Current Issues


CEETRACertificate of Safety and Quality handed over to Prague Airport. From left: CEETRA Chairman Sven Niemeier, Prague Airport Senior Excecutive Director Marta Guthova, Czech consumer association chairman Lipor Duval and Managing Director of Aelia Czech Republic Ryszard Zebrowski.

Alcohol: Commitment to Safety and Quality

Illicit trade of alcohol products have always been an issue in our region. In 2012 an incident in Czech Republic where bootleg alcohol caused poisoning of many people and some 20 casualties, CEETRA took the initiative to launch a “Commitment to Safety and Quality” to ensure consumer confidence in our sector.

Immediately after the incident in 2012 the Czech Minister of Health imposed a ban on sales of alcohol products above 20% alcohol volume.  Alcohol suppliers suffered a daily loss of 15 million CZK (about 0.6 mil. EUR) on income, while Czech restaurants and bars about 200 mil. CZK (8 mil. EUR) a day. According to the statistics of the Czech authorities, the government lost each day 25 mil. CZK (1 mil. EUR) on tax revenue.

As illicit trade of alcohol was a lasting problem, it was only a matter of time before a similar case would appear in another Central or Eastern European country and would again cause a significant blow to travel retail.

CEETRA therefore decided to launch an initiative demonstrating to consumers that when they shop in our region’s duty free and travel retail shops, they can rely on established and high-quality brands of liquor, be they imported or from local producers, and proven integrity of our supply chain. 


CEETRA action

CEETRA took the following actions:

  • Organised a workshop event on alcohol retailing in our channel, which took place in Prague on 19th February 2013,
  • Drafted an industry briefing paper on the issues surrounding retailing of alcohol in our channel,
  • Launched CEETRA’s “Commitment to Safety and Quality”.

The workshop gathered prominent representatives of the travel retail industry in our region – including companies such as Aelia Czech Republic, Gebr. Heinemann and Prague Airport – to discuss the impact of the scandal on consumer confidence and the impact on the business. The conclusion of the workshop was that the industry needed to initiate action to emphasize that high security and high health & safety standards are in place for the duty-free and travel retail channel.

Czech Consumers’ Association Chairman Libor Dupal also lent his support to the campaign, stressing the importance of strong industry self-regulation, effectively communicated to the consumers.

In its commitment to Safety and Quality, CEETRA acknowledged three principles:

  1. The highest standards of health and safety of goods sold in the duty-free and travel retail channel,
  2. Shared commitments to the quality of the goods,
  3. Guarantee of the integrity of the duty-free and travel retail supply chain.

In taking these actions, CEETRA aimed to:

  • Restore consumer confidence in the travel retail and duty free channel,
  • Create a basis for political engagement in the region.

Our aim with this “Commitment to Safety and Quality” was to ensure, that whichever bottle of liquor or wine a customer takes from the shelves in our duty-free and travel retail shops – they can be assured of not only its quality, but also of uncompromizing health and safety standards and traceability to a respectable and reliable producer.

The Commitment took form of a Certificate that duty-free and travel retail shops can place in a visible spot within the shops, proving that this retailer is “committed to goods safety and quality excellence”.

The Certificate demonstrates to our customers the following:

  • We put consumers at the first place. We guarantee a high standard and health and safety of all our goods,
  • We cooperate only with those suppliers who share our commitment to the highest quality of goods,
  • We guarantee the integrity of our supply chain – the origin of our products is traceable to established and renowned local and foreign producers.

The successful implementation of this initiative also allowed us to communicate with Central and Eastern European politicians and decision-makers and to use the commitment as leverage in negotiating exemptions for duty free and travel retail in any future alcohol legislation that would otherwise flatly apply across the whole retail sector without considering the special case of the duty-free and travel retail channel.

Please consider joining the CEETRA Commitment to Safety and Quality. For more information please get in contact with association chairman Sven Niemeier, or your local CEETRA representative.


Ceetra is a proud member of

The European Travel Retail Confederation

Contact us on phone +32 2 234 6860 or e-mail


Central & Eastern European Travel Retail Association

c/o Hume Brophy

41 Rue de la Science

1040 Brussels


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