A further mandatory condition banning the sale of alcohol below the “permitted price” is to be introduced through The Licensing Act 2003 (Mandatory Conditions) Order 2014 (“the Order”) coming into force next Wednesday 28th May 2014 (delayed from 6th April).

The Schedule to the Order sets out the definition of the “permitted price” which is the level of alcohol duty plus VAT.  Alcohol cannot be sold or supplied below this price.  For example, the minimum permitted price for a 440ml can of 4% ABV lager is 41p.  Further detail on this is provided in our earlier article which can be accessed here.

The “relevant person”, i.e. the premises licence holder, DPS or personal licence holder, will be responsible for ensuring compliance with the new mandatory condition.  Breach of the new mandatory condition is an offence under s136 of the Licensing Act 2003 which carries a fine of up to £20,000 and/or up to six months’ imprisonment.  The condition will be enforced by licensing authorities, trading standards and the police who are likely to only check the prices of heavily discounted alcoholic products.

Updated Government guidance on the new mandatory condition and a helpful permitted price calculator can be found by clicking on this link.