Rules of trading alcoholic beverages do not correspond to modern realities

01/ 04/ 2019

The rules for trading of alcoholic beverages are outdated and, in some cases, contain unrealistic or already abolished rules. Therefore, it is advisable to cancel them, and transfer some necessary norms to a special document. The rules requiring revision were developed in 1996 and contain instructions – how, what and where to trade (the resolution of the CMU “On Approval of the Rules for Retail Trade in Alcoholic Beverages” of July 30, 1996, N 854).

Christina Linichenko Manager of the Committee on Import and Trade of Alcoholic Drinks
The rules have been developed on the basis of various Laws and Resolutions. Therefore, it is logical that when changes are made in different normative acts, they should be transferred to the Rules. Unfortunately or fortunately, such changes did not occur structurally. Today, the Rules contain a little bit of the past, some mysteries and a very small number of really important trade norms.

In addition, it is important to note that the list of prohibitions for trade contained in the Law is much wider than the one containing the Rules.

Consider several examples of outdated norms. According to the Rules, alcoholic beverages are still considered to exceed 1.2% alcohol, although in fact the limit is 0.5%. The rules still require a certificate of conformity, although mandatory certification was canceled almost 5 years ago.

Among the controversial rules, for example, are referring beer to alcohol, but the Rules don’t apply it as an alcohol.

The Rules stipulate that only employees with special education can handle the storage and sale of alcoholic beverages. The value of this norm is unclear, since it is not indicated what kind of education is needed – sommelier, seller, etc.

The requirement for the stamp on alcohol bottles for some reason applies only to domestic producers, although the Tax Code requires the existence of a stamp for any alcoholic beverage over 8.5% regardless of the country of production.

The Rules contain regulations that make it impossible to sell alcoholic beverages with obvious signs of damage, without proper labeling, in which the expiration date has passed. At the same time, these are general requirements for the safety of products and information for consumers. They are already mentioned in the Law “On Basic Principles and Requirements for Food Safety and Quality” and “On Information for Consumers on Food Products”.

Also, the Rules define a number of requirements for the storage of alcoholic beverages, including provisions, temperature regimes, and direct product placement. However, each manufacturer independently sets the requirements for their own products, therefore they may differ from the ones specified in the Rules (as these are the technical specifications for each product). Therefore, when carrying out the rules, the storage conditions specified by the manufacturer can be violated.

It is worthwhile to note that the Rules also contain norms concerning the restaurant industry, such as preparation of cocktails or the use of measuring capacities. At the same time, logically, they should be in the Rules directly related to the restaurant business.

Therefore, the European Business Association appeals to the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade of Ukraine, the Ministry of Finance of Ukraine and the State Fiscal Service to update the legislation – to abolish these Rules, and transfer the necessary rules, for example, into the Rules of operation of establishments (enterprises) of the restaurant industry. For now, due to imperfection and controversy over the Rules, businesses have no chance to use these rules in their work, although they fully comply with the law.

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