations within one calendar year from their date of entry into force.
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