Turkey continues to make changes to food regulations to harmonize its approach with the European Union. The latest changes update local product labelling rules and principles for distilled alcoholic beverages (excluding fermented beverages), as well as related use of geographical indications. Market participants must comply with the new rules by 31 December 2017.

The Communiqué on Beverages Containing Distillate Alcohol was published in Official Gazette number 30014 on 21 March 2017.

Notable changes introduced by the Communiqué include:

– Presentation and labelling for alcoholic drinks which are not within the Communiqué’s scope cannot include the following (or similar) words to indicate category names and geographical indications:

– “Like”

– “Type”

– “Style”

– “Similar”

– “Production area”

– “Patent”

– “Aroma”

– If a product falls under multiple distilled alcoholic beverage categories, it can be sold under one or multiple categories.

– Product labels cannot include the name of raw materials if alcohol is added to the product to maintain the smell and taste of the raw material.

– Labelling and presentation of products produced by maceration and distillation processes must include the expression “produced by maceration and distillation process” in the same font, size, colour and position as the phrase “alcoholic fruit drink“. If the drink is bottled, these expressions must be on the front label.

– If certain distilled alcoholic beverages are mixed with other distilled alcoholic beverage, or mixed with certain agricultural distillates, the sales description must clearly include the expression “Distile Alcoholic Beverage Mix“. The text should include the same percentage as the product name, in the same characters and colour, no larger than half the size of the type used in the sales description.

– Alcoholic beverages cannot be used in conjunction with category names if such beverages contain alcohol that has been externally added, outside the production process. The origin and type of agricultural alcohol with the expression “agricultural alcohol” shall be clearly stated at the label. This provision does not apply to certain liquors produced in EU member countries.

– Sales descriptions for distilled alcoholic beverages cannot be replaced by brands, trademarks, or proprietary names if these do not reflect the product’s contents.

– Labels for fruit liquors which meet certain conditions can include the expression “traditional liqueur“, with the fruit name.

– The Communiqué’s categories and geographical indications can only be used to identify or present distilled alcoholic beverages.

– Raki Labels must not contain claims about the presence or absence of energy and food items.

Please see this link for the full text of the Communiqué (only available in Turkish).

Information first published in the MA | Gazette, a fortnightly legal update newsletter produced by Moroğlu Arseven.