- Labeling Requirements
- EU Standards of Fill
- Oenological Practices (Winemaking Standards)
- Required Documents
- Import Procedures
The following information must be present on the label:
- Product type (Trademarks, brand names or fanciful names may not substitute the generic/product name, but may be used in addition to the product name)
- List of ingredients preceded by the word "Ingredients"; must show all ingredients (including additives) in descending order of weight as recorded at the time of their use in the manufacture and designated by their specific name. In the case of those products that may contain ingredients liable to cause allergies or intolerances, a clear indication should be given on the label by the word "contains" followed by the name of the ingredient. However, this indication will not be necessary provided the specific name is included in the list of ingredients.
- Net quantity in metric units (liter, centiliter, milliliter)
- Date of minimum durability – not required for wine and beverages containing more than 10% alcohol by volume
- Special conditions for keeping or use (if applicable)
- Name or business name and address of the manufacturer, packager or importer established in the European Union
- Country of origin or provenance
- Alcohol content for beverages containing more than 1.2% by volume
- Lot identification with the marking preceded by the letter "L".
For further information, please refer to Directive/2000/13/EC (PDF).
Language requirements: With the exception of allergen information, which must appear in Italian, the labeling requirements above may appear in one or more official languages of the EU.
For more information on labeling specific to alcohol beverages, please visit the Europa website.
The following must appear on a label in a single field of vision (e.g., can be viewed without having to turn the bottle), except for the Importer’s details, the Lot number, and allergenic ingredients.
- Class/type of wine
- Appellation of origin or name of protected designation of origin/geographical indication
- Country of origin (e.g., "Product of …")
- Alcohol content
- Bottler/producer information – name and address
- Importer information – name and address, preceded by the word(s) "Importer" or "Imported by"
- Sugar content (if sparkling wine)
- Allergenic ingredients (e.g., "Contains sulphites")
- Lot identification with the marking preceded by the letter "L".
- Vintage year
- Grape variety
Allergen Labeling for Wine:
Allergen labeling rules apply to beverages containing more than 1.2% by volume of alcohol. Alcoholic beverages containing sulfur dioxide and sulphites at concentrations of more than 10 mg/kg or 10 mg/liter must be labeled "Contains sulphites" or "Contains sulphur dioxide". Replacing the word "sulphites" with "SO2" or "E220" is not allowed. For more information, refer to Directive 2003/89/EC (PDF), amending Directive 2000/13/EC.
Processed wine from organic grapes must be produced in accordance with Regulation (EC) No 834/2007 and Regulation (EC) No 889/2008. Label references for such wine must be indicated in terms of ingredients – e.g., "Wine from grapes from organic cultivation" and may not be referred to simply as "organic wine". Wine labels may also include claims (such as "bio-dynamic") as long as such a term does not mislead consumers.
Wine products may not include the EU organic production logo referenced in EU legislation on their label.
Genetically Modified (GM) Food Labeling:
Food products containing or consisting of GMOs, produced from GMOs or containing ingredients produced from GMOs must be labeled in accordance with Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003.
For more information, visit the U.S. Mission to the EU FAS website for up-to-date information on GM regulations and labeling.
The Annex to Directive 2007/45/EC (PDF) sets out general standards of fill for wine and distilled spirits. Please note that this Directive does not apply to pre-packaged products sold in duty-free shops for consumption outside the European Union.
A chart derived from this Annex outlining the standard of fill requirements can be found here.
On March 10, 2006, the U.S. and EU signed the Agreement between the United States and the European Community on Trade in Wine. The agreement provides for the recognition of each other's existing current winemaking practices as of the date of signing, as well as a consultative process for accepting new winemaking practices. As such, the EU must allow entry of U.S. wine products made in accordance with U.S. winemaking standards into the EU.
The following is a list of the documents that are required and/or recommended when importing alcohol beverages into Italy or any other EU member state:
- Commercial invoice
- Customs Value Declaration
- Freight Insurance
- Freight documents
- Customs Import Declaration (SAD form – a common import declaration form for all EU Member States; must be drawn up in one of the official languages of the EU)
- Packing List
- Certificate of Origin
- Insurance certificate
- Simplified Export Certificate (SEC) or VI-1 Form as appropriate (for wine only) – refer to TTB Industry Circular 2007-2 for more information
An import declaration is required for goods from third countries such as the U.S. When goods are imported into Italy, it is the responsibility of the importer or his authorized agent to declare them to Customs. A Single Administrative Document or SAD is used for this purpose. This is the approved form for the import declaration process. Further information on the SAD can be found on the EU website.
The Single Administrative Document (SAD) may be submitted to the Italian Customs Agency, either through physical means or through an electronic declaration.
Goods are released from Customs for "free circulation" once the pertinent documents have been filed and payment of tariff duties has been completed. After paying the value added tax (VAT) and any other applicable excise duty, goods are also released for consumption and ready to be marketed.
Wine-specific Import Requirements:
Third Country (e.g., U.S.) wines imported into the European Community must also be accompanied by a simplified export certificate or VI-1 document.
For more information on the simplified export certificate, please visit the VI-1 Forms for Exporting Wine to the European Union section of our Export Documents page.
Further information on EU import regulations for wine can be also found on the U.S. Mission to the European Union website.
Italy is a member of the European Union and shares the Common External Tariff regime. EU duties are charged by the Italian Customs Agency on the CIF (cost, insurance and freight) value of the product imported into Italy.
Value Added Tax (VAT) is an indirect tax on goods and services which is borne by the end consumer and applied to the value added at each stage of the supply chain. In Italy, it is called Imposta sul valore aggiunto.
For the most current tariffs and taxes applied to imported products in Italy, please visit the EU Tariff and Taxation Union TARIC database. Once on the TARIC website, you must follow the prompts to find the applicable tariffs/taxes for your product.
The Alcohol Act (2001) bans TV and radio advertising of alcoholic products between 4PM and 9PM and prohibits alcohol advertisements from being shown on TV within 15 minutes before or after any children’s programs. The Act also requires a self-regulatory code to be provided jointly by media companies, advertising agencies and advertisers to govern alcohol advertising.
Embassy of Italy, Washington, D.C.
3000 Whitehaven Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20008
Tel: (202) 612-4400
Fax: (202) 518-2154
Ministero dello Sviluppo Economico (Ministry of Economic Development)
Agenzia delle Dogane (Customs Agency)
U.S. Embassy, Rome
The information in this guide was obtained from external sources, including the websites of various governmental agencies and organizations, direct contact with those agencies and organizations, and from Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) Attaché reports. Consequently, the accuracy of this information depends upon the accuracy of the sources.
TTB is not responsible for the content of external websites.