ARCHIVE: Alcohol and spirit drinks
Scotch Whisky Regulations
The Unit has policy responsibility for the EC Spirit Drinks Regulation 110/2008, which provides for the definition, presentation, labelling and protection of geographical indications (GIs) of spirit drinks at 15% alcohol and above. This EC Regulation is implemented in the UK through the Spirit Drinks Regulations 2008, for which the Unit also has policy responsibility.
The UK Scotch Whisky Regulations coming into force today (23 November 2009) will protect consumers from counterfeit products and insufficient labelling by providing legal protection to the industry.
- Statutory Instruments 2009 No. 2890 - The Scotch Whisky Regulations 2009
- Draft Guidance On The Scotch Whisky Regulations 2009 (50KB)
The Scotch Whisky Regulations 2009:
- Introduce and define 5 categories of Scotch Whisky;
- Introduce rules on compulsory sales descriptions;
- Introduce rules on the use of distillery and distillers names on Scotch Whisky labels;
- Introduce rules on the use of local and regional geographical indications e.g. “Islay” including protection for certain Scottish localities and regions;
- Ban the use of ‘pure malt’ or derivations of that description;
- Introduce tighter rules on maturation, age, and distillation statements;
- Allow transitional periods concerning packaging, advertising, promotion and export of single malts;
- Ban the export of Single Malt Scotch Whisky unless it is bottled;
- Ban the export of Scotch Whisky in wooden casks and other wooden containers;
- Enable food authorities and port health authorities to impose monetary penalties for infringements of the Regulations; and
- Also include criminal sanctions.
- A transitional period of two years applies to the new labelling requirements and three years for the new bottling requirements.
Further information which sets out what decisions were made and why as a result of the issues raised during the 12-week consultation on the Regulations.
Mandatory Code for Alcohol Sales
This work is led by the Home Office and Department for Health, with our active participation. The Home Office launched a public consultation (closed 5 August 2009) on ‘Selling Alcohol Responsibly’ in support of the Government’s Alcohol Strategy. The consultation’s proposals are aimed at improving on-trade (pubs, clubs, etc) and off-trade (supermarkets, convenience stores, etc) practices in order to reduce alcohol-related harms; primarily public order concerns around binge-drinking, and health concerns about excessive personal consumption. Full details are available on the Home Office website.
Page last modified: 3 December 2009
Page published: 21 July 2009