LEGAL FRAMEWORK
LEGAL FRAMEWORK

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
· 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

Beer is regulated by the Royal Decree 678/2016, of the 16th December by the Minister of the Presidency, adopting the quality standards for beer and malt drinks (BOE #304, of December 17, 2016). It entered into force on 18th December 2016.

The aim of this standard is to update the national standards on the production and sale of beer and malt drinks, in view of the development of technological innovations, the evolution of the markets and the change in consumer expectations.

Royal Decree 53/1995 of 20 January, adopting the Technical and health regulation for the brewing, distribution and sale of beer and liquid malt, and the Order of 15 October 1985, approving the official analysis methods for beer, are repealed by this Royal Decree although products manufactured as well as labels and printed packaging acquired before the entry into force of this Royal Decree that meet their provisions may be sold until stocks are exhausted.

Access to the text (in Spanish only)




Regulation applicable to beer labeling

Regulation (EU) No 1169/2011 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 October 2011 on the provision of food information to consumers establishes the general principles, requirements and responsibilities governing food information, and in particular food labelling. It applies to food business operators at all stages of the food chain, where their activities concern the provision of food information to consumers.

Beer, as any other foodstuff, is subject to the provisions of this Regulation, complemented by the provisions on its own Quality Standards.




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, the non-profit organisation responsible for managing the recycling of all glass packaging waste in Spain .


Sectoral plan for prevention 2017-2019 (in Spanish only)

Follow-up PEP 2016 (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)