The following is a list of frequently asked questions (FAQs) about Retail Drinks’ Online Code. For further information on the Code or becoming a Code Signatory, please contact Retail Drinks directly on (02) 8335 3200 or code@retaildrinks.org.au.

General Information
Alcohol Sales and Deliveries
Self-Exclusion and Third-Party Review Requests
Complaints and Code Audit Process

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General Information

What is the Code?

The Code is a voluntary, industry-wide initiative which has been developed in close collaboration with industry, government and community stakeholders to enhance compliance in the online sale and delivery of alcohol.

What is the purpose of the code?

The purpose of the Code is to provide a robust, best-practice and fit for purpose framework enabling retailers to trade in the online alcohol sale and delivery sector responsibly.

The Code also allows for continuous monitoring and updating in line with relevant technological advancements. In this way, the Code can act as a more agile and dynamic way of regulating the sector than government legislation.

When does the code come into effect?

The Code will apply from 1 July 2019.

Code Signatories however have a six-month transition period (until 1 January 2020) to ensure that all of their online and delivery systems fully comply with the Code.

Does the code apply in all states & territories?

Yes. The Code exists separately to state and territory legislation and Signatories may be required to adhere to additional regulatory measures depending on the jurisdiction(s) in which they operate and the individual conditions of their licence.

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Alcohol Sales and Deliveries

Can I still delivery alcohol on the same day as it is ordered if I am a Code Signatory?

Yes, retailers who are Code Signatories may still deliver alcohol on the same day, as long as the purchaser or another adult over the age 18 and not intoxicated is present to receive the delivery.

However, no alcohol deliveries may take place between 1am and 6am on any day (further time restrictions may apply depending on the state and territory of operation – please see the Code for further detail).

Do I need to verify a customer's age ID when they are purchasing alcohol online?

Yes. When a customer purchases alcohol online, a Signatory must verify a customer's age to prove that they are over 18. This process may occur at any time from point of purchase through to delivery completion. Signatories can decide the exact verification procedures to adopt and can choose to do so either themselves or in conjunction with a delivery partner. Regardless of the chosen option, the procedure must involve more than manual date of birth entry on a retailer's website to prove a customer is over 18. 

Do I need to check customers for ID when completing an alcohol delivery in person?

Yes. For all attended deliveries (either same or non-same day), if the person accepting alcohol looks under the age of 25, an acceptable form of ID must be presented when accepting the delivery.

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Self-Exclusion and Third Party Review Requests

Am I able to exclude myself from accessing online alcohol delivery services?

Yes, if you are a customer of a retailer who is a Code Signatory, you can exclude yourself from accessing their online alcohol delivery services for a specific period, or permanently.

A self-exclusion request will also prevent you from receiving any of their direct marketing materials advertising online alcohol services.

Should you decide to end this self-exclusion period, a minimum 24-hour ‘cooling off’ period will apply from the time of re-activation until you are able to order alcohol again.

I have a concern about a family member or friend’s online alcohol ordering habits, what can I do?

Concerned third parties may lodge a request to a retailer who is a Code Signatory to review the online ordering habits of a customer.

After this request is received, the retailer will conduct a review of the customer’s ordering history with the potential (but not obligation) to raise the relevant concerns or risks with the customer, provided that this request is not frivolous or being made improperly.

Following this review process, the retailer may decide to take further action including excluding the customer from accessing an online alcohol delivery service. In addition, the customer may be provided with information and educational materials from government or third parties such as DrinkWise.  

If you are concerned about a family member or friend, Retail Drinks would also urge you to review the community resources section of our website to review services available to support you.

Is my privacy and personal information protected?

Retail Drinks takes its commitment to protecting the private, personal information of all Code Signatories and their customers very seriously.

Retail Drinks’ collection of personal information in connection with the management of the Code complies with the Australian Privacy Principles (APPs) as they are contained in the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth).

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Complaints and Code Audit Process

How does Retail Drinks ensure that Signatories follow the code?

As a first step, all Code Signatories will have the opportunity to carry out a self-audit of their online sale and delivery practices to ensure their compliance with the Code.

Further to this, all Code Signatories will be the subject of a periodic audits carried out by an external audit company. This process will involve a mystery shop of a Code Signatory’s delivery processes from the point of order to completed delivery to confirm their compliance.

What happens if there is a code breach?

Once Retail Drinks has received a complaint, this will trigger an automatic investigation, where Code Signatories are contacted and advised on how to address their non-compliance.

There are specific consequences for repeated, deliberate non-compliance, including permanent removal of a Code Signatory and termination of Retail Drinks’ membership (if the Code Signatory is also a member).

How can I make a complaint?

All customers, retailers and delivery companies can make a confidential complaint to Retail Drinks if they believe a Code breach has occurred.  

Retail Drinks will thoroughly review and investigate all complaints received and maintain a comprehensive complaint register, documenting the nature of the complaint and any relevant compliance action taken.

Click here to access Retail Drinks Lodge a Complaint page.