From November 2019, new changes relating to the sale and marketing of alcohol products will come into force in Ireland.

The purpose of these changes are to restrict alcohol advertising in Ireland and aim to reduce alcohol consumption and the harm caused by the misuse of alcohol. A new mandatory health warning label on alcohol products will be required as well as the introduction of minimum unit pricing.

The changes are contained in the Public Health (Alcohol) Act 2018 and will come into effect over the next 3 years.
From November 2019 a ban will come into force on advertising any alcoholic beverage on public service vehicles, public transport stops and stations. Advertising in cinemas will also be restricted unless the film has an 18 certificate. There will also be a ban on children’s clothing that promotes alcohol.

Under the new rules alcohol advertising cannot also take place within 200 metres of a school, crèche or local authority playground.

The labelling of alcoholic items will require the following to be included on any alcoholic product for sale in Ireland:-

  • A warning to inform the public of the danger of alcohol consumption
  • A warning to inform the public of the danger of alcohol consumption during pregnancy
  • A warning to inform the public of the direct link between alcohol and fatal cancers
  • The quantity in grams of alcohol contained in the product
  • The energy value expressed in kilojoules and kilocalories.

The sale of alcohol in Pubs will require a notice to be displayed that contains the health warnings and the link to the public health website. It must also indicating to the customer that the alcohol and calorific content of alcohol products, will be displayed on the products themselves, and for all poured drinks the information can be found can be found in a notice which must be on display.
From November 2020, wider restrictions around the sale and display of goods comes into effect.

The following required changes will have significant impact on a number of retail outlets and so more time has been allowed for the changes to be made.

  • Alcohol products must be separated by a 1.2 metre (3ft 11 in) high barrier from other goods.
  • In addition alcohol products can be contained but not be visible in a unit behind the counter.
  • Members of the public do not have to pass through that area in order to gain access to or purchase any products other than alcohol.

From November 2021 there will be a ban on alcohol advertising in or on a sports arenas during sporting events. Any events aimed at children, or at events in which most participants or competitors are children, will have a full alcohol advertising ban. Also marketing or advertising at events involving driving or racing motor vehicles will be banned.

Altion Law specialises in HMRC and Excise matters. Many of our clients deal with and sell to the Irish market, and sell stock to both the on and off trade in Ireland. If you need advice or are concerned about the requirements and how your business needs to prepare, please either submit a contact us form or call our team on 01908 414990.