Title: FISCALIS Project Group - Analysis and Characterisation of Alcoholic Products (ACAP)
Publisher: OPOCE
Publication Year: 2008
JRC N°: JRC45368
ISSN: 1018-5593
Other Identifiers: EUR 23373 EN
URI: http://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/handle/JRC45368
Type: EUR - Scientific and Technical Research Reports
Abstract: The purpose of the ACAP working group (composed of JRC, TAXUD and 11 Member States Custom Laboratories) was to provide scientific support for the resolution of the issue of divergent classifications of alcoholic beverages for excise duties, whether by providing objective criteria for classification, or providing sound scientific information for revision of legislation. In particular, there is a need for analytical methods allowing for the differentiation between "fermented" and "distilled" ("non-fermented") beverages and for the detection of ethanol addition. At present there is no commonly agreed solution of these problems which has resulted in the Customs Laboratories of the Member States developing their own particular approaches to deal with these issues. This can lead to divergent classification between Member States and consequent problems both for administrations and the trade. Two complementary pathways of investigation have been examined in this study: NMR fingerprinting and "classical analysis", both handled by multivariate data analysis. It is the findings of this study that it is likely to be extremely difficult or even impossible to create workable ¿general¿ models based on analytical methods. Unfortunately, the difficulties are the greatest precisely with those categories that are the most problematic for excise classification purposes. Even if an analytical model was eventually developed it is likely to need to be an extremely complex mechanism in order to take account of the broad range of beverages, and diverse chemical characteristics, of products that fall within the problem categories ("other fermented beverages" etc.). On the issue of 'added alcohol' the findings reinforce that is not plausible to ascertain the amounts by a scientific study of the finished product only. The case-to-case approach to classification applied by Member States remains therefore the only possible approach in the context of the current legislation.
JRC Directorate:Institute for Health and Consumer Protection Historical Collection

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