Directive 2019/633 - Unfair trading practices in business-to-business relationships in the agricultural and food supply chain

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Current status

This directive has been published on April 25, 2019, entered into force on April 30, 2019 and should have been implemented in national regulation on May  1, 2021 at the latest.


Key information

official title

Directive (EU) 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
Legal instrument Directive
Number legal act Directive 2019/633
Original proposal COM(2018)173 EN
CELEX number i 32019L0633


Key dates

Document 17-04-2019; Date of signature
Publication in Official Journal 25-04-2019; OJ L 111 p. 59-72
Signature 17-04-2019
Effect 30-04-2019; Entry into force Date pub. +5 See Art 14
Deadline 15-03-2020; See Art 10.2
01-11-2021; See Art 12.4
01-11-2025; See Art 12.1
End of validity 31-12-9999
Transposition 01-05-2021; Adoption See Art 13.1
01-11-2021; Application See Art 13.1


Legislative text



Official Journal of the European Union

L 111/59



of 17 April 2019

on unfair trading practices in business-to-business relationships in the agricultural and food supply chain


Having regard to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, and in particular Article 43(2) thereof,

Having regard to the proposal from the European Commission,

After transmission of the draft legislative act to the national parliaments,

Having regard to the opinion of the European Economic and Social Committee (1),

Having regard to the opinion of the Committee of the Regions (2),

Acting in accordance with the ordinary legislative procedure (3),




Within the agricultural and food supply chain, significant imbalances in bargaining power between suppliers and buyers of agricultural and food products are a common occurrence. Those imbalances in bargaining power are likely to lead to unfair trading practices when larger and more powerful trading partners seek to impose certain practices or contractual arrangements which are to their advantage in relation to a sales transaction. Such practices may, for example: grossly deviate from good commercial conduct, be contrary to good faith and fair dealing and be unilaterally imposed by one trading partner on the other; impose an unjustified and disproportionate transfer of economic risk from one trading partner to another; or impose a significant imbalance of rights and obligations on one trading partner. Certain practices might be manifestly unfair even when both parties agree to them. A minimum Union standard of protection against unfair trading practices should be introduced to reduce the occurrence of such practices which are likely to have a negative impact on the living standards of the agricultural community. The minimum harmonisation approach in this Directive allows Member States to adopt or maintain national rules which go beyond the unfair trading practices listed in this Directive.



Three Commission publications since 2009 (the communication of the Commission of 28 October 2009 on a better functioning of the food supply chain in Europe, the communication of the Commission of 15 July 2014 on tackling unfair trading practices in the business-to-business food supply chain, and the report of the Commission of 29 January 2016 on unfair business-to-business trading practices in the food supply chain) have focused on the working of the food supply chain, including the occurrence of unfair trading practices. The Commission suggested desirable features for national and voluntary governance frameworks for dealing with unfair trading practices in the food supply chain. Not all of those features have become part of the legal framework or voluntary governance regimes in Member States, leaving the occurrence of such practices still the focus of the political debate in the Union.



In 2011, the Commission-led High Level Forum for a Better Functioning Food Supply Chain endorsed a set of principles of good practice in vertical relations in the food supply chain, which was agreed by organisations representing a majority of the operators in the food supply chain. Those principles became the basis for the Supply Chain Initiative launched in 2013.



The European Parliament, in its resolution of 7 June 2016 on unfair trading practices in the food supply chain (4), invited the Commission to submit a proposal for a Union legal framework concerning unfair trading practices. The Council, in its conclusions of 12 December 2016 on Strengthening farmers' position in the food supply chain and tackling unfair trading practices, invited the Commission to undertake, in a timely manner, an impact assessment with a view to...


This text has been adopted from EUR-Lex.


Original proposal



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