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Food Labeling:
review

    Services

    • Comprehensive legal services encompassing all the business activities of a client, such as:

      • Negotiations and deal mediation;
      • Preparation and drafting of civil, trade, labour, and other agreements, memoranda and other documents related to a client’s business;
      • Consulting related to acquisition of licenses and permits;
      • Establishing business entities in view of a client’s investment plans;
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      • Trade mark database search;
      • Registration of national trade marks, European Union trade marks, and international registrations;
      • Representation before the World Intellectual Property Organization, the European Union Intellectual Property Office, the Patent Office of the Republic of Bulgaria;
      • Representation during disputes related to trade mark infringements;
      • Procedural representation.
      • Representation before the Bulgarian Food Safety Agency and other institutions in relation to registration of commercial properties, various food categories and food additives;
      • Consulting regarding labeling of food products and food additives;
      • Assistance during inspections by authorities, drafting of documents;
      • Court representation during appeals of penal rulings for violations of food safety legislation.
      • Registration, transformation and termination of commercial entities and sole proprietorships;
      • Commercial enterprises deals, transfer of shares, M&As;
      • Preparation and drafting of commercial contracts, agreements, memoranda and other commercial documents;
      • Legal consulting, research, and analysis;
      • Preparation and registration of collateral and securities, registration of special pledges;
      • Negotiations and deal mediation;
      • Representation before state, municipal, and banking institutions.
      • Legal consulting, research, and analysis;
      • Participation in negotiations;
      • Preparation and drafting of civil, trade, labour and other agreements, memoranda and other documents;
      • Assistance in alternative dispute resolutions to facilitate out-of-court settlements;
      • Representation in court and during arbitration in cases of breach of contract;
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      • Drafting of labour contracts and job descriptions;
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      • Legal consulting, research, and analysis;
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      • Representation before state, municipal, and banking institutions.
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      • Preparation of court documentation without court representation;
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      • Consulting on a current or future cases filed with the Commission for Protection of Competition;
      • Procedural representation before the Commission for Protection of Competition;
      • Research, statements, and consulting on competition law.

    With us,
    your corporate legal issues
    will be in good hands.

    Petya Noycheva & Partners Law Office’s goal and mission is to prevent problems from happening before they even arise. We succeed in doing so because we know our clients’ businesses. Our phone lines are always open for you and we will answer all your calls at any time. A first consultation with us is entirely free!

    Swears by Arial Narrow, 11pt.

    Petya Noycheva

    Partner

    Member of the Sofia Bar Association since 2000

    Co-founder and Partner in Petya Noycheva & Partners since December 2006

    A litigation expert, specialising in negotiations and commercial law

    Petya Noycheva’s legal expertise is in the field of negotiations between companies and clients’ negotiations with banks, institutions, and state authorities. Ms. Noycheva has a solid experience in conducting negotiations in countries from the European Union, Switzerland, the Middle East – such as Iran, UAE, Qatar, Kuwait, as well as in the USA, China, Japan, and others. Her success in developing negotiation strategies and holding commercial and legal talks with a wide range of business clients has contributed to her excellent reputation in international legal practice.

    Petya Noycheva is an expert in contract law and preparation of commercial agreements.

    She works in cooperation with local and foreign law offices, which specialise in different areas of law, and if needed, she assists in finding appropriate consulting services from law experts in Bulgaria and/or abroad, supervising a specific case until its successful completion.

    Ms. Noycheva is fluent in English.

    In her spare time she likes travelling and playing tennis.

    +359 2 958 23 38 | +359 888 640 973 | noycheva@pnp.bg
    Bulgarian, English

    Romanticist-in-residence.

    Andon Nastev

    Partner

    Member of the Sofia Bar Association since 2006

    Co-founder and Partner in Petya Noycheva & Partners since December 2006

    A specialist in the field of contract law, industrial property law and procedural representation

    Andon Nastev has specialised in contract law. He has considerable expertise in drafting commercial contracts, including agreements under the Law on Copyright and Neighbouring Rights.

    Industrial property and more precisely trade marks are the legal area Mr. Nastev focuses on. He provides consulting, registration, and protection for your trade mark.

    Andon Nastev is the Bulgarian lawyer who was among the first to initiate (in compliance with the 2008 Civil Procedure Code) a reference for preliminary ruling from the Court of Justice of the European Union regarding an interpretation of Article 5 of the First Council Directive 89/104/EEC to approximate the laws of the Member States relating to trade marks, including an interpretation of the term “import” within the meaning of Article 5(3)(c) of the Directive.

    Mr. Nastev is a registered representative of industrial property in the field of trade marks, entered under Nr. 476 in the Industrial Property Representatives Registry at the Patent Office of the Republic of Bulgaria.

    Andon Nastev is also a European Representative of Industrial Property in the field of trade marks, registered with the European Union Intellectual Property Office under registry entry Nr. 69916 of the registered industrial property representatives with the European Union Intellectual Property Office.

    Andon Nastev works in cooperation with local representatives of industrial property for countries from Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. If foreign national trade marks are to be registered, Mr. Nastev provides assistance and acts as a mediator between a client and foreign intellectual property offices, monitoring the process of registration until the procedure is successfully completed.

    Mr. Nastev speaks English, German, and Russian.

    In his leisure time he enjoys his hobbies – photography, painting, and ceramic art.

    +359 2 958 23 38 | +359 885 021 029 | nastev@pnp.bg
    Bulgarian, English, German, Russian

    Knows who killed Laura Palmer.

    Ginka Dimitrova

    Associated Attorney

    Member of the Sofia Bar Association since 2010

    Ms. Dimitrova began her career at Petya Noycheva & Partners in 2007 and became an associate attorney in 2010.

    She is an expert in food legislation, the laws on food supplements and medical devices and equipment.

    Ginka Dimitrova has focused her professional interests in the area of food safety legislation as this legal sphere is currently being developed in Bulgaria. She has specialised in European food legislation by attending a number of trainings and discussions in the field, including meetings with Bulgarian food safety authorities. She has submitted proposals for the introduction of changes in the food legislation in Bulgaria.

    Ms. Dimitrova is a consultant on medical devices and equipment legislation. She is a highly qualified and experienced lawyer in activities related to registration, labeling and market placement of medical supplies and equipment of any class. She takes part in legal trainings about medical devices abroad, including the strategic event held in Dusseldorf, The International Congress on Market Access & Regulatory Affairs in Medical Devices (MARA2016).

    Ginka Dimitrova provides consulting on corporate registration procedures for state and municipal authorities such as the Customs Agency, the Bulgarian Food Safety Agency, the Bulgarian Drug Agency, the Commission for Personal Data Protection, the Commercial Register, the Ministry of Health, the Regional Environmental Protection Agencies, and others. She has a solid experience in resolving various legal issues and has mastered her conflict resolution skills when such situations arise between representatives of the business sector and the state administration.

    Ms. Dimitrova has a personal goal of protecting the right to court representation for all, regardless of their financial and/or social standing. For this purpose, she volunteers as a pro bono legal counsel.

    She is fluent in English.

    In her leisure time she likes reading, travelling, and camping.

    +359 2 958 23 38 | +359 885 44 92 91 | dimitrova@pnp.bg
    Bulgarian, English

    Power beyond muscle.

    Dimitar Yanev

    Trainee

    Dimitar Yanev started working for Peya Noycheva & Partners Law Office in 2016.

    He holds a Master’s Degree in Law from the University of National and World Economy, which he graduated with distinction in 2015. While completing his degree, Mr. Yanev took part in and was the winner of national competitions in civil and commercial case studies. He published articles and attended seminars and further trainings in commercial law.

    Dimitar Yanev provides paralegal and technical services to the law office team, participates in drafting all documents and assists in maintaining contacts between clients and partners.

    Mr. Yanev is interested in specialising in commercial and contract law, industrial property law, and labour law.

    He speaks fluent English.

    In his spare time he enjoys hiking and mountaineering.

    +359 2 958 23 38 | +359 890 91 11 01 | yanev@pnp.bg
    Bulgarian, English

    The PNP Bimonthly.

    Every two months in this here space an article or a white paper will be published penned by a member of our team. Inevitably, legal matters will be discussed but those shall invariably be of at least some practical relevance to our clients and prospects. The objective of the articles section is indeed to strip the burning legal issues of the day from the legalese and make them comprehensible.

    The PNP Bimonthly

    Previous Issues

    Food Labeling

    A partial review of Regulation No. 1169/2011 of the European Parliament and the Council of 25 Oct. 2011 on the provision of food information to consumers effective since 13 Dec. 2014

     

                                                  

    Europe has gone a long way towards law alignment in the field of labeling food designed for the ultimate consumer. The diverse, and in most cases even controversial law, operating in the Member States brought difficulties for business and consumers considering increasingly higher globalization and striving for Europe without borders. As a matter of fact, food producers in any Member State coming into the market of another Member State had to make material changes in their packaging and/or products due to the differences in the law of the separate countries. This in turn caused damages to recognizable brands (product outer appearance) and extra costs for the business related to the need for research and changes in the content and packaging of food products. So a company selling a food supplement – multivitamins in the market of a given Member State, when it entered the market of another Member State had to comply with the differences in the admissible quantities of vitamins (upper and lower limits), permitted additives, requirements for font, shelf life and other essential items in the food content and packaging. These differences in their entirety led to presentation of a completely different food product sometimes in the new market – by properties, qualities and physical presentation.

     

    The reasons for law alignment in the field of food are mainly related to guaranteeing the consumer’s interest. Business interest is not less important with a view of striving for encouraging the EU economy, interests of internal market in simplification of law, ensuring legal security and diminishing the administrative burden. The big change came by adoption of Regulation No. 1169/2011 of the European Parliament and the Council of 25 Oct. 2011 on the provision of food information to consumers (“the Regulation”) effective since 13 Dec. 2014. Some of the new highlights of the Regulation, important for product label preparation, are as follows:

     

    1. Ingredients

     

    Expressions like ‘content’, ‘contains’, ‘consists of’, ‘made of’ are left in the history. The law solution is ‘ingredients’ – simple and mandatory. This is the word that should precede the list of the food product content in the label description.

    All ingredients must be enlisted in a descending order depending on their weight at the time of food production.

    An exception to the rule on mandatory list of ingredients applies to some products, such as: fresh fruit and vegetables, carbonated water, with special designation of carbonation, fermented vinegar obtained from one basic product, food consisting of one ingredient only – under certain conditions, etc.

    Incorrect designation of ingredients and violation of the rules on stating thereof are among the most common reasons for sanctioning food products from different groups by the authorities of the Bulgarian Food Safety Agency (BFSA).

    1. Labeling of certain substances or products causing allergies or intolerance

     

    A vital innovation inspired by the care for consumer safety and health is the requirement to indicate the substances that cause allergies or intolerance. The requirement to indicate the ingredients – allergens existed in the past, too, on a general basis – not to mislead the consumer, but adoption of the Regulation raised it to a new level. The main aspects:

     

    • Indication of the substances with especially designated names: eggs, peanuts, soya, soya products, milk and milk products, fish, almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, celery and a lot of others. You can find complete information about allergens in Annex II to the Regulation.
    • Distinguishing the substances – through font, style and background colour. At this stage, most producers use a larger font for the allergen and emphasizing it as bold/ italic. So for example, if you market the food product risotto with mussels, then allergens can be indicated most conventionally as white rice, MUSSELS, carrots, onion…..

     

    1.  Label Legibility

     

    Mandatory food details are printed on packaging or label in a way so as to ensure clear legibility with font size where the letter height is larger or equal to 1.2 mm. An exception to this requirement is small packaging whose largest surface is less than 80 sq. m. – here the letter height is larger or equal to 0.9 mm.

    To achieve the best legibility and unification food name and its net weight must be placed in the same sight field.

    All mandatory label details should be indicated in a visible place and easily seen, legible, and, if necessary, non-erasable. Information should not be hidden in any way, blurred, cut or interrupted from any text or images or other materials.

     

    This article is not intended to enlist the key points in making packaging for food, but to give guidelines and pay attention to the most misleading points for food business.

     

    In my next article I will give specific recommendations and guidelines in the registration of retail facilities.

     

     

     

    Ginka Dimitrova, Attorney-at-law

    Petya Noycheva & Partners

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