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Message from the ICCC: New Requirements concerning “Safe Food for Canadians Regulations”, Made in Italy Stories on Sustainable Mobility, revolution in online shopping, Encouraging Results for European SMEs, etc.

July 28, 2020

Dear Members and Partners,

The coronavirus pandemic has completely changed the state of the global economy and of trade between Canada and the world. The ICCC is here to help you get through this difficult period, by supporting you and your international business strategies.



“Safe Food for Canadians Regulations”: New Requirements as of July 15, 2020

As of July 15, 2020, businesses in the food sector will be subject to new Safe Food for Canadians Regulations (SFCR) requirements relating to licensing, preventive control measures and traceability. In addition, new categories of food products that were not on the initial list have been included in the new legislation (snacks, sweets, oils, herbs and spices, nuts and seeds, coffee and tea, drinks, processed foods made from wheats such as baked goods, cereals and pasta). It is important to note that Canadian importers are solely responsible for the products they import and therefore must ensure in advance that their food suppliers comply with Canadian regulations. To support businesses, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) enhanced its Food Business Toolkit and launched a Virtual Assistant service for food businesses to help them find information and key resources on its website. Learn more here.


Update on Services at the Port of Montreal

The longshoremen of the Port of Montreal launched a strike on Monday, July 27th at 7:00 a.m. last Friday. This work stoppage leads to the suspension of mooring services usually provided by longshoremen and cargo handling services at Port of Montreal terminals. Liquid bulk handling, the Oceanex service (Bickerdike terminal) and the grain terminal (Viterra) are not affected by this situation. The Montreal Port Authority invites clients to contact or consult the websites of the various terminal operators to for more specific information on their particular circumstances. The Port of Montreal and its partners are planning a return to normal on Friday July 31st at 7 a.m. The necessary efforts will be made to make up for the delays caused by this exceptional situation. The ICCC is monitoring the situation and will inform you of any developments in the situation as needed.



100 Made in Italy Stories on Sustainable Mobility

In Italy, in the first quarter of 2020, sales of hybrid cars exceeded that of gasoline cars (40.5%),  which are traditionally stronger in the domestic market. In the sustainable mobility market, Italy has a leading role with a wide range of skills and technologies across the entire production chain. The “100 Italian E-Mobility Stories 2020” report, edited by Enel and the Symbola Foundation, highlights the commitment of companies, research centers and associations working to implement solutions to encourage and develop electric mobility . From design to production of vehicles, from battery components to recharging infrastructures, all of these organizations have real work and life stories that revolve around a goal of sustainable mobility. Read the article here (article in Italian).


E-commerce: 2.5 million New Users in Italy

DMandatory lockdown and store closures have enabled a real revolution in online shopping. In the past few months, around 2.5 million new users have made purchases over the Internet. According to data from the Compass agency, this acceleration should continue despite the reopening of businesses. These observations are based on the percentage of Italians who consider the Internet as essential to be able to make purchases (64%) and the balance between those who think of continuing to buy online and those who have already bought before (positive and equal to 9 %). With a percentage of almost 60%, furniture occupies the first place among the products that attracted the most new users, followed by food and drinks (55% with peaks of 62% in the age group 55 -75 years old). Click here to find out more (article in Italian).


Encouraging Results for European SMEs in the Manufacturing and Service Sectors

The economy of the Euro Zone is back on a growth trajectory, driven by the double recovery of the manufacturing and tertiary sectors, after the restrictions imposed by the pandemic this spring. Forecast data for July for European SMEs indicates that economic activity increased for the first time since February, registering the largest increase in just over two years. More specifically, the index of SMEs in the manufacturing sector went from 47.4 to 51.1 points, while the services index went from 48.3 to 55.1 points. The longer-term outlook is encouraging, although the unemployment rate still remains high due to declining employment, job layoffs are declining and the sales are increasing. To learn more, read the article here (article in Italian).


Italian Business Confidence Index on the Rise in July

The business confidence index rose in July for the second consecutive month, from 66.2 to 76.7, according to data released by Istat. The institute specifies that this increase concerns all sectors with different intensities. In particular, the confidence index for the manufacturing sector rose from 80.2 to 85.2 and the service sector showed a marked increase in the index both in services (from 52.1 to 65.8) and in the retail trade (79.6 to 86.3). Regarding consumer confidence, however, there has been a slight drop compared to June 2020 (from 100.7 to 100.0), which can be explained by financial insecurity that many Italian are still experiencing. To learn more, click here. (article in Italian).


Emilia-Romagna: Internationalization Strategy for the Food Industry

The Emilia-Romagna region is developing its international trade relations, and in particular with Canada. From Parmigiano Reggiano to Prosciutto di Parma, from balsamic vinegar to Lambrusco, there are many products from the region which are sold and known on international markets. The region, which holds the European record for the number of DOPs and IGPs, is increasingly focusing on the internationalization and export of its agri-food products. This is the objective of the #MadeinER project which aims to strengthen the identity and notoriety of the Emilia-Romagna brand throughout the world. Thanks to this strategy of internationalization of the agro-food chain, which is developing through a rich offer of services and activities, the Emilia-Romagna region has developed a framework of agreements and projects abroad. In Canada, the project is being developed in partnership with the Italian Chamber of Commerce in Canada, thus strengthening the actions carried out over the past three years. In Quebec and British Columbia, the project is taking place in synergy with the actions of Unioncamere Emilia-Romagna planned for 2020, as well as with the “True Italian Taste” initiative. Learn more here (article in Italian).


A Double Tax on Plastic in Effect as of January 1st, 2021

As of January 1st, 2021, Italian businesses and consumers will have to pay two new plastic taxes: one from Italy and one imposed by Europe. Negotiations on the European Recovery Fund ended successfully for Italy, but to find the money allocated, the EU introduced a series of taxes. Thus, Italy and other member countries of Europe will have to pay a new tax on plastic, the objective of which is to finance economic recovery and reduce the environmental impact of non-recycled plastic packaging. This tax will be calculated according to the weight of the waste for an amount of 0.80 euro per kilogram. According to some, the consequences of this tax could be difficult for Italy, which has one of the largest plastics production sectors in Europe. Especially since a second Italian tax on plastic, initially scheduled for July 2020 but due to the pandemic has been postponed to January 1, 2021, is also added. This new tax (45 cents per kilogram) concerns single-use items and will have to be paid by producers, consumers and importers. An announcement that particularly worries SMEs in the non-alcoholic drinks sector, including producers of traditional Italian products such as chinotti, cedrata and orange drinks, for which this increase in tax could be fatal. Learn more here (article in Italian).

Our team remains dedicated to answer all your questions and to assist you.

We invite you to visit our website and social media platforms frequently for the latest updates.

Thank you for your continued trust and stay safe.

The ICCC Team |