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General Standard for the Labeling of Prepackaged Alcoholic Beverages by 30/08/2006  



Clause 5.3 of this Standard is recommended; other clauses are mandatory. This standard is one of a series of national standards for the labeling of foods, which are completed with GB 7718-2004 General Standard for the Labeling of Prepackaged Foods. Its basic requirements and general clauses are the same as that of the GB 7718-2004, which adopts the CODEX STAN 1- 1985 (Rev. 1991, 1999) General Standard for the Labeling of Prepackaged Foods of the Codex Alimentarius Commission (CAC) in a nonequivalent manner.


This Standard supercedes GB 10344 -1989.


Compared with GB 10344 -1989, the major changes of the Standard are as follows:


-to have been renamed the General Standard for the Labeling of Prepackaged Alcoholic Beverage;

-to have changed the alcohol content of alcoholic beverage to 0.5 % by volume ~ 60.0% by volume from the original 0.5% ~ 65.0% (V/V);

-to have changed Chapter 4 "General Provision" of the original standard to the "Basic Requirements;" appropriately amended Clause 4.10 of GB 7718 -2004; and added the content of "4.11 All indication contents shall not be attached to additionally, printed supplementary or interpolated;"

-to have canceled Chapter 6;

-to have determined the contents of mandatory indication, remission of indication and non-mandatory indication (see 5.1, 5.2, 5.3);

-to have added the contents of "in addition to that the detailed name of food sweetening agent, preservative or colorant shall be indicated, others can be indicated based on the classified names as stipulated in the GB 2760 (see Clause; "processing agents” do not need to be indicated in the "raw materials" or "raw and auxiliary materials" (see Clause;

-for glass bottled beers, "words of caution" are required (see Clause 5.1.10);

-for alcoholic drinks that are controlled by the license for the manufacturing of industrial products, it is required to label the sign and number of manufacturing license (see Clause 5.1.11);

-grape wines and other alcoholic beverages with alcoholic strength more than 10% by volume can be exempt from labeling the quality guarantee duration (see Clause 5.2):

-it is recommended to use "persuading words" for labeling of drinking (see Clause


This Standard is presented by the China National Light Industry Associations


This Standard resides in the National Food & Fermentation Standardization Center. China National Academy of Food & Fermentation Industries, Tsingtao Brewery Co., Ltd., Beijing Yanjing Beer Group Corporation, China Great Wall Wine Co., Ltd. and Wuliangye Group Co., Ltd. are in charge of drafting this Standard.


Major drafters are Tian Qijing, Fan Wei, Feng Jingzhang, Tian Yali, Liu Peilong, Chen Bin, Li Xiaoqing, Dong Jianjun, Xiong Zhenghe, Liu Wen.


The original standard superceded by this Standard was first released in 1989 (GB10344 1989).


General Standard for the Labeling of Prepackaged Alcoholic Beverage


1. Scope

This Standard specifies the followings:


-terms and definitions of the labeling of prepackaged alcoholic beverage (see Chapter 3);

-the basic requirements for the labeling of prepackaged alcoholic beverage (see Chapter 4);

-the mandatory indication contents of the labeling of prepackaged alcoholic beverage (see Clause 5.1);

-exempting from mandatory indication contents of the labeling of prepackaged alcoholic beverage (see Clause 5.2);

-the non-mandatory indication contents of the labeling of prepackaged alcoholic beverage (see Clause 5.3).

This Standard is applicable to the labeling of all prepackaged alcoholic beverages to be supplied to customers.


2. Normative references

Through being cited in this Standard, the clauses contained in the following references will consist of ones of this standard. For all dated references, all their subsequent amendments, exclusive of corrected contents, or revised versions will be not applicable to the standard. However, any parties that come to an agreement in accordance with this standard shall be encouraged to make a study of the possibility of adopting the latest version of the following normative references. Where the references are not dated, their latest versions are applicable to this standard.


GB 2760 Hygienic Standard for the Application of Food Additives

GB 4927-2001 Beer

GB 7718 -2004 General Standard for the Labeling of Prepackaged Foods (neq CODEX STAN 1 - 1985 (Rev. 1 -1991, 1999))

GB/T 12493 Classification and Numbering of Food Additives.

GB/T 17204 -1998 Classification of Alcoholic Beverages


3. Terms and definitions

The following terms and definitions designated in GB 7718 -2004 are applicable to this Standard.


3.1 Alcoholic beverage

Alcoholic liquors with 0.5% by volume ~ 60.0% by volume of alcoholic strength (ethanol content), including all kinds of fermented alcoholic drinks, distilled spirits and blended alcoholic beverages*.


3.2 Fermented alcoholic drink (brewed alcoholic drink)

Alcoholic beverages with alcoholic strength not more than 24% by volume, prepared through fermenting and brewing with grains, fruits, milk and so on as raw material.(Rewritten from Clause 3.1 Definitions of GB/T 17204 - 1998)


3.3 Distilled spirits**

Alcoholic beverages with 18% by volume ~ 60% by volume of alcoholic strength, prepared through fermenting, distilling, brewing and blending, with grains, sweet potatoes, fruits and so on as the major raw material.(GB/T 17204 -1998, Clause 3.2 Definition)


3.4 Blended alcoholic beverage (liqueur)

Alcoholic beverages, prepared through blending, mixing or reprocessing, by adding edible auxiliary materials or food additives, taking fermented alcoholic drink, distilled spirits or edible spirits as wine base, which have changed the special flavor of original wine base. (GB/T 17204 -1998, Clause 3.3 Definition)


3.5 Alcoholic strength (ethanol content)

At 20'C, the content of ethanol in milliliter contained in 100ml of alcoholic beverage, or the content of ethanol in gram contained in 100g of alcoholic beverage.

Note 1: In consideration of the current international practice, the alcoholic strength can be expressed in volume fraction, in % vol. Before December

4, 2004, the alcoholic strength of beer can still be expressed in mass fraction, in % (m/m).

Note 2: It is pointed out in ISO 4805 -1982 that % by volume and % by mass shall be used in priority.


4. Basic requirements

4.1 ~ 4.9 Same as 4.1 ~ 4.9 of the GB 7718 -2004.

4.1.0 Each minimum package (selling unit) shall have the indication content as given in Clause 5.1. In case that there is another packing (box) being delivered directly to customers outside the internal package (bottle), the mandatory indication content may be only on the packing. For its external package or large size package, the relevant product standards shall be implemented.

4.1.1 All indication contents shall not be attached additionally, printed supplementary or interpolated.


5. Indication contents

5.1 Mandatory contents indication

5.1.1 Name of liquor name reflecting true attribute of alcoholic beverage shall be indicated clearly on the striking position of label One of several names already specified in the national or trade standard shall be selected. In case of no name given in the national or trade standard, common or popular name that enables customers not to misunderstand or confuse shall be adopted."Newly created name", "peculiar name", "transliterating name", "brand name", "regional slang name", or "trademark name" can be indicated. However, one optional name as given in Clause shall be shown in the position adjacent to the shown name of liquor.

5.1.2 List of ingredients A list of ingredients shall be given in the label of prepackaged alcoholic beverage, except for the alcoholic beverage made from a single material. A list of ingredients of alcoholic beverage shall take "raw material" or "raw and auxiliary materials" as title. Various kinds of raw materials and ingredients shall be listed in decreasing order based on the consumption in the production process. The ingredients under 2% of consumption amount may not be listed in the decreasing order. In the course of brewing or processing, added water and edible alcohol shall be given in the list of ingredients. For blended alcoholic beverage (liqueur), the wine base to be used, edible animals and plants (or their products) to be cross-steamed, soaked and added, Chinese herbal medicines allowed by the state, and food additives shall be labeled. UNCLASSIFIED USDA Foreign Agricultural Service case the national or industrial standard for the alcohol products specifies that the application of food additives are allowed, the additives shall be in conformity to the provisions of GB 2760. The detailed name of the sweetening agent, preservative and colorant shall be labeled. The concrete name or classified name of other food additives shall be labeled according to GB 2760. In case 2 or more colorants are added to one kind of liquor, its classified name (colorant) can be labeled, adding brackets after it, indicating the codes as specified in GB/T 12493. processing agents to be used in the production and processing of alcoholic beverages does not need to be shown in "raw materials" or "raw and auxiliary materials".

5.1.3 Alcoholic strength alcoholic beverage shall indicate the alcoholic strength. showing the strength, "alcoholic strength" shall be taken as title.

5.1.4 Original extract content, fruit juice content shall show "original malt extract concentration."

Labeling method: to be expressed as "Plato degree" symbol "P". Before GB/T 17204-1998 is revised, the symbol "*"can be used for expressing the original malt extract concentration, for example, original malt extract concentration: 12*. wines shall show original fruit juice content (except for grape wine).

Labeling method: to be expressed as "X X%" in the raw and auxiliary materials.

5.1.5 Name and address of manufacturer and distributor Same as Clause

5.1.5 of the GB 7718 -2004.

5.1.6 Date labeling and storage instruction packaging (filling) date and quality guarantee period of prepackaged alcoholic beverages shall be labeled clearly, also adding the storage time. For date labeling, the indication of seeing some place of the package can be adopted. The concrete position of the packing shall be shown. date shall be indicated in the order from year, month to day. Generally, the year shall label 4 digits. For fractionally packed beverage to be hard to show 4 digits, latter 2 digits can be labeled.

Example 1: packaging (filling) date: to be filled on Jan. 15, 2004, which can be indicated as follows:

"2004 01 15" (year, month, day to be separated with a space character); or

"20040115" (no space character among the year, month and day); or

"2004-01-15" (year, month, day to be separated with a hyphen); or

"Jan. 15, 2004"

Example 2: Quality guarantee duration can be labeled as follows:

"Please drink before July 15, 2004"; or

"Quality guaranteed to 2004-07-15"; or

"6 months or 180 day quality guarantee period." case the quality guarantee period or storage time of alcoholic beverages is related to the preservation conditions, the specific preservation conditions shall be indicated. This shall be implemented in accordance with the standard for the relevant products.

5.1.7 Net content indication of net content shall be composed of net content, figures and legal metrological unit. net content of alcoholic beverages generally is shown with volume, in milliliter or mL (ml), liter or L (l). Large jars of yellow rice wine can be indicated with mass, in kilogram or kg. metrological unit of net content and requirement for minimum height of characters shall be same as Clauses and of GB 7718 -2004. net content together with name of beverage shall be shown on the same layout of the pack or container. case there are several same fractional packs being mutually independent in the same prepackage, the net content of the pack and its quantity or pieces shall be labeled.

5.1.8 Standard code of product

Same as Clause 5.1.7of GB 7718 -2004.

5.1.9 Quality grade

Same as Clause 5.1.8 of GB 7718 -2004.

5.1.10 Caution words

For glass bottled beer, "Caution words" shall be labeled in accordance with Clause 7.1.1 of GB 4927 -2001.

5.1.11 Manufacturing license

The brewing enterprises that have implemented the control system of license for the manufacturing of industrial products will be required to indicate the sign and number of manufacturing license for their products.

5.2 Remission of mandatory indication contents

Grape wine and other alcoholic beverages with alcoholic strength more than 10% by volume can be exempt from indicating the quality guarantee duration.

5.3 Recommended contents indication

5.3.1 Lot number

Same as Clause 5.3.1 of GB 7718 -2004.

5.3.2 Drinking method necessary, such instructions helping to consumers as opening method of containers like bottle, pot; drinking method, daily drinking amount, and blending method can be given. is recommended to use the persuading words that excessive drinking is harmful to health; pregnant woman and children are unsuitable to drink, etc..

5.3.3 Energy and nutriments

Same as Clause 5.3.3 of GB 7718 -2004.

5.3.4 Types of products fruit wine, grape wine and yellow rice wine, type of product or sugar content can be labeled. Fruit wine, grape wine and yellow rice wine are suitable to label "dry", "semi-dry", "semi-sweet" or "sweet"; or its sugar content. The labeling method shall be based on the relevant product standard. case of taking fruit wine, grape wine and yellow rice wine as wine base, the blended alcoholic beverage (liqueur) or sugaring alcoholic drink shall label its sugar content. spirits that has already determined flavor type can label "flavor type."

*3.1 Individual kinds of traditional white spirits existing before 1989 can maintain the alcoholic strength of the original product.

**3.2 Same as above.

  • Posted by [Ken Carypidis] TIME :24/01/2007
  • Your Commment We would like information where we could get label approval for our wines in Australia so that we can export them to China