COMMENT: Legal changes to benefit Swedish drinkers
Under current state law, Swedish consumers are only allowed to bring alcohol into Sweden for their own use if they do so personally. In the event that Swedish individuals are unable to physically transport the product into the country themselves, their only option is to request 'Systembolaget', the national alcohol retail monopoly, to transport it into Sweden on their behalf. They are not allowed to request other intermediaries to do so.
After assessing the laws, the European Commission has told Sweden that it must allow consumers to purchase alcohol from other EU countries through independent intermediaries. Although the EC's letter to the Swedish authorities is only a "reasoned opinion", it could pre-empt court action if Sweden does not comply.
Indeed, the Swedish authorities have argued that the ban is necessary for health protection reasons. However, the commission, in its continued battle to counteract national provisions hindering free trade, has re-iterated this week that it believes that an individual residing in Sweden should not be prevented from purchasing products available on the market in other EU member states.
In responding to the Swedish authorities, the commission expressed the view that protecting human health from the effects of excessive alcohol consumption could be achieved by other means than restricting trade between the EU member states.
The move is likely to be well received by Swedish consumers, whose purchase of alcohol within national borders is often restricted by high prices. This legal development means that Swedish drinkers may now be able to order drinks over the Internet or by mail order from other countries. Sweden is also currently phasing out limits on the amount of alcohol that Swedes can bring back from trips to other EU countries.
Denmark, a market known for more liberal attitudes towards drinking and its comparatively lower prices, looks set to benefit from both of these developments. This can only be good news for Denmark's dominant domestic producer, Carlsberg, which will be more than happy to see units cross the Nordic shores.
The global roll-out of InBev's Brazilian beer, Brahma, adds a third premium brand to the global brewer's international portfolio but some observers have suggested it's an unnecessary step which threat...
Carlsberg said today that global beer volume showed a 20% increase in the first quarter of the year driven by strong organic growth in BBH as well as a considerable contribution from acquisitions, inc...
Carlsberg has appointed a managing director for its Chinese operations....
Carlsberg has increased its ownership in Carlsberg Brewery Malaysia Berhad from 49.66% to 51%. The investment amounts to approximately US$6m....
Alcohol intake amongst young female adults in the UK continues to rise and shows no signs of abating, according to a recent report....
Cobra Beer has launched an alcohol-free beer in South Africa, the UK and in its European and Asian export markets....
Carlsberg Sverige is looking to introduce a lemon-flavoured beer to the Swedish market....
Heineken has acquired a 40% stake in a Chinese brewery....
- A tobacco analogy soft drinks will want to embrace
- Pernod's Portman Group penalty - a coincidence?
- just The Preview - SABMiller's Q1
- just Five Years Ago: A-B InBev sells Oriental
- Comment - Coke Life: Hit or Miss?
- Diageo faces public consultation over W&M sale
- William Grant silent on Drambuie bid talk
- Remy posts Q1 sales drop as Edrington loss bites
- Bacardi to fight US football team legal action
- Distell to take 26% stake in spirits firm KHEAL