Licensing and regulation

The BBPA offers support to licensees to understand issues surrounding licensing and regulation. Guidance is available on the Licensing Act, as well as other regulatory areas.

  • BBPA responds to call for evidence on airside licensing

    31 January 2019

    Responding to a call for evidence on airside licensing, Brigid Simmonds, Chief Executive of British Beer & Pub Association, said: “Many of us enjoy a drink at airports as a relaxing way to start a hard-earned break. Any measures taken to tackle the small minority of disruptive passengers must therefore be proportionate and not penalise the responsible majority. “Our members with airside pubs already sell alcohol in a responsible manner, reflecting the key aspects of the Licensing Act which they adhere to in all their other venues, even though they do not apply airside. Extending the Licensing Act to airside pubs would be bureaucratic and disproportionate. There are, however, other actions that can be taken, including extending the best practice of pubs to other outlets who serve alcohol in airports, but might not elsewhere. Looking at potential trigger points for disruptive passenger behaviour, like the sale of miniatures at duty-free check-outs and free alcohol in airline lounges, also needs to be considered. “Just as the BBPA has worked with the Home Office to create a better understanding of the law around serving customers, there is considerable potential for raising awareness of the law at airports. Operating voluntary codes of practice across all airside retailers and operators, thereby ensuring common standards and best practice, would also be effective. Training is also key, so that both retail and airline staff are able to recognise and deal with disruptive passengers, including stopping them from boarding an aircraft and ensuring the responsible sale of alcohol. Displays to educate passengers about the risks of drinking irresponsibly positioned in key locations across an airport would also be beneficial. “As demonstrated elsewhere in the sector, partnerships are key to tackling this issue. Best Bar None, which promotes the responsible operation of alcohol licensed premises, is already piloting a scheme with Manchester Airports Group that could be adapted by other airports if successful. The BBPA has also been working with a number of airports who are keen to learn from our experience in this area, working together to ensure that everyone sets off on their flights in a relaxed, but better informed way.”

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  • BBPA ‘bitterly disappointed’ by low and no alcohol consultation outcome

    13 November 2018

    Commenting on the announcement from the Department of Health that there will be no changes to the descriptors for low and no alcohol products, Brigid Simmonds, Chief Executive of the British Beer & Pub Association, said: “It is bitterly disappointing that the Department of Health has missed this opportunity to give consumers greater clarity when it comes to the labelling of low alcohol beers.  “Changing the current definition of ‘alcohol free’ beer from 0.05% ABV to 0.5% ABV – as we suggested during the consultation process – would have brought the UK in line with the rest of Europe and other global markets. This creates the perverse situation whereby beers at 0.5% ABV produced in Europe can be sold in the UK as “alcohol free”, but British brewers brewing at the same strength must label their beer differently. This is discrimination and will create confusion for consumers.  “Whilst we have already seen significant growth in the low alcohol beer sector, the Government has failed to implement changes that would enable Britain’s brewers to further innovate and promote lower strength drinks to stimulate this growth further. “A decision by the Australian Government to introduce tax reductions for ‘lighter’ beer has already led to growth of such beers to occupy 25% of the market there. Sadly then, this decision by the UK Government represents a missed opportunity to provide a similar incentive here and gives no encouragement to those seeking to moderate their alcohol consumption. “There is plenty of evidence to show that moderate drinking brings health benefits, and beer, which is typically a low strength form of alcohol, is a great way to enjoy a well-earned drink whilst supporting your local pub.”

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