The new EU Spirits Drinks Regulation 2019/787 as amended by EU 2021/ 1465 replaces Regulation 110/2008 in the European Union (EU) and Northern Ireland (NI). The old Regulations remains applicable for products placed on the Great Britain (GB) market, with the exception of the new rules for geographical indications, which came into force in May 2019 and remains applicable within GB.

The new Regulation updates the definitions for the various spirit categories, amends the requirements for compound terms and allusions and changes the rules on the protection of geographical indications.

The requirements for compound terms and allusions are more detailed under the new EU / NI Regs and so producers marketing their products both within the EU / NI and GB, may wish to follow the new EU Regulations to ensure compliance within both the EU/NI and GB, or they may prefer to have a different labelling policy for the different territories.

Transition period: Any product labelled in accordance with the GB retained rules under 110/2008 and 716/2013 before 31 December 2022, can continue to be marketed within the EU until stocks are exhausted.

Sales denomination / legal name

Old requirement for GB:

EU 110/2008 and 716/2013

New requirements for EU/ NI:

 EU Regulation 2019/787 as amended by EU 2021 /1465

 

Gin

(a) Gin is a juniper-flavoured spirit drink produced by flavouring organoleptically suitable ethyl alcohol of agricultural origin with juniper berries (Juniperus communis L.).

 

(b) The minimum alcoholic strength by volume of gin shall be 37,5 %.

 

(c) Only natural and/or nature-identical flavouring substances as defined in Article 1(2)(b)(i) and (ii) of Directive 88/388/EEC and/or flavouring preparations as defined in Article 1(2)(c) of that Directive shall be used for the production of gin so that the taste is predominantly that of juniper.

 (a) Gin is a juniper-flavoured spirit drink produced by flavouring ethyl alcohol of agricultural origin with juniper berries (Juniperus communis L.).

 

(b) The minimum alcoholic strength by volume of gin shall be 37,5 %.

 

(c) Only flavouring substances or flavouring preparations or both shall be used for the production of gin so that the taste is predominantly that of juniper.

 

(d) The term ‘gin’ may be supplemented by the term ‘dry’ if it does not contain added sweetening exceeding 0,1 grams of sweetening products per litre of the final product, expressed as invert sugar.

Distilled Gin

(a) Distilled gin is:

 

(i) a juniper-flavoured spirit drink produced exclusively by redistilling organoleptically suitable ethyl alcohol of agricultural origin of an appropriate quality with an initial alcoholic strength of at least 96 % vol. in stills traditionally used for gin, in the presence of juniper berries (Juniperus communis L.) and of other natural botanicals provided that the juniper taste is predominant, or

 

(ii) the mixture of the product of such distillation and ethyl alcohol of agricultural origin with the same composition, purity and alcoholic strength; natural and/or nature-identical flavouring substances and/or flavouring preparations as specified in category 20(c) may also be used to flavour distilled gin.

 

(b) The minimum alcoholic strength by volume of distilled gin shall be 37,5 %.

 

(c) Gin obtained simply by adding essences or flavourings to ethyl alcohol of agricultural origin is not distilled gin

 (a) Distilled gin is one of the following:

 

(i) a juniper-flavoured spirit drink produced exclusively by distilling ethyl alcohol of agricultural origin with an initial alcoholic strength of at least 96 % vol. in the presence of juniper berries (Juniperus communis L.) and of other natural botanicals, provided that the juniper taste is predominant;

 

(ii) the combination of the product of such distillation and ethyl alcohol of agricultural origin with the same composition, purity and alcoholic strength; flavouring substances or flavouring preparations as specified in point (c) of category 20 or both may also be used to flavour distilled gin.

 

(b) The minimum alcoholic strength by volume of distilled gin shall be 37,5 %.

 

(c) Gin produced simply by adding essences or flavourings to ethyl alcohol of agricultural origin shall not be considered distilled gin.

 

(d) The term ‘distilled gin’ may be supplemented by or incorporate the term ‘dry’ if it does not contain added sweetening exceeding 0,1 grams of sweetening products per litre of the final product, expressed as invert sugar.

London Gin

a) London gin is a type of distilled gin:

 

(i) obtained exclusively from ethyl alcohol of agricultural origin, with a maximum methanol content of 5 grams per hectolitre of 100 % vol. alcohol, whose flavour is introduced exclusively through the redistillation in traditional stills of ethyl alcohol in the presence of all the natural plant materials used, (ii) the resultant distillate of which contains at least 70 % alcohol by vol.,

 

(iii) where any further ethyl alcohol of agricultural origin is added it must be consistent with the characteristics listed in Annex I(1), but with a maximum methanol content of 5 grams per hectolitre of 100 % vol. alcohol,

 

(iv) which does not contain added sweetening exceeding 0,1 gram of sugars per litre of the final product nor colorants,

 

(v) which does not contain any other added ingredients other than water.

 

(b) The minimum alcoholic strength by volume of London gin shall be 37,5 %.

 

(c) The term London gin may be supplemented by the term ‘dry’

 (a) London gin is distilled gin which meets the following requirements:

 

(i) it is produced exclusively from ethyl alcohol of agricultural origin, with a maximum methanol content of 5 grams per hectolitre of 100 % vol. alcohol, the flavour of which is imparted exclusively through the distillation of ethyl alcohol of agricultural origin in the presence of all the natural plant materials used;

 

(ii) the resulting distillate contains at least 70 % alcohol by vol.;

 

(iii) any further ethyl alcohol of agricultural origin that is added shall comply with the requirements laid down in Article 5 but with a maximum methanol content of 5 grams per hectolitre of 100 % vol. alcohol;

 

(iv) it is not coloured;

 

(v) it is not sweetened in excess of 0,1 grams of sweetening products per litre of the final product, expressed as invert sugar;

 

(vi) it does not contain any other ingredients than the ingredients referred to in points (i), (iii) and (v), and water.

 

 

(b) The minimum alcoholic strength by volume of London gin shall be 37,5 %.

 

(c) The term ‘London gin’ may be supplemented by or incorporate the term ‘dry’.

Sloe Gin

(a) Sloe gin is a liqueur produced by maceration of sloes in gin with the possible addition of sloe juice.

 

(b) The minimum alcoholic strength by volume of sloe gin shall be 25 %.

 

(c) Only natural flavouring substances and preparations as defined in Article 1(2)(b)(i) and Article 1(2)(c) of Directive 88/388/EEC may be used in the preparation of sloe gin.

 

(d) The sales denomination may be supplemented by the term ‘liqueur’

 (a) Sloe gin is a liqueur produced by maceration of sloes in gin with the possible addition of sloe juice.

 

(b) The minimum alcoholic strength by volume of sloe gin shall be 25 %.

 

(c) Only natural flavouring substances and flavouring preparations may be used in the production of sloe gin.

 

(d) The legal name may be supplemented by the term ‘liqueur’.

Compound

  
Definition

‘compound term’ means the combination of a term listed in categories 1 to 46 of Annex II to Regulation (EC) No 110/2008 or a geographical indication of a spirit drink, from which all the alcohol of the final product originates, with:

(i) the name of one or more foodstuffs other than those used for the production of that spirit drink; and/or

(ii) the term ‘liqueur’;

 

(2) ‘compound term’ means, in relation to the description, presentation and labelling of an alcoholic beverage, the combination of either a legal name provided for in the categories of spirit drinks set out in Annex I or the geographical indication for a spirit drink, from which all the alcohol of the final product originates, with one or more of the following:

 

(a) the name of one or more foodstuffs other than an alcoholic beverage and other than foodstuffs used for the production of that spirit drink in accordance with Annex I, or adjectives deriving from those names;

 

(b) the term ‘liqueur’ or ‘cream’

General rules

1.The term ‘spirit drink’ shall not be part of a compound term describing an alcoholic beverage.

2.A compound term describing an alcoholic beverage shall not consist of a combination of the term ‘liqueur’ with the name of one of the categories 33 to 40 of Annex II to Regulation (EC) No 110/2008.

3.A compound term shall not replace the sales denomination of a spirit drink.

4.The compound term describing an alcoholic beverage:

·       shall appear in uniform characters of the same font, size and colour.

·       It shall not be interrupted by any textual or pictorial element which does not form part of it and

·       shall not appear in a larger font size than that of the sales denomination.

 

1. The use in a compound term of either a legal name provided for in the categories of spirit drinks set out in Annex I or a geographical indication for spirit drinks shall be authorised on condition that:

 

(a) the alcohol used in the production of the alcoholic beverage originates exclusively from the spirit drink referred to in the compound term, except for the alcohol that may be present in flavourings, colours or other authorised ingredients used for the production of that alcoholic beverage; and

 

(b) the spirit drink has not been diluted by addition of water only, so that its alcoholic strength is below the minimum strength provided for under the relevant category of spirit drinks set out in Annex I.

 

2. Without prejudice to the legal names provided for in Article 10, the terms ‘alcohol’, ‘spirit’, ‘drink’, ‘spirit drink’ and ‘water’ shall not be part of a compound term describing an alcoholic beverage.

 

3. Compound terms describing an alcoholic beverage shall:

·       appear in uniform characters of the same font, size and colour;

 

·       not be interrupted by any textual or pictorial element which does not form part of them; and

 

·       not appear in a font size which is larger than the font size used for the name of the alcoholic beverage.

Allusions

  
Definition‘allusion’ means the direct or indirect reference to one or more spirit drink categories or geographical indications, other than the reference in a compound term or list of ingredients referred to in Article 9(9) of Regulation (EC) No 110/2008.

(3) ‘allusion’ means the direct or indirect reference to one or more legal names provided for in the categories of spirit drinks set out in Annex I or to one or more geographical indications for spirit drinks, other than a reference in a compound term or in a list of ingredients as referred to in Article 13(2), (3) and (4), in the description, presentation or labelling of:

 

(a) a foodstuff other than a spirit drink, or

 

(b) a spirit drink that complies with the requirements of categories 33 to 40 of Annex I;

 

(c)a spirit drink that complies with the conditions laid down in Article 12(3a).

 

General rules

The use of a term listed in categories 1 to 46 of Annex II, or of a geographical indication registered in Annex III in a compound term or the allusion in the presentation of a foodstuff to any of them shall be prohibited unless the alcohol originates exclusively from the spirit drink(s) referred to.

The allusion to any spirit drink category or geographical indication, for the presentation of a foodstuff, shall not be in the same line as the sales denomination.

 

For alcoholic beverages, the allusion shall appear in a font size smaller than those used for the sales denomination and compound term.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1) For foods, an allusion to legal names shall be authorised on condition that the alcohol used in the production of the foodstuff originates exclusively from the spirit drink(s) referred to in the allusion, except as regards the alcohol that may be present in flavourings, colours or other authorised ingredients used for the production of that foodstuff.

 

2. for an alcoholic beverage other than  spirit drinks, an allusion to legal names shall be authorised on condition that:

(a) the added alcohol originates exclusively from the spirit drink or spirit drinks referred to in the allusion; and

(b) the proportion of each alcoholic ingredient (QUID) is indicated at least once in the same visual field as the allusion, in descending order of quantities used.

That proportion shall be equal to the percentage by volume of pure alcohol it represents in the total pure alcohol content by volume of the final product.

 

3. For a spirit drink that complies with the requirements of categories 33 to 40 of Annex I, the allusion to legal names shall be authorised on condition that:

(a) the added alcohol originates exclusively from the spirit drink or spirit drinks referred to in the allusion;

(b) the proportion of each alcoholic ingredient (QUID) is indicated at least once in the same visual field as the allusion, in descending order of quantities used. That proportion shall be equal to the percentage by volume of pure alcohol it represents in the total pure alcohol content by volume of the final product; and

(c) the term ‘cream’ does not appear in the legal name of a spirit drink that complies with the requirements of categories 33 to 40 of Annex I or in the legal name of the spirit drink or spirit drinks referred to in the allusion.

 

 

4. For Spirit Drinks other than those in categories 33 to 40, an allusion can be included if:

(a)

the spirit drink referred to in the allusion:

(i)has been used as the sole alcoholic base for the production of the final spirit drink, which  complies with the requirements of a category set out in Annex I,

 

(ii)has not been combined with any foodstuffs other than the foodstuffs used for its production or the production of the final spirit drink or the relevant product specification, and

 

(iii)has not been diluted by addition of water so that its alcoholic strength is below the minimum strength provided for under the category of spirit drinks or the product specification for the geographical indication to which the spirit drink referred to in the allusion belongs; or

 

(b)

the spirit drink has been stored for the full maturation period or part of it in a wooden cask previously used to mature the spirit drink referred to in the allusion, on condition that:

(i)the wooden cask was emptied of its previous contents for those categories of spirit drinks or geographical indications for spirit drinks for which the addition of alcohol, diluted or not, is prohibited,

 

(ii)the allusion is made within the description of the cask used to mature the resulting spirit drink,

 

(iii)the allusion appears less prominently than the legal name of the spirit drink or any compound term used, and

 

(iv) the allusion appears in a font size no larger than the font size used for the legal name of the spirit drink or any compound term used.’;

 

 

 

5. The allusions referred shall:

·       not be on the same line as the name of the alcoholic beverage; and

·       appear in a font size which is no larger than half the font size used for the legal name and any compound terms (unless the allusion refers to a cask (see iv above)

 

Prepared for The Gin Guild 09/2021 by its Primary Authority Partner, Buckinghamshire and Surrey Trading Standards