Home/FIVS Alerts/Notable Public Policy Developments Around the World – 29 July 2020

Notable Public Policy Developments Around the World – 29 July 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.



United Kingdom – The Government has announced a series of measures to tackle obesity, one of which will focus on alcohol beverage calorie labelling, and will launch before the end of the current year. Alcohol beverage consumption may account for nearly 10% of the total caloric intake of those who drink these products – but according to this policy paper, 80% of the public is unaware of the calorie content of the alcohol beverages they consume. The initiative will reportedly be designed to reduce consumption, thereby improving people’s health and diet.


Kenya – Noting an increase in online sale of alcohol beverages, the chair of the National Authority for the Campaign Against Drug Abuse has reportedly warned that youth – online more often for e-learning during the pandemic – can buy liquor easily, posing as adults.

The Philippines – Following the Finance Secretary’s call to ban the unauthorized sale of alcohol, tobacco, and “other sin products” in the electronic marketplace, the Departments of Finance and Health, as well as the Food and Drug Administration, have reportedly announced plans to regulate online alcohol beverage sales to ensure they are not accessible to minors. The Department of Finance indicated that the current form of monitoring – a click box warning that the buyer should be “at least 18 years old to enter” the site – was inadequate.


Russia – The Russian Ministry of Finance has reportedly proposed increasing the minimum retail prices (MRP) for alcohol by approximately 3 percent, beginning on 01 January 2021 when the current order on minimum prices will expire, as a tool for combating counterfeit alcohol on the market.


EU-US dispute – Airbus has reportedly agreed to pay higher interest rates on A350 aircraft development loans from France and Spain to end the 16-year dispute between the United States and the European Union over aircraft subsidies. The EU has reportedly urged the United States to withdraw tariffs that it has imposed on EU goods, adding that it is ready to pursue sanctions if the United States does not. Industry members, including the Scotch Whisky Association and the U.S. Distilled Spirits Council, have called for an end to the “irreparable damage” caused by the tariffs.

Lockdown updates

  • Kenya – The Government has reportedly banned the sale of alcohol in restaurants and eateries for the next 30 days, with bars required to close indefinitely.
  • Netherlands – Amsterdam is reportedly banning weekend alcohol sales in the Red Light District to reduce crowds.
  • The Philippines – Iloilo Province is reportedly banning night-time alcohol sales and public consumption.
  • South Africa – The Government apologised for tweeting earlier that alcohol and cigarette sales would be banned throughout the lockdown.
  • United States – Washington State has reportedly tightened restrictions for bars, breweries, restaurants, and wineries.


Responsible Consumption

Labelling Irish gin – This guide issued by the Food Safety Authority of Ireland provides an approach to ensure the correct use of marketing materials and terms for labelling Irish gin. Related regulatory information on labelling is also available on FIVS-Abridge.


Red wine & our hearts – This article cites studies showing that polyphenols in red wine support heart health by preventing or reducing the oxidation of LDLs, which narrow the walls of arteries, increasing the “good cholesterol” in our blood, and helping to prevent blood clots. The article warns, however, that excessive drinking can increase the risk of heart disease, heart attacks, or strokes.

HFCS in coolers – A Canadian study at the University of Guelph on the role of high-fructose corn syrup in coolers reportedly concludes that sweetened alcohol beverages promote harmful alcohol consumption. The study suggests that these beverages act as a “gateway” – helping younger drinkers to become accustomed to the taste of alcohol beverages.