The Parliamentary Assembly of Bosnia and Herzegovina at its session of the House of Representatives held on August 28, 2023, and at the session of the House of Peoples held on August 28, 2023, adopted the Law on the Organization of the Wine Market in Bosnia and Herzegovina, which was published in the Official Gazette of Bosnia and Herzegovina No. 63/23 on September 15, 2023.
The reasons for the adoption of the Law on the Organization of the Wine Market in Bosnia and Herzegovina stemmed from the need for compliance with the European Union’s regulations in the field of the wine market, bearing in mind that the European Commission set November 2024 as the deadline for harmonization of the legislation of Bosnia and Herzegovina in the field of wine and viticulture with European standards. This practically means that the adoption of the law will enable domestic producers to place their products on the European Union market unhindered even after this period has passed, since the new law regulated the wine market in Bosnia and Herzegovina according to the European standards. In this connection, the provisions of the European Union Regulation no. 1308/2013 on the establishment of a joint organization of the market of agricultural products.
Bearing in mind that, according to statistical data, 18 million litres of wine are produced annually in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and that 38 wine producers are registered in the Republic of Srpska, while 50 are registered in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, it is clear that the new legislation was necessary in order to enable them to continue to be represented on the foreign market. The current area under vines is 3,600 hectares, of which 600 hectares are in the Republic of Srpska, and 3,000 hectares in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The Law on the Organization of the Wine Market in Bosnia and Herzegovina regulates the principles of the organization of the wine market. It contains provisions on the production of grapes and wine necessary for the organization of the wine market, provisions on designations of origin, designations of geographical origin and traditional expressions in the winemaking sector, provisions on labelling, presentation and advertising of products of the winemaking sector, placing products on the market, monitoring and controls of production potential and product markets of the winemaking sector, and market-relevant provisions on organic wines, flavoured wine products and fruit wines.
The law ensures much better condition for wine production, as well as better access for producers from Bosnia and Herzegovina to European and world markets, which is of considerable importance.
Better conditions for wine production also open up opportunities for raising new vineyards, given that we presently have a regulated situation on the market, better opportunities for work and making a profit in this area, which evidently implies more considerable interest in this branch of production.
The law enables the supervision of the production potential and the wine market by establishing a database in the form of the Viticulture and Wine Registry, which represents the basis for the further development of this sector in Bosnia and Herzegovina. This Register contains data on viticulture production potential, mandatory declarations (referring to the harvest declaration submitted by the grape producer, the production declaration submitted by the wine producer, the stock declaration submitted by wine producers, processors, bottlers and traders), to natural and legal persons obliged to keep cellar registers, geographical areas of vine cultivation, historical viticultural positions, winegrowers, grape producers, wine producers, processors, wine bottlers, wine merchants, places of retail sale of wine as open goods, as well as about distilleries. Therefore, the recent legislation in this area is of considerable importance for grape and wine producers and their registration for the performance of activities. It also has an impact on consumers, who can acquire a complete insight into the quality of domestic wines on the market.
From the above, we can conclude that the new law represents a significant improvement in the legislation in the field of wine and viticulture, creates much better condition for production and, most importantly, will certainly increase interest in this branch of production in the future.
The Law on the Organization of the Wine Market in Bosnia and Herzegovina entered into force on September 23, 2023.
Author: Anja Banjac
E-mail: [email protected]