//Notable Policy Developments Around the World – 20 November 2019

Notable Policy Developments Around the World – 20 November 2019


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.



  • Consideration of Reducing Limits related to Drinking: FIVS has reported on the reductions in blood alcohol content (BAC) limits associated with driving. Here are some recent developments.
    • According to this piece, Belgium is considering a move toward zero limits for driving.  See also this article.
    • This article discusses how France is considering but not pursuing at this time a zero limit approach.
    • In the case of Greece, efforts are afoot that would impose a life sentence for those who take lives while driving under the influence of alcohol.
    • Poland may increase excise taxes in an effort to reduce driving accidents.
    • The South African Department of Transport is considering a measure that would reduce the legal BAC limit from 0.5 mg/ml to zero. This proposal seeks to reduce that country’s relatively high rate of automobile related deaths.
    • The Ukraine is introducing stricter measures to address drinking and driving violations.
  • Ireland – Stricter Advertising Restrictions: Efforts are afoot to tighten regulations on alcohol advertising, focusing specifically on the content of the ads themselves. This call for tighter controls on the content of alcohol ads being considered as new rules are being introduced banning alcohol advertisements near schools and playgrounds, on public transport, and in many cinemas where youth might be present. The Irish Industry has called for measures to be introduced that are “proportionate, evidence-based and effective.”
  • Philippines – President Moves to Hike Alcohol Taxes as Sin Products: This proposed bill would increase excise taxes on alcohol along with other products. Under the bill, fermented liquor (beer) and low-alcohol drinks would face specific tax rates for the first year with increases every year.
  • United Kingdom – Welsh Legislators Approve a Minimum Price for 2020: As reported previously, the Welsh Government has explored adopting minimum pricing for alcohol beverages in an effort to reduce alcohol-related deaths. Most recently, the Welsh National Assembly approved the Government’s proposal for a minimum unit price (MUP) of £0.50, which would take effect in 2020. The proposal was only submitted recently to the Assembly, after being delayed by a European Commission (EC) review.
  • United States – The Sector Seeks to Renew Alcohol Tax Breaks by the End of the Year:  This article discusses how trade associations are gearing up to persuade the U.S. Congress to pass legislation that would permanently reduce the federal excise taxes for alcohol producers. While there is considerable support from legislators for the bill, passage will be challenging given the focus of the legislators on the impeachment of President Trump, combined with relatively few days left in the legislative calendar year.
  • Articles of Interest: This article offers a comprehensive treatment of the trade situation between the United States and the European Union and this piece provides a current assessment regarding the implications of BREXIT for the alcohol beverage sector.