The legislation will define beer as alcohol for the first time

The legislation will define beer as alcohol for the first time

Beer is finally set to be defined as an alcoholic product in Russia, thanks to new legislation.

Amendments to the law on state regulation of production and sales of ethanol, alcoholic beverages and alcohol-containing products, announced on Wednesday (20 July), mean that beer will now be subject to the same controls as other alcoholic beverages in the country. The changes, signed in to federal law by President Dmitry Medvedev this week, have come about as Russia continues its battle against excessive alcohol consumption.

Historically, beer has been viewed more as a soft drink than an alcoholic beverage in Russia, with sales times and outlets, and places of consumption being unrestricted. The changes, set to take effect from the beginning of next year, include measures such as kiosks requiring licences to sell beer, restrictions on when in the day beer can be sold, and curbs on beer advertising.

“The federal law is aimed at achieving the objectives defined in the Concept of State Policy to Reduce Alcohol Abuse and Prevent Alcoholism among the Population of the Russian Federation through 2020,” the Russian Government said this week.

“In particular, the Federal Law imposes various restrictions on the production and sale of alcoholic products, specifies the places where their retail sale is prohibited, strengthens restrictions on advertising for products containing more than 5% abv, regulates the circulation of ethanol, and stipulates a mechanism for ensuring state control over the production and sales of ethanol, alcoholic beverages and alcohol-containing products.”

Russia's parliament, the State Duma, approved the bill back in February.

To view the official announcement, click here.