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Italy And Portugal Oppose Measures In Alcohol Bill, Says ABFI

Opposition from Italy and Portugal to measures in the Public Health (Alcohol) Bill highlights the need for amendments to be made to the legislation, according to Alcohol Beverage Federation of Ireland (ABFI).

'The requirement for Irish-only labels, including a cancer warning label, to be included on all products sold in the Republic of Ireland, covering at least one-third of all printed materials has emerged as a hugely contentious aspect of the Alcohol Bill, as it is expected to create a trade barrier,' the representative body for drinks manufacturers and suppliers in Ireland said in a recent statement.

Conflicts With EU Law

In addition to Italy and Portugal, the EU Commission has also said that the labelling proposals may conflict with EU law.
“No other country in the EU, or indeed the world, has introduced mandatory cancer warnings on alcohol products, making Ireland completely out of step with the rest of the EU at a time when certainty for trade is imperative with Brexit,” said Patricia Callan director of ABFI.

Detrimental Impact

In the statement ABFI said that outside of the EU, the government agency responsible for developing and recommending United States trade policy to the President of the United States has warned that proposed measures in the Alcohol Bill could “detrimentally impact the ability of U.S. exporters to reallocate product in the European market” and notes that proposals in the Bill diverge from EU-wide requirements.

“Introducing Irish-only labels will impose significant costs on Irish producers and distributors because they will be required to develop labels specifically for the Irish market and a second set of labels for elsewhere,” Callan added.

“Likewise, producers and distributors that supply products to Ireland (i.e. such as Italian and Portuguese wine producers) will have to create labels specifically for the Irish market, which will also be costly and logistically difficult.”

© 2018 Checkout – your source for the latest Irish retail news. Article by Donna Ahern. Click subscribe to sign up for the Checkout print edition.

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