Workshop for outlining Alcohol Act reform
The reform of alcohol legislation started on 12 October at a workshop called together by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health. About twenty different operators discussed their views on the Alcohol Act.
Some opinions were shared by most, but contradictory goals were also presented. The workshop was opened and Juha Rehula, Minister of Family Affairs and Social Services.
Points brought forward during the workshop included the Alko monopoly, dismantling standards, the price of alcoholic beverages, liberating sales and regulating advertising. Private import and online sales from abroad were discussed. By limiting these, it would be possible to increase tax revenue in Finland.
Minister Rehula emphasised that the reform will be based on the views of many different operators.
“We want to find common goals. Different actors have a real chance to have an influence. We wanted to open the preparations of the reform by bringing representatives from different areas together to have genuine discussion,” told the minister.
There is definite consensus that an overall reform of alcohol legislation is necessary. The legislation consists of the Alcohol Act from 1994 and the 15 Decrees laid down based on the Act. Regulation must be transferred from the Decrees to the Alcohol Act.
The reformed Act needs to decrease health problems caused by alcohol, which cause great costs to the economy. On the other hand, economic policy requires that legislation be reduced and unnecessary regulations be removed.
After the workshop, the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health will continue the preparation of the Alcohol Act and related Decrees. The Government will have the final say on the policies of the reform. The Government Bill on the Alcohol Act is to be submitted to the Parliament in early spring in 2016. It is intended that the Act will come into force on 1 January 2017.
Director Kari Paaso, tel. +358 2951 63340, [email protected]
Ministerial Counsellor Ismo Tuominen, tel. +358 2951 63341, [email protected]
Special adviser for the Minister of Family Affairs and Social Services Hanna-Maija Kause, tel. +358 50 566 7949, [email protected]