Singapore’s Ministry of Home Affairs and the Singapore Police Force have recently announced new regulatory requirements for the supply of liquor online or through telecommunication services.
According to Singapore Police Force press release, effective from January 2, 2024, it will be considered an offense under the Liquor Control (Supply and Consumption) (Liquor Licensing) Regulations 2015 to supply liquor to individuals under the age of 18 via online platforms or telecommunication services.
“This move ensures parity with liquor licensees who operate brick-and-mortar stores, and will help to curb underage drinking” SPF said in its press release.
Anyone, including electronic commerce platforms, engaged in the supply of liquor through these channels will need to obtain a license and must ensure that individuals under 18 are warned about the legal consequences of purchasing liquor and informed of the penalties imposed.
The amendments to Regulation 11 require licensees and their employees to strictly adhere to the following:
- A licensee, and an employee of the licensee, must not supply any liquor to an individual who is younger than 18 years online (whether through electronic commerce platforms or otherwise) or through a telecommunication service;
- A licensee, and an employee of the licensee, who supplies liquor to an individual online (other than through a third-party electronic commerce platform) or through a telecommunication service, must:
i. warn the individual that it is an offence for the individual to buy liquor if the individual is younger than 18 years, and
ii. inform the individual of the penalty for the offence;
- A licensee, and an employee of the licensee, must not supply liquor to an individual through a third-party electronic commerce platform if they know, or ought reasonably to know, that the person operating the platform does not do any of the following:
i. take all reasonable steps to ascertain that the individual is 18 years or older;
ii. warn the individual that it is an offence for the individual to buy liquor if the individual is younger than 18 years, and
iii. inform the individual of the penalty for the offence.
Telecommunications services refer to phone, SMS, and Internet-based messaging services such as WhatsApp and Telegram. The legal drinking age in Singapore is 18.
Non-compliance with Regulation 11 can result in fines of up to $10,000.
These measures have been implemented to ensure consistency and prevent underage individuals from accessing alcoholic beverages through online channels, the press release added.
In a separate development, Regulation 9 of the Liquor Control (Supply and Consumption) (Liquor Licensing) Regulations 2015 has been reviewed and will be removed on January 2, 2024.
This regulation previously required licensees to store liquor at their licensed premises, but it will no longer be mandatory. Licensees will now have the freedom to store liquor outside of their licensed premises. However, selling liquor directly from these storage premises will remain prohibited.
The Singapore Police Force has issued an advisory to inform liquor licensees and electronic commerce platforms about these new requirements. It is hoped that these regulatory changes will contribute to the reduction of underage drinking and create a level playing field for both online and offline liquor businesses.
- NTU Undergraduate Accused of Cannabis Trafficking on Campus, Faces Multiple Drug Charges
- Drum Instructor Sentenced to Jail and Caning for Molesting Underage Student
- Serial Shop Thief Sentenced to Eight Months’ Jail
- Heartbreaking : Three Week Old Infant & Mother Found Dead at The Foot Of HDB Block In Ghim Moh
- Three Teenagers Arrested For Suspected Theft of Lorry From Carpark