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Changes made to alcohol and event licences

Tuesday, 13 December 2022

Changes to the Liquor Licensing and Public Entertainment Regulations 2022 came into force this week, updating the processes for alcohol and public entertainments licences.

The changes came into operation from Monday 12 December, with existing licences still valid during the grace period that runs until the end of June 2023.  This period allows licensees to transition to a licence issued under the new framework.

The biggest change with the new regulations is a move away from a three year alcohol licence renewal process (the “Triennials”) to an annual rolling licence.

This means businesses will no longer need to submit renewal paperwork every three years. Instead, if licensees have operated within their conditions and maintained high standards, they will only need to confirm there have been no changes or legal issues with their licence within the year and pay an annual fee.

To transition to a licence issued under the new framework, current licence holders must submit a completed site management plan, alongside a transitional licence application form.

During the grace period from 12 December until 30 June 2023, existing licences will continue to be valid, but no changes or variations can be made. Any changes must be done by applying under the new framework.

Other changes include:

  • The creation of an electronic register of Responsible People, current Designated Officials will move to this electronic register once they have transitioned their current licence.

  • Licence requirements for special occasions and special events have been more clearly defined, and the maximum length of time for alcohol or public entertainment licences for those events has been extended to a possible maximum of 16 days from 14 days.

  • The Isle of Man Licensing Forum Code of Practice and Guidance has also been formally approved by Tynwald and can form a condition of a licence.  This Code continues to provide practical guidance for the licensed hospitality industry in a revised and updated format.

Minister for Justice and Home Affairs, Jane Poole-Wilson MHK, said:

‘Though these changes to the licensing framework may seem small, they come with some significant benefits to licensees. The changes will complement the high standards already in place across the hospitality industry. We’re introducing these changes gradually, and will be working closely with the industry to ensure that they are working effectively.’

She continued:

‘There is a “grace period” to allow transition of current licences to the new framework but we would encourage licensees to start considering their applications. All the guidance and forms to help support existing and new licensees can be found on the Licencing Court webpage.

‘These changes form phase one of our reform to the current licensing regime and further changes are planned once the new regime is fully established.’

More information about these changes is available online. The Licensing Court webpage and the Department of Home Affairs legislation page.

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