Alcohol: Changing the regulatory framework for production and labeling in Europe

“As of May 25, 2021, Regulation (EC) 110/2008 is definitively repealed”, the Association of Greek Producers of Alcoholic Spirits states in an announcement.

As noted by SEAOP, the provisions of Regulation (EU) 2019/787, regarding the production, presentation, description and labeling of alcoholic beverages, the protection of geographical indications for alcoholic beverages, apply, in total, on 25 May 2021 , date from which Regulation (EC) 110/2008 is definitively repealed.

In order to ensure the smooth functioning of the alcoholic beverages market in the new legal framework, since the day the basic regulation of the industry was published (on 17 May 2019), the EU institutions have started and continue to work in order to establish the implementing rules will regulate / simplify the issues related to this new context of alcoholic beverages.

The European Commission, in cooperation with Member States’ experts, has submitted a draft regulation laying down implementing rules for applications for registration of geographical indications for alcoholic beverages, objection procedure, modification of product specifications, cancellation of registration, use of a symbol and control. The aim of the regulation is to simplify, streamline and make transparent the operation of the geographical indication system for alcoholic beverages. Recognizing that the added value of a geographical indication is based on consumer confidence, it provides for controls and substantive verification by the competent authorities of the Member State.

The European Commission is also preparing a draft with guidelines for the implementation of the basic labeling provisions of the Alcoholic Beverages Regulation. The purpose of the directives is to clarify with detailed examples the provisions governing references, complex terms, blends and blends, facilitating their application by spirit producers and the competent authorities of the Member States.

However, the plan is not expected to be finalized, as texts with specific technical provisions for the labeling of alcoholic beverages, on references and complex terms, are being consulted. Their goal is to inform the consumer more clearly about the real name of the resulting drink.

SEAOP monitors the developments, in order to submit its proposals on a case-by-case basis, supporting regulations that will be substantial, without creating additional burdens for producers, e.g. in the form of changes to the label, which do not have a clear benefit to the consumer.

It is noted that alcoholic beverages which do not meet the requirements of this Regulation but which meet the requirements of Regulation (EC) 110/2008 and which were produced before 25 May 2021 may continue to be placed on the market until the relevant stocks.