Alcohol Retailing

Through its Self-Regulatory Code of Conduct, ETRC is fully committed to promote the responsible retailing of alcohol in the duty free and travel retail channel.

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Alcohol: ensuring the responsible retailing of alcohol

ETRC is carefully monitoring the development of policies relating to the retailing of alcohol products in the duty free and travel retail channel.

Policies that fail to take into account the specificities of the duty free and travel retail channel could have a damaging effect on sales such as the introduction of restricted sales hours, minimum pricing, and labelling schemes.

Our industry is one of the primary vehicles for showcasing Europe’s rich heritage in the production of wines and spirits to an international customer base, with an extraordinary range of premium brands available. A channel characterised by quality, rather than quantity, ETRC believes its profile is consistent with responsible consumption by adults.

In recent years, there has been a growing tendency at global and especially at European level towards more regulation of the alcohol industry:

  • In September 2011, the 53 member states of the European WHO region adopted a ‘European Alcohol Action Plan 2012-2020’ establishing guidelines to reduce the harmful use of alcohol in the region. The action plan considers several options including reducing the availability and marketing of alcohol, or the introduction of warning labels.
  • Several countries in the EU are currently considering the implementation of stricter conditions regarding the taxation, marketing, promotion and labelling of alcohol products to combat harmful use of alcohol
  • Mid 2014, the European Commission adopted an Action Plan for the period 2014-2017 to tackle alcohol related harm to complement the work of the current EU Alcohol Strategy. Priorities identified by the Commission together with EU Member States are youth drinking, and heavy drinking.


ETRC Code of Conduct

In response to these challenges, ETRC launched in 2012 a Self-Regulatory Code of Conduct for the Sales of Alcohol Products in Duty-Free and Travel Retail, which promotes the responsible retailing of alcohol products in our retail channel. The Code of Conduct has gained widespread support from ETRC members, and the members of ETRC’s national affiliates. All ETRC members concerned with the retailing of alcohol products, brand manufacturers and retailers, are urged to sign up to the Code of Conduct.

The ETRC Code of Conduct is intended to work alongside all existing codes or guidelines already in existence. It is designed to be consistent and complementary to other such codes introduced by individual alcohol manufacturing companies and other bodies.

This initiative is part of a broader, ongoing, engagement of the ETRC with the EU institutions. As part of this process the ETRC joined the European Alcohol and Health Forum (EAHF) in October 2011 and is recognised as a proactive and constructive contributor to the European alcohol policy debate.

The ETRC Code of Conduct is the commitment of our industry to the work of the EAHF and can be downloaded in the Documents section on this page. For any questions on the Code of Conduct, please contact us.