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European Commission - Press release

Labelling of alcoholic beverages: Commission report invites the industry to submit a self-regulatory proposal

Brussels, 13 March 2017

The European Commission adopted today a report on the mandatory labelling of the list of ingredients and the nutrition declaration for alcoholic beverages.

 

Following the conclusions of the report, the Commission has decided to invite the alcoholic beverages' industry to develop, within a year, a self-regulatory proposal aiming to provide information on ingredients and nutrition of all alcoholic beverages.

Commissioner for Health and Food Safety,Vytenis Andriukaitis said: "This report supports the right of people in the European Union to be fully informed about what they drink. Moreover, it does not identify any objective grounds justifying the absence of the list of ingredients and nutrition information on alcoholic beverages. The expansion of voluntary initiatives from the sector has already been ongoing and is brought to the fore in the report".  

Labelling of alcoholic beverages in the EU

The EU Regulation on the provision of food information to consumers (1169/2011) which became applicable in December 2014 includes rules on listing ingredients and providing a nutrition declaration. These rules are mandatory for all foods, including alcoholic beverages. There is an exemption, however, for beverages containing more than 1.2% alcohol per volume.

Such information is nevertheless provided by some producers on a voluntary basis. Furthermore, a number of Member States have maintained, adopted or proposed national measures imposing additional labelling requirements on ingredients for all or certain alcoholic beverages. Draft national rules on food labelling have to be notified and assessed by the Commission before their possible adoption.

Next steps

Following today's report, the industry should propose within a year, a harmonised approach aiming to provide consumers with information about the ingredients present in alcoholic beverages and the nutritional value of alcoholic beverages. This proposal will be assessed by the Commission. Should the Commission consider the self-regulatory approached proposed by the industry as unsatisfactory, it would then launch an impact assessment to review further available options in line with Better Regulation principles.

To read the report in full and for more information on food information to consumers and EU alcohol policy, see:

https://ec.europa.eu/food/safety/labelling_nutrition/labelling_legislation/alcohol_en

http://ec.europa.eu/health/alcohol/policy_en

Follow us on Twitter: @V_Andriukaitis @EU_Health

IP/17/551

Press contacts:

General public inquiries: Europe Direct by phone 00 800 67 89 10 11 or by email


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