Quantities for Sales of Intoxicating Liquor
The Isle of Man Office of Fair Trading (‘the OFT’) recently undertook a public consultation on proposals for changes to the legal quantities for sales of intoxicating liquor.
It was apparent to the OFT from correspondence received prior to the consultation that the trade wanted changes to be made to the legal quantities for sales of intoxicating liquor. Whether or not any such changes would be supported by consumers was open to debate and so the OFT decided to undertake a public consultation before any changes were considered.
The proposals put forward by the OFT were:-
- the introduction of two new legal quantities, namely 1/4 pint and 2/3 pint, for sales of draught beer;
- deregulation of sales of draught beer in quantities of less than say 1/3 pint;
- the introduction of metric quantities for sales of specified spirits, namely gin, rum, vodka, whisky and brandy, which are currently sold in quantities of 1/5 gill or multiples thereof;
- fortified wines to be sold in the glass in quantities of 50 ml or 70 ml or multiples of either of those quantities;
- deregulation of sales of wines (other than fortified wines) in the glass in quantities of less than 75 ml; and
- deregulation of sales of pre-packed intoxicating liquor.
Thirty seven responses to the consultation were received and the OFT thanks all respondents for their comments.
A summary of the responses to the consultation can be found at: http://www.gov.im/oft/ConsultationDetail.gov?id=351.
Following the consultation, the OFT has decided that all but one of the proposals will be shelved. It is anticipated that the proposal concerning fortified wines will be revisited within the next twelve months.
It is fair to say that there was considerable opposition to the proposed introduction of two new legal quantities for sales of draught beer and, to a lesser degree, opposition to the proposals for deregulation.
With regard to the proposed introduction of metric quantities for sales of gin, rum, vodka, whisky and brandy, there was no overwhelming support, however, the OFT will continue to monitor the availability of the imperial measuring equipment as it is obviously essential that there is continued availability. Any problems in terms of availability will inevitably expedite the introduction of metric quantities for sales of the specified spirits.
Mr David Quirk MHK, Chairman of the OFT said: “We were somewhat surprised at the lack of industry support for the proposals especially as they emanated from feedback which we had previously received from industry sources. However given the support for the status quo the standards will remain unchanged at present.”