Foreign brewers are opposing regulation of the brewing industry (2015-10-10)

During the Eurasian Economic Forum took place in October 8, the Russian Brewers’ Union offered to freeze any initiatives of the Government related to the brewing market regulation.

The key topic of the forum was to limit Government regulation of the industry including licensing of beer production as well as PET prohibition.

The Russian Brewers’ Union uniting foreign brewing companies operating in Russia, was discussing future PET prohibition. Russian legislative authorities have been trying to introduce this law for many years but thanks to lobbyists’ efforts the law has been postponed.

Now an “antiplastic” draft bill 2013 is at stake. According to this law PET prohibition had to be implemented stepwise: firstly, it was planning to prohibit PET containers exceeding 0,5l. (the first reading was in summer 2014), then from January 2016 – 1,5l. PET, followed by transfer to PET bottles less than 0,5 l.

This problem is very important for foreign brewers, so within the week they composed a letter from Ambassadors of Denmark, Belgium and Netherlands (the key brewing players) to the address of the Chairman of the State Duma Sergey Naryshkin, the Vice-Premier Igor Shuvalov, Arkady Dvorkovich and Alexander Khloponin in order to prevent law approval.

It is notable that in the week leading up to the Eurasian Economic Forum, there was a press conference “Beer – classical technologies and transnational interpretation” devoted to the problems of the Russian brewing market.

A plastic container or PET was considered to be the key bane of the Russian brewing industry. It is harmful for health, that’s why PET use has been kept to a minimum in foreign countries. For example, in Europe and the USA PET use is limited to 10%, besides it is referred to innovative multilayer PET bottles having additional protective properties and in Kazakhstan PET is completely prohibited and transnational companies dispense with PET successfully. 

All participants of the press-conference supported PET prohibition followed by approval of the draft bill. This viewpoint was supported by Barley, Malt, Hops & Beer Union uniting Russian independent brewers; also they held a beverage exhibition at the same time as Eurasian Economic Forum from 6 to 8 of October.

“In Russia near 70% of beer is bottled to PET containers and the share of beer-based beverages is 95%,” told Pavel Shapkin, the Chairman of the Consumer Rights Protection Union. By his opinion, upon contact with plastic and alcohol, a toxic agent dibutylphthalate escapes, causing serious diseases, besides PET use leads to circulation of uncounted production. From one PET capsule, you can make 0,33l. bottle as well as 2,5l. directly in the brewing plant; also it is not necessary to attach excise marks to beer bottles and USAIS system for product monitoring has not been introduced until the present. It led to a budget loss of 200 billion rub.

The Assistant Director of the Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance Alexey Alexeyenko underlined necessity for introduction of the operative control system: “the Government shall be a guarantee of the product safety from its creation to circulation “from the field to the shelve”.



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