Alcohol Action Ireland responses to EU scrutiny of draft regulations

Alcohol Action Ireland today published (4 December) its submission to the EU TRIS notification process which is examining the draft regulations from the Department of Health to implement Section 23 (Sale and Supply of Alcohol Products) of the Public Health Alcohol Act 2018.

In a supporting submission, Alcohol Action Ireland outlined that the draft regulations were an opportunity to make a ‘small but significant step by the Irish authorities to re-establish some level of public order to what has become a careless, and often reckless, marketplace’.

Over 60% of all alcohol consumed in Ireland is purchased from the Off-Trade licenced environment and consumed within a domestic setting. This shift in consumer and purchasing patterns is largely attributable to the deregulation of the market.

The liberalisation of the marketplace has ensured that alcohol availability is now ubiquitous and alcohol affordability greatly enhanced by reckless commercial practice. With extensive marketing and promotion, and manipulated social norms, driving even greater demand for alcohol, dominant commercial actors within the Irish retail market, and intense competitive forces, have increasingly driven market practice on price promotions, loyalty schemes, discounting and introductory offerings.

In the absence of no statutory mechanism on price i.e., a floor price beneath which the product cannot be sold, or adequate regulations on the sale or supply of alcohol products, the market response has been to make vast quantities of cheap alcohol widely available throughout Irish society with the obvious consequences of harm accruing.

Alcohol Action Ireland support the implementation of these regulations which will regulate promotions that incentivise alcohol consumption.