Latest liquor ban law distilled
Liquor lawyer Danie Cronje clarifies what the latest ban on the sale of alcohol means for the industry in terms of the regulations gazetted on Sunday.Wednesday, 15 Jul 2020
by Danie Cronje. After the President’s address Sunday night, 12 July, amendments to the Advanced Level 3 lockdown regulations were published which came into operation on publication. In terms of the amendments, the following now applies in respect of liquor:
- Manufacture of liquor: The manufacture of liquor is permitted.
- Sales to the public: No liquor may be sold to the public. This applies to the sale of liquor for on-site and off-site consumption.
- Sale to the trade: No liquor may be sold to the trade, i.e., the holders of liquor licenses. This means that manufacturers and distributors may not sell liquor to other distributors or to retailers such as supermarkets, liquor stores, hotels, restaurants, etc.
- Transport of liquor by the public: Members of the public may not transport liquor.
- Transport of liquor by manufacturers, distributors and retailers: Liquor may be transported for export purposes. This means that liquor destined for export may be transported from facilities where it is manufactured or stored to the ports, railway stations and airports from which it will be exported. Liquor may only be transported (for purposes other than export) from facilities where it is manufactured, to storage facilities. This means that a manufacturer may transport liquor to its own storage facilities (but not to the storage facility of a customer) as this would be “distribution”, which is prohibited. It also means that a retailer may not transport liquor between its stores or storage facilities.
- Delivery of liquor ordered before amendments came into effect: The amendments do not contain any exemption regarding the delivery of liquor already ordered to the holders of liquor licenses or to the public. The transporting of such liquor, therefore, contravenes the amended regulations. Insofar as the liquor may be on the route, we recommend that the liquor either be delivered to the purchaser or returned to the seller – whichever can be accomplished quicker.
- Processing orders and payments for liquor: In terms of the Regulations, all businesses other than those mentioned as specific economic exclusions may operate. In terms of businesses mentioned as specific economic exclusions; the “sale, dispensing or transportation of liquor is prohibited” except for the specific exceptions referred to above. Since the specific economic exclusions do not list wineries, supermarkets, liquor stores and other businesses, which normally sell liquor as businesses, which may not operate, but refers to the specific activities, i.e., “sale”, “dispensing” and “transportation” it is our opinion that businesses which may normally sell liquor for off-site consumption may receive orders and process online payments, provided that a sale is not concluded with the handover or delivery of the liquor to the purchaser. This will only be permitted once the regulations are again amended to permit the sale of liquor.
The provision in the Regulations which permitted the holders of licenses for on-site consumption to sell liquor for off-site consumption has been removed; and therefore restaurants, hotels, bars, etc, are not permitted to receive orders and process payments as referred to above.
Since 1998, liquor law attorney Danie Cronjé at Danie Cronje Attorneys, has been involved in advising key role players in the wine industry on all liquor-related laws. He continues to streamline all the processes for his clients relating to liquor licensing and the regulation thereof.
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