Knockeen Hills Poteen Breaking News

The Windsor Framework (Constitutional Status of Northern Ireland) Regulations, UK Statutory Instruments 2024 No. 164

HMRC on the 27th of March 2024 authorised Knockeen Hills Spirits Ltd., to export to, and for sale in, the EU Customs Area all alcoholic spirit drink products, containing distillate classified as commencing with Commodity Code No. 2207 either ‘duty suspended’ or ‘in bond. This includes the product Knockeen Hills Poteen™ Gold Extra-Strength 90% vol., awarded the I.W.S.C. Silver Medal (Best in Class).  

This authority was in accordance with the ‘Granting of UK Internal Market Scheme’ as set out in The Windsor Framework (Constitutional Status of Northern Ireland) Regulations, UK Statutory Instruments 2024 No. 164 This superseded the previous restriction applying to such products in Regulation (EU) 2019/787 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 April 2019.

Retained EU law via the EU (Withdrawal) Act 2018

Historic article, regarding restriction of trade from the UK to the devolved administration Northern Ireland as a result of Brexit. 

Regulation (EU) 2019/787 prohibits existing production of the EU GI Irish Poteen/Irish Poitin in UK devolved administrations, except for Northern Ireland; and, including it and the remainder of the EU, in removing distillate with a Commodity Code commencing No. 2207 continuing to be classified as a spirit drink. For Great Britain this regulation become retained EU law via the EU (Withdrawal) Act 2018, with legislation made under it making operability amendments allowing continued functionality.

Knockeen Hills poteen distillery
Knockeen Hills poteen in glass

Producer’s comment

  1. This prohibition on UK mainland production, created a monopoly for the EU and in its legislation in 2015 the EU estimated by 2025 sales would exceed 1 million cases a year. The value in GDP would exceed £200 million per annum.
  2. Distillate with this Commodity Code No. has been used since 1999 in producing Knockeen Hills Irish Poteen/Poitin.
  3. Knockeen Hills Poteen® is producing a Gold Strength 70% vol. and a Farmers Strength 60% vol. variety. These identical products were originally sold under the Knockeen Hills Irish Poteen™ brand name. The Commodity Code number for these products commences with 2208, and there is no EU Regulation prohibiting the sale of distillate for use as an alcoholic spirit drink with that Commodity Code. Therefore, the above Knockeen Hills Poteen® products can be sold in the EU Customs area, including the UK devolved administration of Northern Ireland. These new varieties are not directly, or indirectly, claimed to be Irish Poteens.

BBC1, Breakfast News Complaint to BBC

Complaint to BBC “Serious breach of broadcasting standards upheld” January 2000 This article relates to corporate news on Knockeen Hills:

British Broadcasting Corporation

Breakfast News, BBC1
5 January 2000 & BBC Radio

Following a news report on the 5th January 2000 by the British Broadcasting Corporatation about Irish Poteen, the brand owners of Knockeen Hills Irish Poteen felt the need to lodge a formal complaint to the BBC.

Counsel for the complainant was Mr Chris Hutchings formerly of Messrs. Charles Russell, 8-10 New Fetter Lane, London EC4A 1RS.

The BBC’s Complaints Unit upheld the formal complaint against the BBC and ruled that there had been a ‘serious breach of broadcasting standards’ and a correction should be broadcast.

The BBC’s agreed settlement, included the payment in full of all legal costs incurred by the complainant. A further term of the settlement was that the apology broadcast by the BBC on television and radio was to be made at approximately the same time of day as the original transmission, and not as is usual, merely at the end of the programmes. A request was lodged with Sir Christopher Bland, Chairman of the BBC for the repayment of the applicant’s postage costs which were under £100.00. Sir Christopher Bland replied personally, declining the request, advising there was no budget for this expenditure. BBC licence fee income for 2000/2001 which was 75% of its net income was £2,371 million, with other reveune raising an additional £790 million.

The original publication of the BBC Board of Governors Programme Complaints Bulletin for January to March 2000 issued in May 2000 has now been withdrawn from the BBC’s web-site. A full copy is available by clicking here, whilst the following summary of complaints upheld is an extract that appears on page 9 of the document.

BBC PCU Header Jan 2000

SUMMARY OF COMPLAINTS UPHELD

The complaint:

“The owner of a brand of poteen (“Knockeen Hills”) complained that a news item reporting the launch of another brand had wrongly suggested that the distilling and sale of this traditional Irish spirit was only now about to become legal in the Republic of Ireland.”

Finding:

“In fact the manufacture of poteen for sale in the Republic of Ireland had been permitted since 1997, and production for export had been legal for over ten years. The item’s inaccuracy in this respect reflected unfairly on Knockeen Hills”.

Further action:

“The programme agreed to broadcast a correction.”

Following this, a formal correction was broadcast on BBC 1 Television’s ‘Breakfast News’ and the BBC’s Radio programme ‘BBC TODAY’.

2. Breakfast News, BBC1, 5 January 2000

The complaint:

The owner of a brand of poteen (“Knockeen Hills”) complained that a news item reporting the launch of another brand had wrongly suggested that the distilling and sale of this traditional Irish spirit was only now about to become legal in the Republic of Ireland.

Finding:

In fact the manufacture of poteen for sale in the Republic of Ireland had been permitted since 1997, and production for export had been legal for over ten years. The item’s inaccuracy in this respect reflected unfairly on “Knockeen Hills”.

Further action:

The programme agreed to broadcast a correction.

A new restriction was published, in Regulation (EU) 2019/787 that excluded the previous production of the EU GI product Irish Poteen/Irish Poitin from England and the devolved administrations of Scotland and Wales.   Subsequently, production could only be carried out in Northern Ireland, and Ireland.

Additionally, no spirits drinks using distillate with a Commodity Code Number commencing 2207 could continue to be classified as a spirit drink in Northern Ireland or the rest of the EU customs area. For over 20 years prior to the publication Regulation (EU) 2019/787 no objection had been raised. There remains a restriction on selling in the devolved administration of Northern Ireland.

The producers of Knockeen Hills Poteen advise they fully comply with Regulation (EU) 2019/787, and also publish a prominent and UK Regulatory Authority agreed warning statement, on face labels.

Knockeen Hills poteen distillery
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Varieties

There are three varieties of Knockeen Hills Poteen®, comprising the Farmers Strength 60% vol., Gold Strength 70% vol., and the Gold Extra-Strength™90% vol. in 5cl. 50cl., 70cl. and 1 lt. bottles together with a 75cl. bottle for the USA

Below are face labels of the range, excluding those for the USA market.

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Farmers Strength

Farmers Strength 60% vol.
in 5cl. 50cl., 70cl. and 1 lt. bottles together with a 75cl. bottle for the USA

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Gold Strength

Gold Strength 70% vol.
in 5cl. 50cl., 70cl. and 1 lt. bottles together with a 75cl. bottle for the USA

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Gold Extra-Strength

Gold Extra-Strength®90% vol.
in 5cl. 50cl., 70cl. and 1 lt. bottles together with a 75cl. bottle for the USA