Rules and Laws

List of Rules, Laws and Geographic Indications

Rum is NOT the Wild West


(CARICOM Regional Organization for Standards of Quality)

CRS 25 – Section 3 General requirements

3.1 Rum shall be a spirit drink:

  1. obtained exclusively by alcoholic fermentation and distillation of sugar cane molasses, sugar cane syrups, sugar cane juices or cane sugar produced during the processing of sugar cane;
  2. distilled at an alcohol content of less than 96.0 % alcohol by volume at 20 oC;
  3. produced in such a way that the product has the organoleptic characteristics derived from the natural volatile elements contained in the above raw materials or formed during the fermentation or distillation process of the named raw materials; and
  4. which includes mixtures solely of the above distillate.

3.2 Flavoured rum is rum to which has been added natural flavouring materials. Flavours may be added up to a maximum of 2.5 % by volume of the finished product, with or without the addition of sugar, and bottled in accordance with the excise laws of the country in which it is sold.

3.3 The name of the predominant flavour shall appear as part of the product designation. 3

3.4 Ethyl alcohol content shall not be less than 40 % by volume, but may vary according to the excise legislation of the country of sale and shall be determined according to the method prescribed in Annex A or any other method deemed suitable by CROSQ. The tolerance levels for ethyl alcohol shall be as prescribed by the excise legislation of the country of origin.

3.5 Rum shall be colourless except where the colour is derived from wood during maturation or from caramel produced from sugars.


Traditional Clairin is a Presidium of the Slow Food movement

Agriculture – Sugarcane must be organic, heritage species (not hybrids), grow wild or cultivated in polyculture

Harvest – must be done by hand and transported to distillery by animals

Raw Materials – sugarcane juice must not be diluted with water, no added chemicals, syrup can be used

Fermentation – natural yeast only, must take at least 120 hours

Distillation – Batch only (no continuous stills), heated by direct fire

Final Product – Must be bottled in Haiti, at distillation strength, no dilution of any kind


Unabridged Jamaican Rum Geographical Indication (JRASTA Regs)
Only rums obtained by distillation using wash produced with naturally filtered limestone water obtained from the geographical area defined in Article 2. The fermented wash shall be produced using sugar cane molasses, juice of sugar cane, crystallized cane sugar, sugar cane syrup and or a mixture or combination of the above which comply with the conditions of the present code are entitled to the Geographical Indication “Jamaica Rum.” No additives, only color from oak barrels. Producers of rum who sell Jamaica GI labeled rum that doesn’t meet the requirements will be prosecuted.


For the full description of the Martinique AOC, click here.

United States

USA – § 5.22 The standards of identity.

(f)Class 6; rum. “Rum” is an alcoholic distillate from the fermented juice of sugar cane, sugar cane syrup, sugar cane molasses, or other sugar cane by-products, produced at less than 95% ABV in such manner that the distillate possesses the taste, aroma, and characteristics generally attributed to rum, and bottled at not less than 40% ABV; and also includes mixtures solely of such distillates.

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