Economic operators are facing a number of practical and legal questions as EU and national authorities work to facilitate the supply of biocidal products.

By Cesare Milani and Federica Rizzo

The COVID-19 crisis has increased demand for disinfectants, hand cleaners, and other biocidal products, resulting in general shortages across most EU Member States. Many companies are currently working to increase the supply of such products and are considering shifting production.

EU companies and non-EU economic operators (through their EU importers) and regulatory authorities are striving to make fast-track procedures fully available via derogation to the lengthy pre-market authorisation procedures established under the EU Biocidal Products Regulation (BPR) and other relevant regulations. In this respect, many questions have arisen surrounding: (i) which legislation applies; (ii) what is the competent regulatory body; and (iii) how to deal in practice with the legal and technical requirements in a timely and cost-effective manner.

By Cesare Milani

The Italian Government definitively approved Legislative Decree no. 50 in April this year, implementing Directives 2014/23/EU, 2014/24/EU and 2014/25/EU of the European Parliament and European Council. The revised legislation resulting from the Directives coming into force affect the Italian construction market. Notably, the new Italian Public Procurement Code impactspublic procurement and awarding concession contracts, procurement by entities operating in the water, energy, transport and postal services sectors and on the reorganization of the Public Procurement Regulation. The new code has been introduced to deliver high quality standards for public works and to limit excessive cost increases due to variances in project execution.

According to data made available by the Italian National Association of Building Contractors (Associazione Nazionale dei Costruttori Edili), the regulatory change has already resulted in the retreat of the public works market. In addition to strengthening the role of Autorità Nazionale Anticorruzione (ANAC), the national anti-bribery and corruption authority in the public procurement sector, the new code has also established a qualification system of contracting authorities and introduced other provisions to consolidate public tenders. Such revisions have led to a decline in both the value of the calls to tender made public and the number of large public procurement procedures launched. In May this year, there was a 75% decrease in tender value compared to the calls for tender published in May 2015. With respect to the number of public procurement procedures commenced, only 10 procedures with an awarding value higher than €5 million were kicked-off in May 2016, while 45 procedures of the same size were recorded in 2015.