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Alcoholic strength by volume '% vol' (until 2014)

The labelling of beverages containing more than 1.2 % by volume of alcohol must indicate the actual alcoholic strength by volume.

ACT

Commission Directive 87/250/EEC of 15 April 1987 on the indication of alcoholic strength by volume in the labelling of alcoholic beverages for sale to the ultimate consumer.

SUMMARY

This Directive lays down specific provisions for the labelling of alcoholic beverages for sale to the ultimate consumer. These specific provisions supplement the general rules on the labelling and presentation of foodstuffs.

The labelling of alcoholic beverages containing more than 1.2 % by volume of alcohol must indicate the alcoholic strength by volume, i.e. the figure corresponding to the alcoholic strength followed by the symbol ‘% vol.’. The figure shall be given to not more than one decimal place. In certain cases, the figure shall be preceded by the word ‘alcohol’ or the abbreviation ‘alc.’.

 Alcoholic strength shall be determined at 20 °C.

This Directive shall apply to beverages with an alcoholic strength by volume exceeding 1.2 %, other than grape must in fermentation of with fermentation arrested otherwise than by the addition of alcohol (classified under heading 22.04 of the Common Customs Tariff), and wine of fresh grapes and grape must with fermentation arrested by the addition of alcohol (classified under heading 22.05 of the Common Customs Tariff).

The tolerances allowed in respect of the indication of the alcoholic strength by volume are:

  • 0.3 % for beverages not mentioned below;
  • 0.5 % vol. for beers having an alcoholic strength not exceeding 5.5 % vol. and beverages made from grapes classified under subheading 22.07 B II of the Common Customs Tariff;
  • 1 % vol. for beers having an alcoholic strength exceeding 5.5 % vol. and beverages made from grapes classified under subheading 22.07 B I of the Common Customs Tariff, ciders, perries and other similar fermented beverages produced from fruits other than grapes, and beverages based on fermented honey;
  • 1.5 % vol. for beverages containing macerated fruit or parts of plants.

Trade in beverages that do not comply with this Directive but were labelled before 1 May 1989 is permitted until stocks are exhausted.

REFERENCES

ActEntry into forceDeadline for transposition in the Member StatesOfficial Journal
Directive 87/250/EEC

15.4.1987

-

OJ L 113 of 30.4.1987

Last updated: 21.01.2011
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