Current Issues

Alcohol: ensuring the responsible retailing of alcohol


The duty-free and travel retail shops are important shop windows for showcasing premium brands within the wines and spirits sector to an international customer base. When introducing new products the duty-free and travel retail channel provide the industry with a unique platform for reaching a worldwide captive audience.

CEETRA believes the channel’s profile is consistent with responsible consumption by adults and CEETRA is carefully monitoring the development of policies relating to the retailing of alcohol products in our channel.

Very often policies fail to take into account the specific conditions of the duty free and travel retail channel, which can have a damaging effect on sales, e.g. with restricted sales hours, minimum pricing, and labeling schemes.

In recent years, there has been a growing tendency at global and especially at European level towards more regulation of the alcohol industry:

  • In September 2011, the 53 member states of the European WHO region adopted a ‘European Alcohol Action Plan 2012-2020’ establishing guidelines to reduce the harmful use of alcohol in the region. The action plan considers several options including reducing the availability and marketing of alcohol, or the introduction of warning labels.
  • Several countries in the EU are currently considering the implementation of stricter conditions regarding the taxation, marketing, promotion and labeling of alcohol products to combat harmful use of alcohol
  • Mid 2014, the European Commission adopted an Action Plan for the period 2014-2017 to tackle alcohol related harm to complement the work of the current EU Alcohol Strategy. Priorities identified by the Commission together with EU Member States are youth drinking, and heavy drinking.

CEETRA believes that the industry has an interest in working with legislators and regulators in developing a transparent and responsible sales channel ensuring maximum consumer protection. To be considered a serious partner in achieving such goals the industry must be seen to act responsible in relation to the sales of Alcohol Products.


Code of Conduct

In order to achieve these goals, the European umbrella association ETRC launched in 2012 a Self-Regulatory Code of Conduct for the Sales of Alcohol Products in Duty-Free and Travel Retail, which promotes the responsible retailing of alcohol products. The Code of Conduct has gained widespread support from ETRC members, and the members of ETRC’s national affiliates such as CEETRA.

The ETRC Code of Conduct is intended to work alongside all existing codes or guidelines already in existence. It is designed to be consistent and complementary to other such codes introduced by individual alcohol manufacturing companies and other bodies.

This initiative is part of a broader, ongoing, engagement of the ETRC with the EU institutions. As part of this process the ETRC joined the European Alcohol and Health Forum (EAHF) in October 2011 and is recognized as a proactive and constructive contributor to the European alcohol policy debate.

CEETRA is fully supporting the ETRC initiative and encourage our members concerned with the retailing of alcohol products, brand manufacturers and retailers, to sign up to the Code of Conduct.

Please download the Code Of Conduct (pdf.) or contact CEETRA or ETRC for further information.

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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