MERCOSUR is a regional bloc of countries in South America that was set up to form a common market and eliminate trade barriers between its member states. Amongst other ways, it uses legal approximation to achieve these goals. Food legislation harmonization is an important part of the process, and it is an obligation for all MERCOSUR member states.In 1991, Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, and Paraguay signed the “Treaty of Asunción” to create the “Mercado Común del Sur” (The Common Market of the South), better known as MERCOSUR.
The treaty sets up the framework of MERCOSUR and outlines the parties’ goal to become a common market through the adoption of a common external tariff, a common trade policy, and the “free movement of goods, services, and factors of production between countries through the elimination of customs duties and non-tariff restrictions on the movement of goods.”Currently, the MERCOSUR is composed of six member states: Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, Venezuela (2006) and Bolivia (2015).
The binding force of MERCOSUR acts generates for Member States duty to incorporate provisions into their National Legislation Systems and as well as obligation to refrain from adopting acts that could obstruct the effectiveness of MERCOSUR acts. The duty to incorporate derives from the intergovernmental nature of MERCOSUR decision-making bodies, which approximate the legal instruments to national regulations.