At least four breweries have already been closed and the procedure on the fifth continues within the framework of the adoption of provisional measures in cases of exclusion from the register of beer producers initiated by Rosalkogoltabakkotrol (RATC).

“Beer purges” are associated with the state’s desire to restore order among dishonest brewers, but they can also affect original companies that, for example, do not have a long-term lease contract, RB.RU learned.

Russian courts have initiated mass closure of breweries based on RATC claims

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Arbitration courts began to suspend the activities of breweries as part of provisional measures on RATC claims. The watchdog intends to close companies in the event of exclusion from the register of producers of beer and beverages based on beer, cider, poiré and mead. They try to exclude brewers from the register based on the results of inspections, including reasons such as lack of activity, premises on long-term lease or incorrect accounting of capital assets. But for the definitive closure of the company a court decision is needed.

  • RATC was one of the first to achieve the suspension of the Yuzhny Pivovar works (revenue of 4.3 million rubles by 2023) in Novocherkassk. This is one of the oldest companies; has been producing alcoholic beverages since 1904. The RB.RU journalist tried to contact the plant’s management via the phone number listed on the company’s website. A sales representative who answered the call declined to give “intelligible comment” but noted that problems arose at the plant on June 5.

Court documents indicate that the reason for the introduction of provisional measures was claims against the main equipment that was not allocated when calculating the production capacity and therefore the calculation of the equipment capacity exceeded 300 thousand deciliters.

  • In addition, at the request of RATC, provisional measures were introduced at Saratov JSC Kupets (revenue for 2023: 9 million rubles). The reasons why the company should be excluded from the register have not yet been stated.

The courts issued orders for the execution of provisional measures to two more breweries. The work of Bryansk LLC “Zhetem” has been suspended (the latest data in the Unified State Register of Legal Entities is a loss of one thousand rubles for 2021) due to the organization’s failure to submit an application for amending the registration within the prescribed period. period due to a change in the location of the organization. For undisclosed reasons, the court adopted provisional measures against Samara-based Minax (revenue of 812 thousand rubles in 2023). The request for provisional measures against the Tula Petr Petrovich JSC company (revenue of 11.4 million rubles in 2023) remained without progress until June 11.

The demand for interim measures was proposed by RATC to JSC Grinn Corporation (a regional retailer with its own breweries with revenues of 23.6 billion rubles in 2023), but was rejected by the court. RB.RU has contacted Grinn for comment.

The provisional measures will remain in force until the courts decide to exclude the companies from the register or keep them on it. If the decisions are favorable to RATC, then the brewery will have to close permanently. The supervisory body will carry out inspections until May 31, 2025. RB.RU sent a request to RATC, but has not yet received a response.

Vice President of the Federation of Restaurateurs and Hoteliers of Russia Alexey Nebolsin declared to RB.RU that RATC first carries out inspections to “clean” non-working companies from the register, which is absolutely correct. In fact, some brewers have not worked for a long time and under their auspices “it is not clear who” can produce beer.

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Questions also arise for companies operating with unregistered equipment, which theoretically, according to the logic of the supervisory authority, can be used for clandestine brewing. A small brewery must spend several million rubles to install the necessary counters, but not everyone has such funds.

Another question is whether an existing brewery closes, for example, due to lack of its own premises or a long-term lease.

“Breweries can’t always offer long-term leases. Many work short-term, for 11 months, because that is what the owner of the premises wants. And this reason will become the talk of the town,” said the expert.

Nebolsin adds that when brewers who do not have their own locations begin to be removed from the market, the industry will lose its original companies. There are already precedents that, due to problems with the premises, attempts are made to remove companies from the registry, but until now “they try to solve the problems in their own way.”

“And this question will arise sooner or later. We will categorically support the brewers on this issue,” promised the FRiO vice president. In any case, the expert in the brewing sector believes that the work within the framework of cleaning the registry will lead to an adjustment in the number of production facilities in operation.

Managing partner of the law firm “Alcohol Law” Dmitry Terentyev explained to RB.RU the situation with the submission of applications to the RATC courts to suspend the activities of beer producers.

According to the expert, initially, in accordance with art. 8 of Federal Law No. 171-FZ, the main technological equipment is not subject to sealing and is not equipped with automatic means of measuring and recording the volume of finished products, if the volume of beer production does not exceed 300 thousand decaliters by year. Many small brewers have operated within this paradigm for many years.

“For many years, Rosalkogolregulirovanie (as this organization was previously called), in my opinion, did not really understand how many brewers we have and what equipment they use to produce drinks. “The supervisory authority could not verify the validity of the data on beer production,” Terentyev said.

As of September 1, 2023, a registry of brewers began to operate in Russia, which made it possible to find out the number of players in the market. One of the requirements for inclusion in the register is the provision of information on production capacities (Article 17.1 of Federal Law No. 171-FZ). This allowed RATC to objectively observe the current situation of the brewing industry.

At the same time, the expert noted that RATC’s claims for exclusion and suspension of activities are premature, since the law that introduced Art. 17.1 of Federal Law No. 171-FZ on exclusion from the registers of brewers in accordance with clause 24 of art. 17.1 of Federal Law No. 171-FZ, does not apply until September 1, 2024.

“As of September 1, 2024 in art. 8 changes are made and 300 thousand deciliters will be replaced by 100 thousand deciliters, then Rosalkogoltabakocontrol will probably launch a large-scale action to exclude producers of beer and drinks based on beer, cider, poiré and mead from the register. There will be many trials. I think that the inspections will affect the majority of small breweries, as well as the subsequent judicial processes,” the expert concluded.


Ekaterina Strukova

Source: RB

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I am a professional journalist and content creator with extensive experience writing for news websites. I currently work as an author at Gadget Onus, where I specialize in covering hot news topics. My written pieces have been published on some of the biggest media outlets around the world, including The Guardian and BBC News.


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