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UK Government launches new scheme for whiskey protection

DBR Staff Writer Published 13 January 2014

The UK Government has launched a new scheme - Spirit Drinks Verification Scheme - to protect the Scotch whiskey industry from fake or sub-standard products.

This move by the government is to help the customers to identify genuine UK-made products.

Under this scheme, beverage producers will have to sign up for the scheme if they want to sell within the European Union.

The government will introduce scotch whiskey as the first product in this scheme. However, it will extend this program to other drinks with a geographical origin, such as Somerset Cider Brandy and whiskey from Northern Ireland.

To be verified under this scheme, producers, blenders, bottlers, labelers and bulk importers will need to apply to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

All firms that produce spirits will be verified by HMRC to ensure that they meet strict EU requirements.

Scotch Whisky Association chief executive David Frost said that this is a step change in the protection of Scotch whisky and should be warmly welcomed.

"We fully support the introduction of the verification scheme by the UK government. It will give even more protection to consumers of Scotch whisky," Frost added.

"It will greatly improve the industry's ability to stop the sale of adulterated Scotch whiskies bottled abroad."