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ABFI Calls On The Irish Government To Amend Alcohol Bill

The Alcohol Beverage Federation of Ireland (ABFI) has called on the Irish Government to make ‘a number of reasonable amendments’ to Ireland’s Public Health (Alcohol) Bill.

The demand comes after the US Government released the 2018 National Trade Estimate Report on Foreign Trade Barriers, where it said that the Bill could “detrimentally impact the ability of U.S. exporters to reallocate product in the European market”.

The report from the Office of the United States Trade Representative added that proposals in the Bill diverge from EU-wide requirements.

Patricia Callan, director, ABFI, said that the report further proves that the Alcohol Bill will negatively impact trade as “a number of measures proposed are disproportionate”.

The Bill will require Irish-only labels, which will include a new cancer warning label, to be included on all the products sold in the Republic of Ireland.

Director Callan said, “As a result of the additional costs and logistical problems which would be imposed as a result of a requirement to produce a separate label for Ireland, products might be withdrawn from the Irish market or new products might not be introduced”.

Out Of Step

“It should be noted that harmonised regulation in the area of drinks labelling is currently being developed at an EU level and last month a new EU-wide commitment by drinks producers to provide more nutritional information and listing of ingredients was presented to the EU Commission, with the aim of implementing it across member states.”

She added that the mandatory cancer warnings on alcohol products make Ireland “completely out of step with the rest of the EU”, and some proposals may conflict with EU law.

The ABFI recently welcomed the EU's commitment to provide 'harmonised and consistent' nutritional information on alcohol products to consumers on an EU-wide basis, either on or off-label.

© 2018 Checkout – your source for the latest Irish retail news. Article by Aidan O'Sullivan. Click subscribe to sign up for the Checkout print edition.

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