Cost of duty

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The Government has confirmed that, subject to parliamentary approval, the ban on selling alcohol below the cost of duty will come into force on 6 April 2014 as an additional mandatory condition.

The Home Office state that 'cost' will be defined as the level of duty plus value added tax (‘VAT’) payable on the duty element of the product price.

This will mean a 440ml 4% ABV can of beer will no longer be able to be sold below 41p, a 750ml bottle of 12.5% ABV wine must be priced at at least £2.41, and a 70cl bottle of 37.5% ABV spirits at £8.89. For higher strength beers, a 440ml can of 9% ABV lager will have to be priced at a minimum of £1.16 a can and a 500ml can at £1.31.

The Guidance provides formulae to calculate 'cost' and guidance to businesses on amending their pricing systems.

Responsibility for complying with the new condition will apply to the Premises Licence Holder, Designated Premises Supervisor or Personal Licence Holder or (for a Club Premises Certificate) a member or officer of the club who is present and able to prevent a supply of alcohol.

The Premises Licence Holder, Designated Premises Supervisor or Personal Licence Holder is also responsible for ensuring that any person responsible for amending prices on the premises is aware of the new condition. 


The Guidance states that responsibility for enforcing the new condition will lie with the Licensing Authority, Trading Standards and Police.

We have sought an update from the Home Office as to the Government's latest position on the abolition of personal licences altogether.  We await their response with anticipation.