Test Test

CODE OF ETHICS OF THE ESTONIAN BREWERIES ASSOCIATION

CODE OF ETHICS OF THE ESTONIAN BREWERIES ASSOCIATION

Introduction

The aim of this code of ethics (hereinafter also the Code) of the Estonian Breweries Association (hereinafter also the Breweries Association) is to facilitate, through the self-regulation of advertising communication, responsible actions of breweries by following common standards.

The breweries signing this code confirm that:

  • following of this Code indicates the ability of the breweries to regulate their activities, valuing the importance of self-regulation in addition to the legislative regulation;
  • efficient self-regulation ensures that promotion of beer and other low-alcohol beverages is not aimed at minors nor encourages them to consume alcoholic beverages;
  • advertising communication regarding beer and other low-alcohol beverages must follow the applicable legislation, be based on responsible behaviour, be honest and true, be ethical in every sense and not contradict the rules of the Code and good practice;

and voluntarily agree to follow the Code in their activities.


1. Definitions

1.1. Alcohol, pursuant to the Alcohol Act, means a food group consisting of spirit and alcoholic beverages.

1.2. Alcoholic beverage means beer with an ethanol content of more than 0.5 per cent by volume and other liquids intended for human consumption with an ethanol content of more than 1.2 per cent by volume. Low-alcohol beverage means an alcoholic beverage with an ethanol content of up to 22 per cent by volume (inclusive).

Beer means a beverage which is manufactured from malt, or malt and adjuncts, and from hops and water by fermentation using yeast and which may be pasteurised.

Nonalcoholic beer is not considered to be an alcoholic drink, and therefor is not subject to this Code of Ethics.

Information which is made public for the purpose of increasing the sale of products or services, promoting an event or idea, or achieving other desired results in other areas and which an advertiser disseminates for a fee or other consideration is advertising.

A trade mark is a symbol not registered as trade mark, a symbol submitted for registration as a trade mark as well as a symbol registered as a trade mark which is used or intended to be used by a legal entity or a natural person in order to differentiate one’s own products and services for the commercial or business services from similar products or services of other legal entities or natural persons.

For the purposes of this Code a Brewery is a manufacturer of beer as well as other low-alcohol beverages as well as importer of the aforementioned beverages who have undertaken this Code for performance.


2. General Provisions

The breweries accept that:

2.1. It is forbidden for the minors to acquire and consume alcoholic beverages.

2.2. Advertising promoting starting the use of alcoholic beverages or which contains direct call to purchase or consume such products or is aimed at persons who are mainly under 21 years of age, is forbidden.

2.3. Consumers have the right to obtain information on the safety of goods and services offered as well as on aspects concerning protection of health, property and economic interests. Before consumers acquire goods or use services, traders and producers are required to provide the consumers with detailed information concerning the characteristics and conditions of use of the goods or services and, if a warranty specified in the legislation applies, concerning the warranty, as well as on the price, conditions of payment, performance of the contract, and the rights, obligations and liability arising from the contract, including the possibilities for submitting complaints regarding the goods or services, taking into account the provisions of the legislation.

In addition to the information specified in the legal acts, consumers have the right to obtain additional information concerning the goods or services offered. Information provided to consumers shall be truthful and understandable. Information provided to consumers concerning goods or services shall not attribute to the goods or services any characteristics which they do not have and shall not imply that the goods or services have any special characteristics if all goods or services of the same type possess such characteristics.

2.4. Manager of Breweries Association shall give to the breweries which have joined the Code free advice in respect of applying of the general requirements of self-regulation being stipulated on the Code.


3. Main Requirements for Self-regulation Regarding Advertising Beer and Other Low-alcohol Beverages

The breweries have agreed that the Estonian breweries shall observe the Code in addition to the provisions of the legal acts, thereby undertaking additional obligation to commercial activities.

Relying on the above:

3.1. They shall not associate consumption of beer and other low-alcohol beverages to driving motor vehicles and participating in traffic.

The breweries shall not associate consumption of beer and other low-alcohol beverages with driving motor vehicles and participating in road, water or air traffic.

The breweries are allowed to use in advertising used in relation to motor sports symbols, including the trade mark that cannot directly be associated with a specific alcoholic beverage as a product.

3.2. They shall not direct advertising of beer and other low-alcohol beverages, inc alcohol free beer and sider to minors or use minors in advertising of beer and other low-alcohol beverages.

The breweries ensure that advertising used for beer and other low-alcohol beverages is in accordance with good practice and values generally recognized in the society.

The breweries shall not direct advertising of beer and other low-alcohol beverages to the target group of minors, shall not show alcohol consumption by minors or use minors in advertisements for beer and other low-alcohol beverages.

The breweries shall select the models that are older than the limit allowing alcohol consumption according to the law and ensure that the models used do not appear to be younger than the allowed age, e.g. the models should be at least 25 years old.

The breweries shall be careful when choosing role models. They shall not use characters or symbols who or what would influence the target group of minors (comic book, cartoon heroes etc.).

The breweries shall not advertise (within the meaning of the Advertising Act) trademarks of alcoholic beverages in the media, at events or in other programmes the main target group of which is minors.

At tastings of alcoholic beverages the breweries shall not use tasters and product presenters who are younger than 21 years.

Manufacturers shall demand that those who access the home pages connected with beer and other low-alcohol beverages administered by them confirm that they are at least 18 years old 

3.3. They shall not associate consumption of beer and other low-alcohol beverages with dangerous context

The breweries shall not associate consumption of beer and other low-alcohol beverages with violence, aggressiveness, behaviour that is dangerous and in contradiction with good conduct and conventions.

The breweries shall not associate consumption of beer or other low-alcohol beverages with dangerous machinery or situations.

3.4. They shall not encourage irresponsible consumption of beer and other low-alcohol beverages

The breweries shall not contemn being sober.

The breweries shall not show or promote excess or irresponsible consumption.

The breweries shall not use free alcoholic beverages as prizes or awards in the retail campaigns for consumers.

This restriction shall not be applicable for retail campaigns for consumers organised in hotels, restaurants and cafes (the HoReCa sector).

3.5. They shall not emphasise the strength of beer and other low-alcohol beverages

In the advertisements the breweries shall not use higher ethanol content (strength) of the alcoholic beverages as an advantage.

The breweries shall not advertise beer marks the ethanol content of which is 7 per cent by volume or more.

In order to maintain lower ethanol content for beer as compared to an average wine, the breweries shall not produce to Estonian domestic market or market on Estonian domestic market beer the ethanol content of which exceeds 7 per cent by volume.

As of 1 July, 2013, manufacturers shall not produce for the internal market of Estonia or market internally in Estonia cider whose ethanol content exceeds 4.5 per cent by volume. This restriction does not cover 0.33L cans' multipacks, which has 18 or more units. The cider whose ethanol content exceeds 4.5 per cent by volume and which has been produced before 1 July, 2013 may be marketed internally in Estonia until the stock runs out. 

As of 1 July, 2013, manufacturers shall not produce for the internal market of Estonia or market internally in Estonia long drink whose ethanol content exceeds 5.5 per cent by volume. This restriction does not cover 0.33L cans' multipacks, which has 18 or more units. The long drink whose ethanol content exceeds 5.5 per cent by volume and which has been produced before 1 July, 2013 may be marketed internally in Estonia until the stock runs out.

3.6. They shall not associate beer and other low-alcohol beverages with medicinal qualities

The breweries shall not make statements such as “alcohol prevents, treats or cures illnesses or could have such impact”.

3.7. They shall not associate beer and other low-alcohol beverages with social or athletic success

The breweries shall not design the opinion that consumption of alcoholic beverages increases mental or physical capacity.

3.8. They shall not associate advertising of alcoholic beverages with being pregnant or parent

3.9. They shall not associate advertising of alcoholic beverages with religion or religious groupings.

3.10. In advertising beer and other alcoholic beverages, no bodies of water or motifs connected with swimming shall be used. 

3.11. Manufacturers shall put on the home pages and social networking sites administered by them and connected with beer and other low-alcohol beverages a warning text “Attention! This is an alcoholic beverage. Alcohol can be harmful to your health”.


4. Preventive Action

The producers undertake if possible the obligation to jointly, through the association uniting the breweries, help to contribute to carry out nationwide preventive social campaign for responsible consumption of alcohol and prevention of alcohol abuse.


5. Court of Honour. Proceedings of the Court of Honour

5.1. The possible violations of this Code are processed by the Court of Honour of the Estonian Breweries Association (hereinafter the Court of Honour).

5.2. The number of the members and the membership of the Court of Honour shall be confirmed by the management board of the Estonian Breweries Association with its decision. The activities of the Court of Honour are lead by the chairman of the Court of Honour, who is elected from among the members of the Court of Honour. The chairman has to be independent from the sector of brwing. The members of the Court of Honour shall elect the deputy chairman of the Court of Honour from among them. The members of the Court of Honour are elected for the term of five years after which the Breweries Association shall confirm a new membership of the Court of Honour. A member of the Court of Honour has to be a person with active legal capacity who is at least 25 years old and has higher education. Members of the Court of Honour have to be independent from Breweries.

Manager of the Breweries Association shall act as the administrator of the Court of Honour.

5.3. A brewery against whom a complaint has been filed or the proceedings of the Court of Honour have been initiated is called the defendant. The defendant cannot be considered as guilty in a violation against the Code until entry into force of the decision of the Court of Honour establishing the violation of the Code. A brewery may not be punished multiple times for one and the same violation within one period of time.

5.4. The Court of Honour may initiate proceedings by its own initiative or on the basis of the respective written addresses of other legal entities or natural persons.

A complaint submitted to the Court of Honour shall include at least the following data:

a) the data of the person submitting the complaint;

b) the data of the defendant;

c) the justification of the violation of the Code that is the basis for the complaint with a reference to one or several articles of the Code;

d) the circumstances on which the complaint is based and proof verifying such circumstances;

e) whether or not the brewery who has joined the Code and who has submitted the complaint wishes to participate in the proceedings of the Court of Honour;

f) the list of attached documents.

5.5. The term for the submission of complaints is 10 days from the day when the person submitting the complaint discovered the alleged violation of the Code. A complaint may not be submitted later than 4 months from the actual occurrence of the alleged violation of the Code, regardless of the fact when the person submitting the complaint discovered the alleged violation of the Code. If during the course of the proceedings of the Court of Honour it appears that the complaint has not been submitted in due time, the proceedings of the Court of Honour are terminated and the proceedings of the Court of Honour shall have no legal consequences for the defendant.

5.6. If after receipt of a complaint the person submitting the complaint submits an additional relevant document, the Court of Honour shall immediately notify the defendant of such document and sends him a transcript of the document. The defendant and the brewery that has joined the Code and has submitted the complaint shall be notified of any written evidence that the Court of Honour may take into account upon making the decision and transcripts of the aforementioned written evidence must be sent to them.

5.7. The defendant or the person submitting the complaint may change or supplement its position at the session of the Court of Honour with the permission of the Court of Honour until the end of the substantial review of the case. The Court of Honour shall not accept the change or supplementing of the position if it would bring along unreasonable delay of the proceedings.

5.8. The Chairman of the Court of Honour shall review the received complaints within 2 working days from the receipt of a complaint. The Chairman of the Court of Honour shall refuse to process a complaint if it:

5.8.1. is clearly unreasoned;

5.8.2. is in no way related to the area of regulation of the Code;

5.8.3. contains insulting or indecent expressions against the defendant or the Court of Honour;

5.8.4. is submitted with regard to a violation for which the Court of Honour has already made a ruling;

5.8.5. is submitted with regard to a violation for which the proceedings of the Court of Honour have already been initiated.

A notice regarding refusal to review a complaint together with the justifications shall be sent to all members of the Court of Honour by the Chairman of the Court of honour during two working days. In case of disagreement with the decision to refuse to review the complaint, each member of the Court of Honour shall have the right to request review of the complaint by sending a relevant application to the Chairman of the Court of Honour during two working days from the day following the day of receipt of the notification from the Chairman of the Court of Honour regarding refusal to review the complaint. Upon receipt of an application from the member of the Court of Honour mentioned in the previous sentence, the Chairman of the Court of Honour shall be obliged to organise a session of the Court of Honour in order to review the complaint.

5.9. A session of the Court of Honour is summoned by the Chairman of the Court of Honour or in his absence the Deputy Chairman of the Court of Honour, notifying the members of the Court of Honour, the defendant as well as all breweries that have joined the Code of the location and time of the session in writing or electronically within reasonable time.

5.10. A member of the Court of Honour who is the person submitting the complaint or professionally related to the defendant may not participate in the proceedings and decision-making of the Court of Honour. Such member of the Court of Honour shall be obliged to remove himself by its own initiative before the beginning of the proceedings of the specific Court of Honour. In the event a member of the Court of Honour who is the submitter of the complaint or professionally related to the defendant fails to remove himself by his own initiative before the beginning of the proceedings, the person submitting the complaint and the defendant have the right to request from the Court of Honour removal of such member of the Court of Honour.

5.11. The Court of Honour shall give the defendant a term with a length of 2 working days for responding to the complaint. If the defendant fails to respond to the complaint within the given term, the Court of Honour shall continue proceedings. Absence of the response of the defendant shall not be considered as approval of the complaint.

5.12. If the defendant fails to appear at the session or to submit a verifying document during the established term, the Court of Honour may continue its proceedings and make a decision according to the discoveries made so far.

5.13. The session of the Court of Honour is not public. Only members of the Court of Honour, the consultant of the Court of Honour, the defendant and the brewery who has joined the Code and submitted the complaint as well as all breweries that have joined the Code may be present at the session of the Court of Honour.

5.14. It is not obligatory for the brewery that has joined the Code and submitted the complaint to participate in the session of the Court of Honour if the Court of Honour has not made it obligatory for the aforementioned submitted of the complaint to appear at the session of the Court of Honour.

5.15. In its proceedings the Court of Honour shall rely on the investigation principle, finding out by its own initiative all possible circumstances that may have significance in terms of fair and true solving of the specific complaint. The defendant is ensured with the possibility of expressing his position, objections and explanations verbally as well as in writing until the completion of the substantial discussion of the case. Questions may be asked from the defendant as well as the person who submitted the complaint participating in the session only by the members of the Court of Honour. No witnesses are interrogated at the session of the Court of Honour.

5.16. Upon settling of a complaint the Court of Honour shall apply the Code of Ethics of the Breweries Association and legal acts of regulative power in Estonian legal order. The Court of Honour may settle a dispute on the basis of the principle of justice if the object of the dispute is not regulated by any legal normative. Upon settling a dispute on the basis of the principle of justice its imperative provisions in Estonian legislation may not be deviated from. When settling a dispute the Court of Honour shall take the good practices in to account to the extent allowed with the applicable legal acts.

5.17. In the part not provided for by this Code of Honour, the procedure for the proceedings of the Court of Honour shall be established by the Court of Honour.

5.18. The Court of Honour shall have the right to decide on admissibility of evidence, study the evidence and freely assess the results of verification.

5.19. The language of the proceedings of the Court of Honour shall be Estonian, unless decided otherwise by the Court of Honour on the basis of a request of the defendant or the brewery that has joined the Code and submitted the complaint.

5.20. The Court of Honour may request submission of written evidence together with translation into the language of proceedings established by the Court of Honour.

5.21. The Court of Honour shall make a decision within 20 days from the start of the proceedings. The Court of Honour is competent to make decision if at least the Chairman of the Court of Honour and two members of the Court of Honour are participating in the session of the Court of Honour. All decisions are made with the absolute majority of votes of the members of the Court of Honour. If any of the members of the Court of Honour is unable to participate in the voting of the decision due to his removal, the rest of the members of the Court of Honour may make the decision without him. If upon making of the decision the votes of the members of the Court of Honour for and against the decision are equal, the vote of the Chairman of the Court of Honour shall be decisive. Voting for the decision shall be carried out on the day of the session at the meeting room where only the members of the Court of Honour may be present at the moment of voting. The number of members of the Court of Honour, who remain anonymous, who voted for and against the decision, shall be established in the decision of the Court.

5.22. The Court of Honour shall make the decision in writing and it shall be signed by all members of the Court of Honour that voted in the making of the decision of the Court of Honour. Reasons must be given to the decision of the Court of Honour. The date of the decision and the location of the proceedings of the Court of Honour shall be indicated in the decision of the Court of Honour.

5.23. The conclusion of the decision of the Court of Honour is made public on the day of the session of the Court of Honour. The Court of Honour shall formalize the motivated decision in writing and send the transcript of the decision to all members of the Court of Honour as well as to the defendant, person submitting the complaint and all breweries that have joined the Code within one working day from the day following the day of making public of the conclusion of the decision. The Chairman of the Court of Honour or a member of the Court of Honour appointed by him shall notify the public of the contents of the conclusion of the decision also on the same day.

5.24. The defendant and the brewery that has joined the Code and submitted the complaint shall have the right to submit an application for voiding the decision of the Court of Honour to the Harju County Court within 7 working days from the day of making public of the conclusion of the decision of the Court of Honour if this Code or the applicable law have been violated during processing the complaint.

5.25. The decision of the Court of Honour shall enter into force after 7 working days from the day of its making. The decision of the Court of Honour that has entered into force is final and not subject to further appeal. The decision of the Court of Honour that has entered into force shall bear the same effect for the parties as a court ruling that has entered into force.

5.26. The proceedings of the Court of Honour shall end after the Court of Honour has made a substantial decision or a decision to terminate the proceedings. The Court of Honour shall terminate the proceedings with its decision if:

a) the person submitting the complaint withdraws the complaint, except in case if the defendant contests it and the Court of Honour recognises the legitimate interest of the defendant in final settling of the dispute;

b) neither the brewery that has joined the code and submitted the complaint nor the defendant participate in the proceedings although they have expressed the will to participate in the proceedings;

c) the Court of Honour is of the opinion that the proceedings cannot be continued due to expiry of the validity of the Code or equal distribution of votes or for other reason.

5.27. In the event of violation of this Code, the Court of Honour shall be competent to impose the following sanctions on the defendant in addition to removal:

a) advertising ban on advertising contradicting the Code or a part thereof;

b) the obligation of public apology;

c) a fine in the sum of up to 13000 eur;

d) exclusion from the Breweries Association.

5.28. The Court of Honour may impose as aggregate punishment several of the sanctions provided for in clauses a), b) and c) of Article 5.27., however, the fine in the aggregate punishment may not exceed the sum of 6500 eur.

5.29. If the punishment set forth in clauses a) and b) of Article 5.27. of the Code imposed by the Court of Honour independently or within an aggregate punishment is not performed within the term set forth in the decision of the Court of Honour, the Court of Honour may replace the imposed non-financial penalty with a fine, whereas in the event of aggregate punishment the total sum of fines imposed on the defendant may not exceed 13000 eur.

5.30. For the purposes of public apology a respective statement shall be published in at least one nationwide daily newspaper during 7 working days from the entry into force of the decision of the Court of Honour.

5.31. The imposed fine shall be paid to the bank account of the Breweries Association within 7 working days from the entry into force of the decision of the Court of Honour and it may be used only for the purposes of supporting social programmes related to promoting responsible consumption of alcohol and prevention of alcohol abuse in Estonia.

5.32. By its own initiative or on the basis of an application of the person submitting the complaint or the defendant, the Court of Honour may:

a) correct the calculation, spelling or any other similar mistakes in the decision of the Court of Honour;

b) clarify the decision in the requested part;

c) make an additional decision regarding a request that was presented in the proceedings but which has not been settled in the decision.

5.33. The application mentioned in Article 5.32. of the Code may be submitted within 7 working days from the receipt of the decision.

5.34. The Court of Honour shall send the application for supplementing or clarifying the decision to the defendant, person submitting the complaint and all breweries that have joined the Code.

5.35. The Court of Honour shall make the preliminary decision on correcting or clarifying within 7 working days, on supplementing within 10 working days from the receipt of the application.

5.36. The provisions on the form and content of a decision of the Court of Honour shall be applicable for the decision of the Court of Honour on supplementing, clarifying and correcting.

5.37. The members of the Court of Honour and the consultant of the Court of Honour shall be obliged to keep confidential any and all information that has become available to him during his performance of the duties of the member of the Court of Honour or the consultant of the Court of Honour, for the keeping confidential of which the person submitting the complaint or the defendant have legitimate interest, unless the person submitting the complaint or the defendant have not released the member of the Court of Honour or the consultant of the Court of Honour of the confidentiality obligation. The aforementioned confidentiality obligation shall not be applicable for the publication of the decision of the Court of Honour according to the procedure established in this Code.

5.38. If the defendant fully recognises the violation of the code established in the complaint submitted against him, the simplified proceedings of the Court of Honour (simplified proceedings) may be applied for the defendant on the basis of the written application of the defendant. In the event of the simplified proceedings the Court of Honour is not required to substantially review the case at a session of the Court of Honour and the Court of Honour may terminate the proceedings of the Court of Honour with the decision of the simplified proceedings which consists only of the conclusion. Upon convicting for the violation of the Code, the punishment of the defendant shall be the obligation for public apology, additionally a fine in the sum up to 1300 eur may be made. The simplified proceedings shall not be applicable if the by the moment of submission of the notice of fully recognising the violation of the code set forth in the complaint the defendant has not terminated public presentation of advertising that is the object of the complaint. In the event presentation of advertising that is the object of the complaint is continued after making of the decision, public presentation of such advertising shall be considered intentional violation of the Code, the processing of which shall be carried out in general order without the possibility of application of the simplified proceedings.


6. Term of Validity of the Code, Amendment Procedures and Implementing Provisions

6.1. This code shall enter into force on 01.06.2005 and is valid without a term.

6.2. The Code may be amended, supplemented and terminated only with the consent of all parties signing the Code, unless provided differently in legal acts.

6.3. It is possible to join the code by submitting the respective written application to the parties that have joined the Code.

6.4. A party shall have the right to withdraw from the Code by submitting the respective written notice to the other parties to the Code. Withdrawal from the Code shall not release the party from performance of the sanctions imposed for violations committed during the period he was a party to the Code.

6.5. The breweries that have joined the Code undertake the obligation to bring their activities into accordance with the requirements set forth in the Code by no later than during three months from the entry into force of the Code. The complaints regarding possible violations of the Code submitted to the Court of Honour during this transition period shall not be processed, furthermore, the Court of Honour shall not initiate proceedings for possible violations of the Code during the mentioned transition period.

6.6. The version of code, being signed on 01.03.2013, shall enter into force on 01.03.2013.


Tarmo Noop, AS A. Le Coq
Margus Kastein, Saku Õlletehase AS
Ott Licht, AS Viru Õlu

Peeter Võrk, Estonian Breweries Association

01 March 2013, Tallinn