|| How European and UK Wine
laws are applied
European Council and Commission Wine Regulations cover:
- the whole market in wine from the grape to the final sale to the
- the EC price support system and
- the arrangements for importation into the Community from other (Third)
The Commission also issues Directives and Notices on general matters covering the Wine Regime, including where appropriate lists of the responsible (competent) authorities designated by Member States for enforcement purposes. All European legislation may be found in the Eur-Lex section of the Commission website
The Common Agricultural Policy (Wine) Regulations are national Statutory Instruments (SIs) reissued from time to time, and kept up to date by regular amending SIs issued to cover new or amended legislation.
apply in the UK
European Commission Regulations.
Common Agricultural Policy (Wine) Regulations.
- Rules in the wine sector must apply to all Member States in the
- Council and Commission Regulations for the wine sector are published
in the Official
Journal of the European Communities
- Among areas covered are winemaking, documentation and record keeping,
labelling and price lists. These rules also apply to wines imported
into the European Union from non EU countries (Third Countries).
National legislation, taking devolution into account, has been enacted to allow the UK to enforce Community rules, covering England and Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.
The three Statutory Instruments are:
- England and Northern Ireland 2001 S.I. No.686, amended 2003, 2004,2005, 2006.
- Wales 2001 S.I. 2193amended 2003,2004.
- Scotland 2002 S.I. 235, amended 2003, 2004.
These may be viewed on the Office of Public Sector information website web site www.opsi.gov.uk
Enforcement responsibility is shared with Defra, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) and Local Authorities, the latter being responsible for all enforcement in the retail sector.
in the Wine sector - some aspects of the law
Still, sparkling and liqueur wine
The regulations set out conditions for wine making, record keeping
and labelling for each of these categories.
- de-acidification and enrichment of wine produced in the UK is subject
to permitted limits and must be notified to the WSB. Minimum and/or
maximum alcoholic strengths are laid down in each category, with special
provision for wines from Third Countries.
- Processing aids and agents are also identified with maximum limits
e.g. total sulphur dioxide must not exceed 160 milligrams per litre
in a red wine.
2. Record keeping
- there is a list of operations including enrichment and bottling
which must be recorded promptly. Accompanying documents and records
must be kept for at least five years.
- Specific mandatory items must be shown, in one field of vision.
These include nominal volume (eg 75cl), alcoholic strength (eg 11.5%
vol), bottler’s details, country of origin, type of wine
- Specified optional items may also be shown on certain types of wine,
eg vine variety, vintage. Further information may be shown, providing
it does not conflict with mandatory or specified optional details
and that there is no risk of confusion.
- For further information please download the following pdf documents:
wine regulations (PDF - Revised Oct 05)
EU Sparkling wine regulations
(PDF - Revised Oct 05)
EU Third Country
wine regulations (PDF - Revised Oct 05)
(PDF) UK wine (PDF)
If you are unable to open these files,
please download the free Acrobat
Aromatised wine products
This category includes ‘wines
with added flavouring’, such as vermouth and Sangria.
Council Regulation 1601/91 includes definitions
and product descriptions but detailed labelling provisions fall under
UK Food Labelling Regulations.
In addition to EC wine regulations and the CAP (Wine) Regulations, there is a wide range of national legislation which applies to the UK wine industry. The authorities primarily responsible for enforcement of national legislation are the Government Departments concerned, HMRC and Local Authorities (particularly the Trading Standards and Environmental Health Departments).
Some of the major items
are shown below for general information:-
- Trade Descriptions Act 1968
- Alcoholic Liquor Duties Act 1979
- Food Act 1984
- Weights and Measures Act 1985
- Weights and Measures (Packaged Goods) Regulations 2006
- Food Safety Act 1990
- Trade Marks Act 1994
- Food Labelling Regulations 1996
- Food (Lot Marking) Regulations 1996
- Imported Food Regulations 1997
- Licencing Act 2003
Wine is largely exempt from Food Labelling Regulations, since the European
Community has drawn up specific provisions in wine sector.
Legislation since 1998 may be accessed on the HMSO website at www.hmso.gov.uk/
A more extensive list of principal and secondary legislation is given
in the WSTA Checklists.
Ingredients Listing (Allergens)
(PDF - Revised Dec 05)