Wine law comprises several hundred laws and bills that govern how French wines and spirits are grown, produced and sold. These include dozens of EU regulations pertaining to wine, rounded off by a multitude of national regulations that can be modified if necessary. National and Community bills and laws stem from the implementation of Common Market Organisation (CMO) for wine, transposed into EC regulation 1234/2007. The political goals of common market organisation are: to balance supply and demand in the wine market, to eliminate interventionist measures in the markets by avoiding waste, and to channel the budget into more positive and pro-active measures of a nature to reinforce the competitiveness of European wines. CMO guarantees the protection of the environment in winegrowing regions. It also safeguards well-established, traditional quality policies and simplifies labelling rules in the interest of producers and consumers alike. The legal framework is further explained in Commission regulations on how to apply this CMO and French laws. They address the issues, for example, of rules pertaining to wine classifications (names and categories), oenological practices specific to each category of wine, wine labelling, consumption and commercialisation. These measures can be described on several levels: at European level and incorporated at national level, or exclusively at European level, or exclusively at national level (reflecting French specificities).
Main regulations pertaining to wine
- (EC)R 607/2009 of the Commission dated 14 July 2009: Concerning protected designations of origin and geographical indications, traditional terms, labelling and presentation of certain wine sector products.
- (EC)R 606/2009 of the Commission dated 10 July 2009: Concerning categories of grapevine products, oenological practices and applicable restrictions.
- (EC)R 436/2009 of the Commission dated 26 May 2009: Concerning the vineyard register, compulsory declarations and the gathering of information to monitor the wine market, the documents accompanying consignments of wine products.
- (EC)R 555/2008 of the Commission dated 27 June 2008: Detailed rules for implementing (EC)R 479/2008, notably relating to inspections in the winegrowing sector.
- (EC)R 1234/2007 of the Council dated 22 October 2007: Establishing a common organisation of agricultural markets and specific provisions for certain agricultural products (Single CMO Regulation).
- (EC)R 1601/91 of the Council dated 10 June 1991: Regulations for aromatized wines.
- Bylaw of 26 April 2013: Authorising the creation of on-line "harvest declarations", "SV11", "SV12", "stock declarations", "OENO" and "DOSPROV" for computerised processing called "nCVI".
- Decree 2012-655 of 4 May 2012: Pertaining to the labelling and traceability of wine products and certain oenological practices.
- Decree 2010-1327 of 5 November 2010: Pertaining to official approval for operators and certification for wines that are neither PDO nor PGI but bear the name of the grape variety or the year.
Main regulations pertaining to spirits
- (EC)R 1333/2008 of 16 December 2008: Concerning food additives
- (EC)R 110/2008 of 15 January 2008: Concerning the definition, description, presentation, labelling and the protection of geographical indications of spirit drinks.
- European Commission Recommendation of 2 March 2010: On the prevention and reduction of ethyl carbamate contamination in stone fruit spirits and stone fruit marc spirits and on the monitoring of ethyl carbamate levels in these beverages.
For further information, visit the websites listed below. Regulations pertaining to wine are presented per speciality, theme, measure and type:
For Community regulations: Eurlex.
For French national regulations:
- Legifrance (French public service for disseminating the law via Internet) ;
- Department for Competition, Consumption and Combating Fraud (DGCCRF);
- Website of France’s Ministry for Foreign Trade.