New greek legislation on the provision of olive oil in mass catering establishments

Fines await those restaurant owners who do not comply with the Ministry of Development’s directive which provides for the use of sealed, non-refillable packages for olive oil to be offered to consumers in mass catering establishments.

Fines await those restaurant owners who do not comply with the Ministry of Development’s directive which provides for the use of sealed, non-refillable packages for olive oil to be offered to consumers in mass catering establishments.

A recent Ministerial Decision (Ministry of Development and Competitiveness) No 91354/24 August 2017, Government Gazette, Series II, No 2983/ 30.8.2017, on the Rules of the Distributions and Trade of Products and the Provision of Services, provides for the following:

Paragraph 4: As of 1 January 2018, any kind of oil intended for table use by the final consumer after the preparation stage of the meal in the

kitchen of the establishments referred to in Article 69 hereof must be made available only in sealed, non-refillable containers or disposable packaging that shall be supplied by the establishment and shall carry the required labels in accordance with applicable national and EU legislation.

Paragraph 5C: For violations of paragraph 4, an administrative fine of five hundred Euro (€ 500) per violation shall be imposed.

Paragraph 2C: As of 1 January 2018, any kind of oil intended for table use by the final consumer after the preparation stage of the meal in the kitchen of the establishments referred to in Article 69 hereof must be made available only in sealed, non-refillable containers or disposable packaging that shall be supplied by the establishment and shall carry the required labels in accordance with applicable national and EU legislation.

Paragraph 4A: The lack of proper indications shall be subject to an administrative fine of 500€.

As mentioned earlier, the new provisions shall enter into force as of 1 January 2018.

Since in several cases there was confusion as to the spirit of the law, SEVITEL (the Association of Greek Olive Oil Standardisation Industries) asked for an interpretation of the wording “... must be made available only in sealed, non-refillable containers or disposable packaging...” and in particular:

  1. If the provision concerns sealed individual packages, which cannot be used for any other purpose after being used by the consumer, or
  2. concerns also packages with higher volume, which, after being unsealed and provided that they are not used in full by the consumers, may be taken by them or used by other consumers until their content is exhausted.

It follows from the clarification received from the relevant department of the Ministry of Economy and Development on the above issue, that each consumer will be served a sealed, non-refillable package of olive oil, regardless of its volume.

Therefore, once unsealed, a package may only:
- be used in full;
- be taken away by the consumer or returned to the kitchen to be used there, in case it has not been used in full.