//Notable Policy Developments Around the World – 20 May 2020

Notable Policy Developments Around the World – 20 May 2020


We share below a number of recent developments. As always, we rely on FIVS Members to apprise us of noteworthy matters. Please contact the FIVS Secretariat with items that may be of interest.


  • European Union – Promoting Recycling: The Comité Européen des Entreprises Vins (CEEV) has reportedly joined the Circular Economy Platform for Glass Collection & Recycling, which seeks to collect 90% of all glass packaging in the EU market for recycling in a bottle-to-bottle closed loop by 2030, up from the current rate of 76%. The group also seeks to improve the quality of glass produced, because only 52% of recycled glass is currently used in the production loop.


  • Penalties Associated with Drink and Drive 
    • Bulgaria: The Attorney General of Bulgaria has reportedly proposed more severe punishment for individuals who cause death or injury while driving with over 2 ppm of alcohol in their blood, while driving under the influence of drugs, or while exceeding speed limits by more than 50 km/h. He has suggested that sentences be increased to lifetime in prison for those drivers who cause death, that the vehicles in such accidents be confiscated when drivers have more than 1,2 ppm alcohol in their blood, and that a special task force monitor all related court decisions.
    • Malaysia: Supporting efforts begun in January 2020 to combat drink driving, the new Malaysian Minister of Transport has reportedly directed the Ministry’s Road Transport Department to review existing legislation, calling into question the current value of the blood alcohol content threshold and asking whether Malaysia should impose mandatory jail terms for offenders.
    • Taiwan: The Ministry of Transportation and Communications in Taipei has reportedly announced that motorists whose driver’s licenses have been revoked for drink driving will be required to have ignition interlock devices installed in their vehicles for one year after regaining their licenses and passing a driving test. The Minister of Transportation and Communications demonstrated the effectiveness of the device, which would not unlock a car’s ignition after consumption of less than one can of beer. The cost to lease and install the device for one year, which will be paid by the drivers, is approximately US$2,000.
  • Raising the Drinking Age
    • Russia: Russia’s health minister has reportedly called for raising the legal age to buy alcohol from 18 to 21, expressing concern that the number of alcohol-related deaths has increased after Russian authorities imposed lockdown orders because of the coronavirus.


  • International Organisations
    • Codex Alimentarius: As suggested in our Alert of 14 May 2020, the FIVS Codex Task Force submitted the following response (see Appendix IV)  to the Codex Committee on Food Labelling (CCFL) on 15 May 2020 in response to a consultation paper on internet sales/e-commerce.  FIVS would like to thank those members who commented on this paper.
  • Additives as Ingredients
    • European Union: The European Union is reportedly in the process of developing mandatory labelling rules regarding ingredients in wine. European Commission legislation already classifies oenological products including additives and processing aids but is reportedly expected to develop further rules concerning ingredients. This article goes on to discuss differing views among those in the trade on what substances should be considered to be ingredients.
  • E-commerce Evolving
    • South Korea: Changes to South Korea’s Liquor Tax Act reportedly now allow retailers, restaurants, hypermarkets, and convenience stores to sell alcohol beverages via mobile apps and the internet, but customers must pick up their orders from stores because delivery is still banned.
    • United States: Oklahoma’s Senate has reportedly approved legislation that would allow curbside pickup and delivery of alcohol by liquor stores, restaurants, and bars, which would make this protocol, which began during the coronavirus pandemic, permanent.
  • Minimum Unit Pricing Developments
    • Island of Jersey: Jersey’s States Assembly has reportedly enacted a new minimum unit price for alcohol beverages at £0.50, which was approved by the island’s Licensing Assembly in December 2019 with the intention of reducing harmful drinking.
    • Netherlands: Following recommendations from the Trimbos Institute and the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment, Netherlands’s cabinet reportedly may introduce legislation to implement minimum pricing for alcohol.
  • Trade Negotiations
    • United Kingdom & United States: As the United States and the United Kingdom opened formal discussions regarding a trade deal, the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States and the Scotch Whisky Association called for the removal of punitive tariffs on spirits, which reportedly resulted in a 27% decline in Scotch whisky exports to the United States during the last quarter of 2019 and in a 27% decline in American whiskey exports to the EU in 2019.