Changes to the Alcohol Act issued for consultation
The Norwegian Government proposes to change the limits for the opening hours of State Wine Monopoly (Vinmonopolet) on Saturdays. The rules for selling and serving alcohol at breweries are also proposed simplified. The changes to the Alcohol Act comes at the same time as SSB reports a drop in alcohol consumption in Norway.
“In the Granavolden platform, it is stated that the Norwegian Government will move the limitation regarding the opening hours of the Wine Monopoly on Saturdays to 10 am – 4 pm. This change we are now proposing reflects the behavioural pattern of the population, while the government’s alcohol policy remains firm,” Minister for the Elderly and Public Health, Sylvi Listhaug (Progress Party), states.
The wine monopoly can currently be open between 8:30 am and 3 am on Saturdays and the day before a public holiday. All of the 331 outlets are, as off February 2019, open for business on these days. The vast majority of them open at 10 am and close at 3 pm.
Sales and serving licenses at the same premise
The principle in the Alcohol Act is that a license cannot be granted for both sales and serving at the same premise. The Ministry of Health proposes a limited exemption from the main rule – by allowing the municipalities to have the authority to grant sales and serving licenses at the same premise – when it is related to the production of alcoholic beverages.
“This amendment will make it easier for manufacturers, such as microbreweries, to sell self-made alcoholic beverages directly from the production site. This is a wish from the industry and customers alike,” Cabinet Minister, Sylvi Listhaug, explains.
The proposal is available, in Norwegian, here.
Alcohol sales in the first quarter
Alcohol sales, measured in the number of litres of pure alcohol, declined 1.6 per cent in the first quarter of 2019 compared with the same period last year, according to Statistics Norway (SSB).
Alcopop increased the turnover the most, while beer had a slight increase, figures from Statistics Norway show.
In the first quarter of the year, 5,533,000 litres pure alcohol was traded, compared with 5,572,000 litres in the same period in 2018. This corresponds to an average of 1.26 litres per capita in Norway.
Alcopops sales increased by 11.8 per cent. Liquor had the strongest reduction percentage-wise. Turnover measured in litres of pure alcohol decreased by 4 per cent during this period. On the other hand, beer sales increased slightly, by 2.1 per cent.
(The figures do not include tax-free and border trade.)
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