The European Commission is pushing Italy to comply with a July 2003 European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruling that required it to amend legislation limiting the amount of caffeine in locally-sold energy drinks to 125mg per litre.

The Court found the legislation a barrier to the free movement of goods because it effectively banned some imported energy drinks in Italy, which could face ECJ fines over the row if it refuses to comply.

Said a Commission statement: "The majority of energy drinks on the EU market contain significantly more than 125mg/litre." Brussels has sent Italy a formal notice that it should liberalise its law.