Slovaks lift import ban on Czech spirits

BRATISLAVA, Oct 9 (Reuters) - Slovakia will lift an import ban on Czech-made spirits and liquors on Tuesday, ending a restriction put in place last month after nearly 30 people died from drinking poisonous bootleg booze in its central European neighbour.

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

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

Drinking the bootleg booze killed 28 people in the Czech Republic, the worst health scare for decades in the country of 10.5 million in decades.

The Slovak Agriculture and Health-care Ministries set conditions for lifting the ban, including an obligation to stamp every bottle made after Sept. 27 with a production date and a certificate introduced by the Czech government.

Alcohol products made before that day are required to have a stamp with date of origin, number of series and certifying signature.

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

(Reporting by Martin Santa and Jason Hovet in Prague)

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

Keywords: CZECH BOOZE/SLOVAKIA