Hoera! The Dutch Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (NVWA) will start on 1 July 2021 with a new approach to reduce alcohol abuse. The new Alcohol Act makes it illegal to offer high discounts on alcoholic beverages. We will soon no longer see stunt offers such as get 2 pay 1. The sale of drinks online is also being restricted: there is stricter age control during the ordering and delivery process.
The NVWA will start enforcement in the event of violations from July. Depending on the seriousness of the violation, the fine can be up to 5.440 euros.
Reducing alcohol abuse among young people
It has been illegal to sell alcohol to minors since 2014. However, in webshops in particular, control remained inadequate. And although young people were not allowed to buy beer, wine or strong, they could place an order with alcohol often receive it when it was delivered. A good reason to re-examine the Licensing and Catering Act (DHW).
While it was relatively easy for young people to obtain alcohol under the old DHW, use among young people is expected to be further reduced thanks to the new law. The new regulations make it a criminal offense for adults to pass alcoholic beverages on to minors. And both sellers and related delivery services are now legally required to check for age. Retailers who do not comply with the law can count on a fine.
Stunts with alcohol
There is convincing evidence that increasing the price of alcoholic beverages leads to a decrease in alcohol consumption. Experts have therefore been arguing for years for an increase in excise rates on alcohol. By ensuring that no more than 25% discount on drinks can be given, the government is trying to further discourage the use of alcohol in general.
In 2015, nearly 1 billion euros was spent on care for cases of illness caused by alcohol use. If we add the costs that arise as a result of traffic accidents, the deployment of the police and the judiciary and lower labor productivity due to alcohol abuse, the costs rise to 2,3 billion.