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Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-17075: Alexander Stewart (Mid Scotland and Fife)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 6 June 2018

To ask the Scottish Government what its response is to reports that, under the minimum pricing rules for alcohol, wholesalers that also sell to trade could use the minimum pricing mechanism to sell below the ceiling unit price.

Answered by: Shona Robison 19 June 2018

I refer the member to the Scottish Government’s statement of 31 May 2018:

“We are aware of a technical issue related to the interpretation of how Minimum Unit Pricing operates in respect of trade sales by wholesalers which have opted, for whatever reason, to hold a premises licence.

There are differing views held by licensing lawyers and the licensing community on the application of the new mandatory condition of Minimum Unit Pricing to premises licences as regards wholesalers and trade sales.

We consider that a legislative change is required in order to clarify the situation. This would be achieved by SSI following consultation which will satisfy the terms of regulation 9 of EU Regulation No. 178/2002.

A consultation will be issued shortly.

Wholesalers selling to trade only are not required to hold a premises licence and so Minimum Unit Pricing does not apply.

Wholesalers also selling to the public require a premises licence, and all sales (other than to a person for the purposes of their trade) must comply with Minimum Unit Pricing.”

The statement can be found at:

http://www.gov.scot/Topics/Health/Services/Alcohol/minimum-pricing .