Philippine Regulatory Agency for Beverages with Alcohol
In the Philippines, the proper government agency that is authorized under the law to act as the policy formulation and sector monitoring of the Secretary of the Department of Health, on matters pertaining to food, drugs, traditional medicines, cosmetics and household products containing hazardous substances, is the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The FDA is also empowered to formulate rules and regulations and standards in accordance with the laws.
Under Republic Act No. 10611, or otherwise known as the Food Safety Act of 2013, to ensure food safety, “compliance of a food product with specific standards applicable to a specific food shall not prohibit the competent authorities to take appropriate measures or to impose restrictions on entry into the market or to require its withdrawal from the market, where there is reason to suspect that such food product shows food safety related risks.”
Pursuant to this vested power and duties of the FDA, the FDA issued FDA Circular No. 2019-006. This Circular provides for the guidelines as regards commercial transactions involving alcoholic beverages and beverages that contain alcohol.
Finding that food packaging technology and market innovation concerning stand-up pouch, flexible, tetra pack and similar packaging materials are now evolving in both the international and local market, the FDA came up with this Circular. The Circular sets guidelines to cope with the evolving globalization of commercial transactions.
In accordance with the guidelines, one who displays, sells, promotes, or advertises alcoholic beverages and beverages that contain alcohol should follow the following guidelines set by the FDA, to wit:
- All alcoholic beverages, regardless of type of packaging, shall only be displayed in designated conspicuous area in all convenience stores, supermarkets, hypermarkets, groceries, and other food retailing stores with prominent signage “ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES”. Other beverages with alcohol regardless of level of alcohol shall likewise be displayed in this same designated area. These beverages shall not be displayed together with other products like juice drinks and must not be accessible to children.
- Owners or operators of sari-sari stores which may not have enough space to designate an area for alcoholic beverages and other beverages with alcohol content shall be responsible to ensure that subject beverages are not sold to minors (below 18 years old); and
- Promotional and advertising materials on alcoholic beverages and beverages with alcohol content (regardless of amount) shall clearly state or inform consumers that such beverages contain alcohol, and therefore not to be promoted and advertised to be sold to and consumed by minors. Packaging and labelling materials shall not be appealing to children.
What is the penalty for failure to follow the guidelines?
Any person found violating the guidelines will be met with a fine of not less than Fifty thousand pesos (P50,000.00) but not more than One hundred thousand pesos (P100,000.00), and suspension of appropriate authorization for one (1) month, for the first conviction.
If the offender does not have the appropriate authorization, the imposable fines shall be doubled. If the offender is a government personnel, in addition to the penalty prescribed herein, said personnel shall be subjected to the appropriate civil service laws.
If the offender is a naturalized citizen, in addition to the penalty prescribed herein, the naturalization certificate and the registration in the civil registry of said citizen shall be cancelled. Immediate deportation after payment of fine and service of sentence will also be imposed. If the offender is an alien, the foreigner will be summarily deported after payment of fine and service of sentence and perpetually barred from entering the country.
In case the violation is committed by, or in the interest of a foreign juridical person duly licensed to engage in business in the Philippines, such license to engage in business in the Philippines will be immediately revoked.
About Nicolas and De Vega Law Offices
If you need assistance in registration with the Food and Drug Administration, applications for Licenses to Operate, drug, cosmetic, medical device or food registration, registration of cosmetics, food supplements, licenses to operate or other applications with the Food and Drug Registration, or have issues in corporate law, commercial law, corporate or commercial litigation, or civil or other criminal law-related issues, we can help you. Nicolas and de Vega Law Offices is a full-service law firm in the Philippines. You may visit us at the 16th Flr., Suite 1607 AIC Burgundy Empire Tower, ADB Ave., Ortigas Center, 1605 Pasig City, Metro Manila, Philippines. You may also call us at +632 84706126, +632 84706130, +632 84016392 or e-mail us at [email protected]. Visit our website https://ndvlaw.com.