Ethyl alcohol of agricultural origin

Table of Contents:

Ethyl alcohol of agricultural origin

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Ethyl alcohol of agricultural origin


These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Agriculture > Markets for agricultural products

Ethyl alcohol of agricultural origin

Document or Iniciative

Council Regulation (EC) No 670/2003 of 8 April 2003 laying down specific measures concerning the market in ethyl alcohol of agricultural origin.



Products covered: undenatured ethyl alcohol of agricultural origin and denatured ethyl alcohol and other spirits of agricultural origin.

Preparation of products: the European Commission may determine the procedures for the manufacture of alcohol and its characteristics.


Annual balance. The Commission draws up an annual Community balance based on the information sent by the Member States concerning the production, volume, stocks and forecast production for the current year, together with information concerning alcohol of non-agricultural origin.

Trade with non-member countries

Imports and exports. Imports and exports of ethyl alcohol and denatured spirits are subject to the presentation of a licence.

Common Customs Tariff. Save as otherwise provided, the rates of duty in the Common Customs Tariff apply.

Tariff quotas may be administered applying one of the following methods or a combination thereof: the “first come, first served” method, the “simultaneous examination” method and the “traditional importers/new arrivals” method.

Processing. The use of inward processing arrangements may be prohibited.

Barriers to trade. Save as otherwise provided, the levying of any charge having an effect equivalent to a customs duty and the application of any quantitative restriction or measure having equivalent effect are prohibited.

Emergency measures. Serious disturbances on the market or the threat thereof make it possible for the Commission, at the request of the Member State concerned, to apply appropriate protective measures immediately to trade with non-member countries.

National aid

The Regulation bans state aid to the ethyl alcohol sector. However, it authorises Germany to continue to grant this type of aid during a transitional period of seven years up to 31 December 2010. (This aid must not exceed EUR 110 million per year, i.e. the amount of aid granted in 2002).

Other information

Exchange of information. The Member States and the Commission shall exchange all information necessary for the implementation of this regulation.

Committee procedure. The Commission will be assisted by the Management Committee for Wine.

International agreements. The Regulation will be applied with due regard for international agreements.

Transitional measures. The Commission will adopt appropriate transitional measures for the switch to the new arrangements.


The processing of certain raw materials into ethyl alcohol is an important outlet for certain agricultural regions and areas. It is used to enhance the value of raw materials used in distillation, to eliminate structural surpluses of those materials and to dispose of them if their quality is unsatisfactory.


Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Regulation (EC) No 670/2003 22.4.2003 1.1.2004 OJ L 97 of 15. 4.2003

Related Acts

Commission Regulation (EC) No 2336/2003 of 30 December 2003 introducing certain detailed rules for applying Council Regulation (EC) No 670/2003 laying down specific measures concerning the market in ethyl alcohol of agricultural origin [Official Journal L 346 of 31.12.2003].

This Regulation specifies a standard format for the dispatch of information concerning ethyl alcohol of agricultural and non-agricultural origin by the Member States; it determines the period of validity of import and export licences and the amount in respect of which these licences are issued. Save as otherwise provided, Regulation (EC) No 1291/2000 and Regulation (EEC) No 2220/85 will apply to these licences.

Proposal for a Council Directive of 2 April 2004 amending Directive 92/12/EEC on theand on the holding, movement and monitoring of such products (presented in accordance with Article 27 of Directive 92/12/EEC) [COM(2004) 227 final – Not yet published in the Official Journal].

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