News13 May 2019Brussels, BelgiumAgriculture and Rural Development
New rules to simplify and homogenise EU wine making practices
New rules have been adopted to simplify and clarify wine making practices in the EU, a last step in the alignment of the wine legislation to the Lisbon Treaty by the European Commission.
This new wine legislation (Implementing regulation and Delegated regulation) simplifies the existing requirements in wine making while increasing the consistency between on the one hand EU oenological practices and on the other hand the international code of oenological practices and international oenological codex of the International Organisation of Vine and Wine.
This improved legislation presents the authorised oenological practices in a way that is easier to read and to understand. This will allow wine makers to easily identify authorised practices in the EU as well as all the requirements, such as limits, conditions for use and types of wines to which they apply.
Prior to this legislation, rules on the following elements of EU wine legislation were updated for alignment to the Lisbon Treaty:
- presentation and labelling of wine,
- authorisations for vine plantings,
- checks to avoid fraud in the wine sector,
- vineyard register and
- the documents that are to accompany imports and exports.
In addition, the adaptation of the Spirit Drinks Regulation to the legal requirements of the Lisbon Treaty turned into a much-needed reform, aimed at modernising the legislative framework for spirit drinks and at adapting it further to the needs of the sector and of the consumers.
This new regulation will ensure that consumers are accurately informed on the methods used to produce spirit drinks while also supporting the growth of spirit drink producers. It also simplified procedures for registration of spirit drink geographical indications (GIs), when they are used as ingredients, when they are in conflict with Trade Marks and when they are in transit in the EU territory. These changes aim at a better protection and an easier management of spirit drinks GIs.
Procedures to approve or modify the quality schemes have also been simplified and aligned to those of the other GI sectors. In particular, a 6 month deadline for the Commission’s scrutiny of applications was established. This simplification will allow the Commission to ensure fair and efficient file management in the future. The Commission and Member States’ responsibilities were clarified in order to make the system clearer and easier to manage.
This package of legislation ensures the proper functioning of the internal market for wine products via harmonised rules that apply across the whole EU. It paves the way for the Commission to focus on the future of the sector in the framework of the CAP reform and to enhance its sustainability.