Beer is a food product and, being such, subject to multiple legislative controls. In this section we try to show, as simply as possible, the basic legal framework surrounding our product and covers from its manufacturing until it is put on the shelf.

For greater preciseness, we have divided this framework in the following sections:

· Regulation applicable to beer as a product (RTS)
· Regulation applicable to beer labeling
· Regulation regarding excise duties applied to beer
· Regulation for beer containers
· Environmental Standard (IPPC)
· Regulation regarding safety and hygiene

Regulation applicable to beer as a product (RTS)

Beer is regulated by the Royal Decree 53/1995, of the 20th of January by the Minister of the Presidency, in which are included the Technical-Sanitary Regulations for the production, circulation and sale of beer and malt liquid (BOE #34, of February 9, 1995).

The aim of this standard is to define what is understood as beer in legal terms and to set standards for production, circulation and sale, and, overall, its legal ordainment. It is applicable to all individuals or companies dedicated to the professional activity of the purchase of beer, as well as its importers and merchants.

Access to RTS text in Spanish only

Regulation applicable to beer labeling

The Royal Decree 1334/1999, of July 31, in which the general Standard is approved for labeling, presentation and advertising (BOE # 202, of August 24, 1999), establishes the general labeling standards for all food products to be delivered without further handling to the final consumer, as well as the aspects related to its presentation. It also applies to food products to be delivered to foodservice establishments.

Beer, as a food product, is subject to the regulations of this Royal Decree, with the specifications established in its own Technical-Sanitary Guidelines.

Access to report on beer labeling in Spanish only

Regulation regarding excise duties applied to beer

The subjection of beer to law 38/1992, of December 28th, of Excise Duties (BOE # 312, of December 29, 1992), responds to the adjustment of these taxes on a communitarian scale, being configured as indirect taxes that fall upon the consumption of certain goods, taxing its fabrication or importing. The obligatory tax charge makes it so it is absorbed by the consumer, in addition to VAT as a general tax (at the rate of 21% for beer).

The Royal Decree 1165/1995, of July 7th, establishes the conditions detailed in the application of the law in form of Regulation (BOE # 179, of July 28, 1995), having been modified by Royal Decree 112/1998, of January 30 (BOE #27, of January 31, 1998), Royal Decree 1965/1999, of December 23 (BOE # 312, of December 30, 1999) and by Royal Decree 1739/2003, of December 19 (BOE nr. 11, of January 13, 2004).

Tax rates are updated through the General Law of State Budgets.

Access to tax rates of excise duties applicable to beer effective September 17, 2005. (In Spanish only)

Regulation for beer containers

Beer containers are subject to the following standards:

Cerveceros de España is one of the founding members of the Integrated Waste System ECOVIDRIO and currently holds the Presidency. Having already completed the three Sectorial Plans of Container Waste Prevention which covered the period of 1997 - 2007, it is currently in the horizon towards 2010.

Sectoral plan for prevention 2008-2010 in Spanish only

Follow-up PEP 2015 in Spanish only

Environmental Standard (IPPC)

The beer industry is subject to the compliance of Law 16/2002, of July 1, for integrated pollution prevention and control (BOE # 157, of July 2, 2002), which coordinates a procedure for integrated environmental permission of the industrial installations subject to this law, where the maximum authorized emission limits in function of the best techniques available in each case must be stated. As a reference concerning the best techniques available by sector, documents called BREF have been created in the IPTS (Institute of Prospective Technologies) of Seville.

Taking the foodstuffs BREF as a basis, Cerveceros de Espaņa, in collaboration with the Ministry of Environment, has published a Guidance document on Best Available Techniques in the Spanish Brewing Industry. This Guidance document has been designed as a practical and useful tool that includes all the available information which may assist the competent authorities in their task to assess and issue the integrated environmental permissions.
Access to the Guidance document in Spanish only

On a communitarian scale, The Brewer of Europe has reached a consensus on a guide for the application of the best techniques facilitated to the IPTS, as part of the BREF document that is being created for the entire European food and agriculture industry.

Access to The Brewers of Europe guide

Regulation regarding safety and hygiene

EU Regulation # 178/2002, of the European Parliament and Council, from January 28, 2002, which is directly applicable without having to transpose it to our national standard, establishes the general principles and requirements of food legislation, creates the European Authority of food Safety and sets the procedures relating to food safety (Official Record of European Communities L 31, of February 1, 2002).

This Regulation is based on two extraordinarily important pillars: risk analysis and traceability.

EU Regulation # 852/2004, of the European Parliament and Council, from April 29, 2004, on the hygiene of foodstuffs, is also applicable as from January 1, 2006.

In October 1996, Cerveceros de Espaņa presented its manual for the Application of the system of Risk Analysis and Control of Critical Points in the Spanish Brewing Sector (Plan for Analysis of Hazards and Points of Critical Control, according to the most recent terminology), with the approval of the Department of Health and Consumption. The Brewers of Europe have recently approved a document about managing food safety in the European brewing industry through the application of HAPPC principles, which, together with the entry into force of Regulation 852/2004, have lead Cerveceros de Espaņa to issue a new guidance document on the application of the system of Hazard Analysis and Points of Critical Control in the Spanish brewing industry.

Access to the HAPPCC Guidance document for the Spanish Brewing Industry (in Spanish)

In order to apply traceability according to the new legislation and significavely improve efficiency from the supply chain, Cerveceros de Espaņa members are requesting their suppliers to use certain EAN codes when labeling their products, according to the conditions explained in the guide which can be accessed from here.

Access to the guide for brewing industry suppliers (in Spanish)