Jan 31, 2020

Code Update: January 2020

The Retail Drinks Online Alcohol Sale and Delivery Code of Conduct (the Code) is officially in effect as of 1 January 2020.

The following update contains important updates regarding the Code as well as Retail Drinks’ latest advocacy activities defending the right to trade both online and in-store responsibly.

Updates to the Code:

At the most recent Retail Drinks Board Meeting in December, several changes to the Code were approved which were necessary due to legislative changes in multiple states and territories. These changes included:

Updating the language in the Code to reflect amendments made to the Liquor Licensing Act 1997 in South Australia, including the creation of new licence categories; and

Expanding the list of acceptable forms of identification to include digital drivers’ licences in both SA and NSW.

As part of these changes, the language in Section 4.1.3 was also amended to clarify that retailers may adopt age verification procedures at any point during the entire supply chain (i.e. from point of purchase through to delivery completion), either themselves or in conjunction with their delivery partners.

The most recent version of the Code has now been uploaded to the website and can be accessed in full here.

Auditing of Code Signatories:

Retail Drinks also wishes to advise all Signatories that the Code’s formal auditing process has now commenced. Should there be any issues identified throughout the auditing process, Retail Drinks will be in contact with the relevant Responsible Manager to discuss these issues.

Code Administration Committee:

Retail Drinks has now received nominations from Signatories to become members of the Code Administration Committee (CAC). Each of these nominees will be subject to formal approval by the Retail Drinks Board. Following this process, the inaugural CAC meeting will take place.

Recent Policy & Advocacy Activities:

Retail Drinks has been continuing its fight to protect the rights of all liquor retailers to trade responsibly both in-store and online, including specifically for online in the following ways:

Presenting the Code as part of the annual Australasian Liquor Licensing Authorities Forum 2019 (ALLAF) in Hobart which was attended by state and territory liquor regulators from across the country. The presentation was centred not only on the Code but also the online sector more generally in order to impart a sound understanding amongst all regulators and to ensure that any subsequent regulatory approaches are designed with these considerations in mind.

Providing a submission to the Phase Two Review of the Liquor Control Reform Act 1998 in Victoria. Whilst submissions to this Review were private, Retail Drinks made several recommendations regarding online alcohol sales and deliveries and the Code;

Responding to Liquor & Gaming NSW’s Discussion Paper on enhancing regulatory measures for same day alcohol delivery (read our submission in full here);

Continuing our ongoing consultation with the SA Government in relation to our opposition of licensing fees for the Interstate Direct Sales Licence category; and

Criticising La Trobe University’s Centre for Alcohol Policy Research and FARE for lobbying for regulatory reform of online alcohol sale and delivery by highlighting the significant flaws contained in their research on online alcohol sales and deliveries in Australia (see our media release here);

To support Retail Drinks' policy and advocacy activities in fighting to protect your right to retail responsibly, as well as access a broad range of services and benefits delivering value to your business, make sure that you are a member today!

If you have any further questions regarding the Code or any other enquiries, please contact us directly on (02) 8335 3200 or info@retaildrinks.org.au.