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Wines: Sales

Volume 473: debated on Wednesday 12 March 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform whether lower alcohol wines can be imported from the USA and sold in the UK under bilateral agreements; and if he will make a statement. (186855)

I have been asked to reply.

The minimum permitted alcohol content for wine produced and marketed in the EU is laid down in the Common Market Organisation (CMO) for Wine (Council Regulation (EEC) 1493/99).

The requirements vary according to the type of wine and the region of production. Wines imported into the EU are, in general, subject to the same requirements. However, a number of countries, including the USA, have completed bilateral agreements.

These provide for lower alcohol wine produced in conformity with national standards to be imported and marketed in the EU.