The Scottish Wholesale Association has welcomed the announcement by the Scottish Government yesterday (May 30) regarding the consultation on minimum unit pricing (MUP) by wholesalers on trade sales and confirmation that sales to persons for the purposes of their trade do not have to comply with MUP where a premises licence is in place.
A spokeswoman said: “Our Guidance Note for Wholesalers – on which we obtained independent legal advice and joint Counsels’ opinion – reflects this position and the use of dual pricing.
“Notwithstanding our, and the Scottish Government’s view, that this is the correct legal position as it stands, the Scottish Wholesale Association welcomes that the matter will be put beyond doubt by a proposed amendment to the 2012 Act to confirm that trade sales do not have to comply with MUP.”
Shona Robison MSP, the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport, stated in a letter to Lewis Macdonald MSP, the convener of the Health and Sport Committee, that “the Scottish Government is aware of a technical issue related to the interpretation of how minimum unit pricing operates in respect of trade sales by wholesalers which have opted, for whatever reason, to hold a premises licence”.
Robison continued: “There are differing views held by licensing lawyers and the licensing community on the application of the new mandatory condition on minimum unit pricing to premises licences as regards wholesalers and trade sales.
“The Scottish Government considers that a legislative change is required in order to clarify the situation. This would be achieved by SSI following consultation which will satisfy the terms of Regulation 9 of EU Regulation 178/2002.
“A consultation will be issued shortly.
“Wholesalers selling to trade only are not required to hold a premises licence and so minimum unit pricing does not apply.
“Wholesalers also selling to the public require a premises licence, and all sales (other than to a person for the purposes of their trade) must comply with minimum unit pricing.”