19 April 2018
The Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries has approved and published an amendment to the Regulations of the Liquor Products Act 60 of 1989, specifically relating to the Limitation on the Use of Certain Particulars in Connection with the Sale of Liquor Products.
This part of the Regulations contains various reservations with regard to the use of certain words or elements in relation to liquor products, such as the use of the words “Cape”, “port” or “sherry”, the abbreviation “W.O.”, or the use of a medal or sticker that creates the impression that the liquor product concerned has received a medal or award
The most recent (and welcomed) amendment relates to the reservation with regard to the use of the word “tequila” in relation to liquor products. Specifically, the Regulations now state that:
“No person shall in connection with the sale of a liquor product use the word “tequila” unless such use is in compliance with the official Mexican standard.”.
In short, the official Mexican standard for Tequila is that it is an alcoholic beverage made with agave azul which is grown in an officially demarcated area in Mexico, and which is produced, bottled and/or marketed under certain directions, standards and specifications. Only once those standards have been met may an alcoholic beverage be labelled as Tequila.