Mandatory conditions update28 May 2014
You will remember that on 28th May 2014 the mandatory conditions attached to all premises licences were expanded to reflect a ban on the sale of alcohol below the cost of duty plus VAT which came into force. It was also announced that the existing mandatory conditions relating to irresponsible promotions, the provision of free water, the adoption and application of age verification policies and the provision of small measures at licensed premises would be updated to provide more clarity to premises licence holders.
The intention is that the changes to the mandatory conditions provide more certainty in respect of what constitutes an irresponsible drinks promotion and also requires small measures to be displayed on menus and information to be provided to customers as to what measures are available at the point of purchase where no measure is specified by the customer.
This means that the availability of small measures must be made clear on menus, price lists or other printed material, and these must be made available to customers on the premises. It also means that where a customer orders a drink at the bar, but does not specify the measure – such as asking for a beer, but not specifying “a pint of beer”, then the customer should be made aware of the measures available and asked to specify which size they would like.
There will also be a requirement for premises to adopt an age verification policy such as Challenge 21 or Challenge 25 (predominantly recommended for off licences and other premises where sales of alcohol are made for consumption off the premises only). However, it does not require the premises to partake in either of the above provided that there is a policy in place for verifying a customer’s age if they appear to be under the age of 18 by way of production of acceptable identification (which includes photo card driving licences, passports, military identification or proof of age cards bearing the PASS hologram). A model age verification policy is provided in the updated mandatory condition guidance which is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/350507/2014-08-29_MC_Guidance_v1_0.pdf
If you have any questions in respect of the changes to the mandatory conditions or there is anything else we can help you with, please contact the licensing team on 0161 838 7888 or email firstname.lastname@example.org