Luca Boltri
UNIC Group - Italian Tanners’ Association
Geneve 17-18 October 2013
1. UNIC: role and activities
2. The Italian Tanning Industry
3. CITES in Italy
4. Traceability of Python Skins
UNIC: role and activities
UNIC - Unione Nazionale Industria Conciaria
(Italian Tanners’ Association)
Since 1946, the private trade association officially
representing the Italian tanning industry
Member of Confindustria, Cotance (EU Confederation of
Tanners), ICT (International Council of Tanners )
Headquarters: Milan - Italy
Branch offices in Italy: Arzignano (VI), S. Croce s/Arno (PI), Solofra (AV), Rome
International branch offices: - China: Guangzhou
- Brazil: Sao Paulo
UNIC: role and activities
Industrial Relations National labour contract, welfare issues
Economic and market analisys Stats, trade assistance
R&D - Technology, environment, chemicals
=> Sustainability report (yearly, since 2002)
Code of Conduct Based on SA8000 principles
Collective Trademarks & Intellectual Property
Education and Training Seminars, courses
International Relationships Cooperation and lobby
Promotion and Communication
UNIC: the Group
Technological Research & Development
Worldwide fair system (EU, US, Asia)
Styles & Design
Bank Guarantees
The Italian Tanning Industry: world leadership
World leader for value, quality, internationalisation, technological
development, social/environmental commitment, design
Italian quota over world total values (2012)
Finished leather
production 15.5%
Finished leather
export 25.3%
Raw hides/skins
import 15.8%
Semiprocessed leather
import 21.5%
Source: UN-FAO
On EU-27, Italy accounts for 65% of total tanning
turnover and 60% of production volume
Spain 10%, Germany 6%, France 5%, Austria 5%
The Italian Tanning Industry: national data
1,282 tanning companies
17,667 employees
126 mln. sqm (finished leather)
34.384 tons (sole leather)
4.8 billion €ur
3.4 billion €ur
The Italian Tanning Industry: international markets
Export represents more than 70% of turnover (double than 20
years ago) and is normally directed to more than 120 Countries
Italian leather export - % for regional area (2012)
The Italian Tanning Industry: a cluster economy model
90% of the Italian production is concentrated in 3 districts:
VENETO: Arzignano (VI)
52% of total production
Bovine leather for upholstery
(automotive/furniture) and shoes
TUSCANY: S. Croce S/A (PI)
29% production, 43% companies
Calf leather for high fashion
CAMPANIA: Solofra & Naples
9% production
Sheep/goat leather
Piedmont, Marche, etc.
The Italian Tanning Industry: segmentation
Animal origin
Bovine, sheep & goat = 99% of total
production volume
Destination clients (sectors)
Two “macro-clients”: fashion (72%
on total) vs upholstery (26%)
Destination clients (price ranges)
The highest ranges clients (Top
and High) accounts for nearly 40%
on total Italian leather sales
The Italian Tanning Industry: sustainability
Sustainability as a key factor for the Italian tanning industry
- environmental impact: 10 years improvement and present results
=> -52% of energetic consumption per sqm, -21% of water consumption
=> -16% of solid waste production per sqm, -54% of solvent use per sqm
=> 98% of wastes collected and 73% recycled
=> 93% to 99% reduction of pollutants in wastewater (excl. clorures, sulphates)
- social responsibility: 7 years improvement and present results
=> -51% of accident severity ratio, -55% of relative accident frequency
- certification: 43% of whole Italian turnover from certified tanneries
=> ISO 9000, 14001, EMAS, OHSAS 18001, product schemes under UNI
- raw materials: EU regulation on animal welfare and traceability
- chemicals: Reach and the other EU regulation (biocides, etc.)
CITES in Italy: introduction
Italy is traditionally one of the countries with the most
relevant trade of CITES species worldwide
For this reason, we have one of the more strict and
severe CITES regulations globally, according to our
Government authorities
For the Italian leather industry, the most important animal
class under CITES is reptile
CITES in Italy: reptile trade
Italy is the most important market for CITES reptile
skins in the world, covering nearly 13% of global trade
(excluding Singapore)
Main species
imported: Crocodiles
and Pythons
Main suppliers: Far
East and South
Source: CFS Italy on extra-EU import licenses 2010-2012
CITES in Italy: regulation
Regulation: EU level (Reg. EC 338/1997, etc.) + National
level (Law 874/1975, etc.)
Authorities: in Italy, 3 different ministries are involved in
CITES issues management (Environment; Agriculture, Food
and Forestry, for CFS - State Forestry Corps; Economic
Specific transparency requirements: implemented through
the Detention Register (Environment Ministry Decree 8/2002,
following Law 150/1992)
CITES in Italy: Detention Register (1)
All the concerned companies are required to keep a record of
detention for the species included in annex A and B
In order to better ensure traceability, the register lists all the
company loading and unloading of the CITES specimens or
derivative products and must be made available to the
management authority (CFS) for controls
The leather industry operators required to keep it are:
a) tanners and leather traders (incl. importers and exporters)
b) manufacturers of shoes, leathergoods and leather products
Traders of leather products are excluded
CITES in Italy: Detention Register (2)
Which format? Paper or electronic
Where to request? Local offices of CITES CFS State
Forestry Corps
When to request? Within 15 days from the arrival of
transportation documents coming with CITES products
How much does it cost? Free
What if I make a formal mistake in filling it? Big fines!
CITES in Italy: Detention Register (3)
Load to be
within 15
days from
receipt of
The lines
must be
Each line
contains a
Typo of
A= purchase
C=free purchase
C=captive breeding
Document of
B=custody contract
C=free transfer
E=other (DDT)
As referred
in the
CITES Document:
N°, date, Country
issuing the CITES
document on
specimens (CITES
provided by the
Only for
crocodiles (each
skin tagged)
CITES in Italy: Detention Register (4)
The first column must contain
the same data included in the
related load
The consumed
quantity for the
production of the
article consumed to be
inserted in the same
measure unit indicated
in the load (and in the
Exit reason:
A= death
B= sale
C= custody
D= escape (only
for live animals)
E= theft
F= other
Exit document:
A= invoice
C=free transfer
E=other (DDT)
Exit place:
Specify the
location where
the product is
Traceability of Python Skins: requirements
The Italian tanning industry invites to consider three main
requirements for the constitution of a traceability system
for pyhton skins:
a) no conflict with the various production process
operations (not only in the finishing phase) provided for
the python skins tanning in Italy
b) no further complication for the current management
of CITES regulation in Italy
c) not too expensive for the single tannery and/or the
Italian Government (budget problem)
Traceability of Python Skins: a) compatibility with process (1)
A plastic tag (button or loop) attached to the skin is NOT
COMPATIBLE with many mechanical operations necessary in
our production process:
• drum operations (tanning, re-tanning): damage of scales
• lamination, ironing, buffing, shaving, polishing, stretching,
staking, glazing, etc.: machineries use wheel mechanisms
 In order to make such operations, THE PLASTIC TAG
MUST BE REMOVED before starting the process
 In order to be efficient, plastic tag should be placed in the
head (even if it has weak fibers): (1) less valuable part, (2)
due to scales orientation, process is from tale to head
Traceability of Python Skins: a) compatibility with process (2)
A RFID tag attached to the skins will not remarkably
affect the production process (if placed on the head) but
will probably be damaged in the mentioned operations
 In order to be 100% efficient, the RFID tag should
be better removed before starting the process
No other traceability mean?
Traceability of Python Skins: b) no further bureaucracy
The administrative burden of CITES regulation in Italy is
the main entry barrier in the reptile leather segment, plus the
main reason for the closure of existing tanneries
 Big investments of time, finance, human resources
Apart from the severe regulation itself (register included),
some recent problems with the CITES national system:
- Scientific Commission advices release procedure
- Scientific Commission members nomination
- Delayed supply of crocodile tags…
 Very few resources dedicated to CITES ministerial
departments by the Italian Government (financial, HR)
Traceability of Python Skins: c) cost-efficiency (1)
Profitability of the business should be preserved
A traceability system implies costs for tags supplying,
information system creation/management, enforcement...
 Who will bear these costs?
Leather industry is a multi-niches business; each segment
follows the offer/demand/price pattern, being subject to
competition from:
- other leather segment
- alternative materials (textiles, synthetics…)
Rising costs => rising prices => rising risk of market
reduction for the whole chain
Traceability of Python Skins: conclusion
The Italian tanning industry is considered as highly
sustainable from all the concerned point of views
The python skins segment (10 tanneries, Tuscany area, 240
workers appr.) received also a positive feedback on the
transparency of trade practices (see also the related ITC study)
CITES regulation in Italy already provides traceability through
the detention register, in addition to the rest of common
regulation. A global adoption?
 Sustainability through traceability is an “hot issue” also for
us but must be well directed and focused. Otherwise, it is
useless and damaging, not only for tanners and workers, but
also for the final product and consumer markets.
UNIC Group - Italian Tanners’ Association
Via Brisa, 3 - Milan (Italy)
Email: [email protected]