Update of the EU spirit drinks regulation
The regulation of spirits is updated in the European Union due to the innovation and evolution of the market and the expectations of the consumers, in order to maintain the good positioning of these products worldwide.
That is why European regulation No. 110/2008 was repealed and on April 17, 2019, Regulation (EU) 2019/787 on the definition, designation, presentation and labeling of spirits was opened, which will be applicable to as of May 25, 2021 The main changes are related to:
- the statements on the labeling of spirits,
- the use of the names of spirits in the presentation and labeling of other food products,
- the protection of geographical indications of spirits and
- the use of ethyl alcohol and distillates of agricultural origin in alcoholic beverages.
LABELING OF OTHER FOOD PRODUCTS CONTAINING SPIRIT DRINKS
“The use of the names of raw materials or adjectives as the legal name of certain spirits must not prevent the use of the names of such raw materials or adjectives in the presentation and labeling of other food products ”, the document states. For example, the use of the German word -geist (spirit in English) as the legal name of a category of alcoholic beverages cannot prevent its use in other beverages.
GEOGRAPHICAL INDICATIONS OF ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES
The new legislation protects the geographical indications (GI) of spirits when they are used in other food products not covered by such registration that make commercial use of the GI directly or indirectly to take advantage of their reputation. For example, accompanying the GI product or services and expressions such as “style”, “type”, “method”, “produced as in”, “imitation”, “taste”, “similar” is not allowed for drinks that do not comply with said regulation. Also, they would not be allowed to indicate origin or deceptive essential qualities, as well as any other practice that could mislead the consumer about the true origin of the product.
ETHYL ALCOHOL AND AGRICULTURAL ORIGIN DISTILLED IN ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES
“Alcoholic beverages shall not contain alcohol of synthetic origin or alcohol that is not of agricultural origin,” emphasizes the rule, in addition to specifying the characteristics that said alcohol must have in Article 5. The materials from which ethyl alcohol may be obtained shall be exclusively those indicated in the list of agricultural products in Annex I.
CONSIDERATIONS OF THE REGULATION OF SPIRIT DRINKS
Spirits that do not meet the requirements of the regulation but that meet the requirements of the previous one (110/2008) and have been produced before May 25, 2021, may continue to be sold until stocks run out. Likewise, those that have been labeled before June 8, 2019 and comply with article 21 and 36 of the new standard may continue to be sold until stocks run out.