Labelling of Spirits in the UK

Are there any requirements in relation to the labelling of alcoholic spirit drinks within the UK?

Currently in the UK there are legal requirements which exist in relation to the labelling of spirit drinks which are produced and sold within the UK.

These requirements are set down by the Spirit Drinks Regulations 2008 which apply the European Directive (EC) 110/2008 into UK law.

Who do these regulations apply to?

The regulations cover anyone who is involved in either the production and the selling of spirit drinks within the UK. In practice this can include individuals who are involved in the import and export of spirit drinks involved with the UK market and those companies within the UK who produce spirit drinks.

What is meant by the term spirit drinks?

Drinks which fall within the category of spirits are the following:

  • Whiskey
  • Gin
  • Vodka
  • Rum
  • Brandy
  • Tequila
  • Various liqueurs

To what kinds of drink do the regulations apply to?

A spirit drink is one which has 15% or above alcohol by volume. It therefore does not cover other alcoholic drinks such as beer and wine.

Drinks which fall within this category will fall within the scope of the regulations if the following things are factors are met:

  • They are produced and marketed within the European Union
  • They are sold within the European Union – this applies to spirits which are produced outside of the European Union
  • They are exported from the European Union

Unlock this article now!


For more information on:

  • What have the regulations achieved?
  • What has been put in place since 2009?