Alcohol Bill may impact UK magazine sales

The Alcohol Bill may no longer stipulate that prominent cancer warnings should be on alcohol products

For retailers, the Alcohol Bill issue is more or less settled after last year's agreement hammered out by the CSNA. However, the debate rages on among producers and wholesalers, with the ABFI constantly pointing out the deep flaws within the governmen'ts proposal.



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10 May 2018

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The Alcohol Beverage Federation of Ireland has claimed that some measures included in the Public Health (Alcohol) Bill will negatively impact trade beyond what is required to effectively tackle the misuse of alcohol.

So far, the ABFI has argued that the requirement for prominent health warning labels on all alcoholic beverage packaging may prompt wine, beer and spirits exporters to decline to ship to Ireland rather than incur the extra cost of these labels. However, it has emerged that restrictions on advertising may bring unrelated magazines from the UK and further afield into the line of fire. The European Commission has been critical of these measures.

According to the Commission, a magazine distributed in Ireland that contains advertisements for alcohol products would need to be reprinted with the appropriate health warning before it could be marketed in Ireland. Naturally, that is extremely unlikely to happen, meaning that these magazines could potentially cease to be available in this country.

Patricia Callan, Director of the ABFI said that these comments from the EC confirm the need for the Government’s need to rethink its entire strategy surrounding the bill.

“The Government needs to to make a number of reasonable amendments to the Alcohol Bill,” said Callan, “as the European Commission clearly states that the same objective of reducing alcohol misuse could be achieved through less restrictive measures.

“The drinks industry, like the European Commission, supports the overall objectives of the Alcohol Bill to tackle harmful and underage drinking in Ireland,” Callan continued. “However, it is clear some of the advertising and labelling provisions are not proportionate and will represent a barrier to trade in the EU.”




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