In the UK, spirit drinks rules have been enforced by the UK-wide Spirit Drinks Regulations 2008 (the 2008 Regulations). The 2008 Regulations were updated across the UK to include references to the GI provisions in Regulation (EU) 2019/787, which came into force during the Transition Period in June 2019. However, the 2008 Regulations have not been updated to reflect the non-GI elements of (EU) 2019/787, which directly apply here under the Northern Ireland Protocol.
Therefore, the draft Spirit Drinks Regulation (Northern Ireland) 2023 (Annex A) seeks to replicate the 2008 Regulations as far as possible, by simply updating references to the new EU regulation. No changes will be made to the method of enforcement for the updated regulations and enforcement responsibilities will continue to be carried out by district councils (as under the 2008 Regulations).
It should be noted that this engagement on the draft Spirit Drinks Regulations is preparatory, in advance of an incoming DAERA Minister and Northern Ireland Assembly, and the Regulations will not be made until such time. However, the Department is engaging now to ensure stakeholder views are recognised early in the legislative process.
Comments on the draft Spirit Drinks Regulation (Northern Ireland) 2023, or on related issues as referred to above, can be sent to: firstname.lastname@example.org