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New EU legislation on Labelling and Consumer Rights – what are the implications for wine suppliers?

What are the implications for wine suppliers of the new EU Food Information Regulation?

There are no immediate implications – the bulk of the provisions of the new EU Food Information Regulation* do not take effect until December 2014. There will be implications at that time in terms of wine labelling requirements. In addition, “distance sellers” (see below) will become obliged to communicate the mandatory information for any relevant product to the consumer before a distance purchase is completed. But until then the law remains “as is”, so there’s plenty of time to prepare for these changes.

… and of the new EU Consumer Rights Directive?

This Directive** will make some important changes for those involved in distance selling of wine or spirits (i.e. business to consumer, either via the internet, email, phone or mail order):

  • it will (inter alia) increase the period during which the consumer has the right to cancel the sale contract from 7 to 14 days after he receives the goods;
  • it will exempt En Primeur wine sales from this right.

None of this will take effect until at least December 2013, however, so again there’s plenty of time to prepare.

En Primeur distance sales – right to cancel

Note that in the meantime that the present law will continue to apply to En Primeur distance sales: the consumer has the right to cancel up to 7 days after he receives the wine, and should be given notice of this right at the time of purchase. Transfer in bond to a customer’s private reserve will arguably constitute receipt by the customer for this purpose.

We plan to publish more detailed guidance nearer the time these provisions are to take effect.

References:

Regulation (EU) No 1169/2011 of 25 October 2011 on the provision of food information to consumers

** Directive 2011/83/EU of 25 October 2011 on consumer rights