Press Advisories

20. 9. 2012 20:33

Government restricts exports of alcoholic beverages

The Minister of Health has announced a ban on exports of spirits containing alcohol of at least 20% by volume. This was the Government’s response to the European Commission’s own plans to declare a ban.

Prime minister Petr Nečas, press conference

The Government has recommended that the Minister of Health prohibit exports of alcoholic beverages produced or bottled in the Czech Republic with an alcohol content of 20% or more by volume by expanding the current emergency measure of 14 September 2012 with immediate effect,” said Prime Minister Petr Nečas after an emergency Cabinet meeting.

Operators of establishments in the food industry, including those providing catering services, are prohibited from offering for sale, selling or otherwise proffering for consumption spirits with an ethanol content of 20% or more by volume, including tuzemák [a locally produced variation of rum] and potable alcohol. Further, all persons are prohibited from distributing and exporting outside the Czech Republic spirits with an ethanol content of 20% or more by volume, including tuzemák and potable alcohol,” stated Minister of Health Leoš Heger as he declared the emergency measure in a television and radio broadcast.

The Government has agreed to extend the ban in view of the continuing cases of methanol poisoning in the Czech Republic and the European Commission’s plans to ban exports of Czech alcohol with a content of 20% or more by volume. The Commission would have imposed such a restriction for two months, with removal of the ban requiring the approval of an absolute majority of EU countries. “For the Czech Republic, it is preferable for the imposition and removal of this export barrier to be controlled by the Czech Government via an extraordinary measure,” added the Prime Minister.

We expect to start gradually narrowing down this partial prohibition of spirits as of next week, accompanied by a parallel scaling-down of Czech export restrictions,” said the Prime Minister, as he alluded to the Government’s decision on Wednesday projecting that newly produced spirits carrying new excise duty labels and “birth certificates” (certificates of origin) could be available to Czech customers in two weeks’ time.

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