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Slovakia allows Czech spirits to go back on sale

Slovakia officially halted its ban on the import and sale of Czech spirits containing more than 20 percent alcohol at 17:00 on October 9. Slovak stores and pubs will now be able to sell Czech-made liquor under strict conditions defined by an expert commission, whose members will be appointed by various ministries. The conditions will ensure that consumers are properly informed of the origin of the spirit they buy, the TASR newswire reported.

Slovakia officially halted its ban on the import and sale of Czech spirits containing more than 20 percent alcohol at 17:00 on October 9. Slovak stores and pubs will now be able to sell Czech-made liquor under strict conditions defined by an expert commission, whose members will be appointed by various ministries. The conditions will ensure that consumers are properly informed of the origin of the spirit they buy, the TASR newswire reported.

Spirits produced before January 1, 2012 will be exempt from the vetting. All other alcohol, currently estimated to be around 1.2 million bottles stored in Slovak shops, will have to be clearly identified with a green label. If the alcohol was produced between January 1 and September 27, the label will have to include the identification code of the body that issued the certificate of safety for the bottle. Moreover, every bottle containing a Czech spirit made in 2012 will have to have a ‘birth certificate’, TASR wrote.

“This is the 1A form that was adopted by the Czech government,” said Agriculture Minister Ľubomír Jahnátek, as quoted by TASR, adding that Slovakia will recognise the Czech certificates.

The safety of the alcohol will be checked by three accredited state-run laboratories which are able to examine one batch within around seven hours.

Retailers say the formal lifting of the ban will be of little use, mainly because of the strict conditions imposed by the Slovak authorities.

“I do not know whether [retailers] will technically be able to meet the conditions by December 1,” said president of the Trade and Tourism Association, Pavol Konštiak, as quoted by TASR.

Source: TASR

Compiled by Radka Minarechová from press reports
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