Wires

Slovaks lift import ban on Czech spirits

BRATISLAVA, Oct 9 (Reuters) - Slovakia will lift an importban on Czech-made spirits and liquors on Tuesday, ending arestriction put in place last month after nearly 30 people diedfrom drinking poisonous bootleg booze in its central Europeanneighbour.

The Czech government has allowed the sale and export ofnewly made and stamped bottles since the end of September,easing its own bans.

Police have charged two men with the distribution of thebootleg alcohol containing methanol, but are still searching forup to 15,000 litres of the deadly mix.

Drinking the bootleg booze killed 28 people in the CzechRepublic, the worst health scare for decades in the country of10.5 million in decades.

The Slovak Agriculture and Health-care Ministries setconditions for lifting the ban, including an obligation to stampevery bottle made after Sept. 27 with a production date and acertificate introduced by the Czech government.

Alcohol products made before that day are required to have astamp with date of origin, number of series and certifyingsignature.

The Agriculture Ministry said ban would be lifted from 1500GMT.

(Reporting by Martin Santa and Jason Hovet in Prague)

((martin.santa@thomsonreuters.com)(421 2 3231 0254)(ReutersMessaging: martin.santa.reuters.com@reuters.net))

Keywords: CZECH BOOZE/SLOVAKIA