Minimum unit pricing for alcohol comes into force in Scotland

Minimum unit pricing for alcohol came into force in Scotland on 1 May 2018.

The purpose of this guide is to provide retailers with the basic information they need to comply with the new regulations.

 

Countdown to minimum unit pricing for alcohol

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Minimum Unit Pricing (MUP) of Alcohol was introduced in Scotland on 1 May 2018. From that date it became illegal to sell alcohol with an ABV of greater than 0.5% for a price less than 50p per unit of alcohol sold.

There is no grace period. Existing stock must now comply with MUP and price marked cannot be sold for less than the minimum price.

More information can be found at www.minimumunitpricing.scot 

 

Revised Scottish Government Guidance on Minimum Pricing for Alcohol

 

Please see pages 13 and 14 for details to the CHANGED method of calculating the MUP of MULTIPACKS.

 

Revised Guidance on Minimum Pricing for Alcohol - UPDATED 23 April 2018

For sellers of alcohol and enforcement authorities in Scotland

Guidance on Minimum Pricing for Alcohol

Calculating the Minimum Unit Price

The minimum unit price is calculated based on the amount of alcohol contained in the product.

The calculation is as follows:

 

Price per unit of alcohol (£0.50) x strength if alcohol (ABV) x volume in litres

For example, a 700ml bottle of spirits with an ABV of 37.5% would have a minimum price of

£0.50×37.5x.07 = £13.13

A 500ml can of beer at 9% ABV would have a minimum price of

£0.50 x 9 x 0.5 = £2.25

 

This calculation can be completed by using the Minimum Unit Pricing Calculator

The ABV figure is declared on the label of all products over 1.2% ABV.  Do not use any unit figures printed on the label as these may have been rounded. For products below 1.2% ABV where no figure is given retailers should either obtain the ABV from the manufacturer or assume 1.2% ABV.

For pre-mixed drinks, including cocktails, the MUP must be calculated using the quantities and ABV figures for each alcohol component, which are added together to give the final minimum price.

NOTE: Calculations should always be rounded up as rounding down would lead to alcohol being sold at below the minimum price.

Promotions and Deals

Promotions and deals are permitted, subject to the retailer’s licensing conditions, provided that the price paid is not less than the minimum price(s) of the alcohol component of the deal.

Offers that promote a combination of alcoholic and not alcoholic products, for example buy a bottle of vodka get a free bottle of coke, are permitted but must not be sold for less than the minimum price of the alcohol component.

Money off vouchers cannot take the amount paid below the minimum price.

 

For example, the minimum price of a 700ml bottle of 37.5% vodka is £13.13.
The retail price in a store is £15.

A £2 money off coupon could not be accepted because this would reduce the amount paid to £13, below the minimum price.

 

Other discounts, including those based on a percentage of the sale price (for example, staff discounts) again must not reduce the price paid to below the minimum price.

However, loyalty points schemes, where points are earned by spending a prescribed amount, are counted as cash as their use does not take the price paid to below the minimum price.

 

For example, the minimum price of a 700ml bottle of 37.5% vodka is £13.13.
The retail price in a store is £15.

£2 worth of loyalty points plus £13 cash are offered in payment.
This is acceptable as the loyalty points are counted as cash.

 

Earned loyalty points can be used to pay up to 100% of the cost of the alcohol product.

Multi-pack deals are permitted but you must ensure they are not sold below their minimum price.

 

A business sells 24 x 440ml cans of 4.1% ABV lager in one multipack and
also sells the same can individually, the calculation for minimum pricing
purposes is:
Minimum price of 1 can is:
£0.50 x 4.1 x 0.440 = £0.91 (price rounded up from £0.902)
So the minimum price for a 24 pack would be:
24 x £0.91 = £21.84.

A business sells 24 x 440ml cans of 4.1% ABV lager in one multipack and
does not sell the same can individually, the calculation for minimum pricing
purposes is:
£0.50 x 4.1 x 0.440 x 24 = £21.65

 

This next example does not result in a rounding per can:

A business sells 24 x 440ml cans of 4% ABV lager in one multipack and also
sells the same can individually, the calculation for minimum pricing
purposes is:
Minimum price of 1 can is:
£0.50 x 4 x 0.440 = £0.88.
So the minimum price for a 24 pack would be:
24 x £0.88 = £21.12.


A business sells 24 x 440ml cans of 4% ABV lager in one multipack and does
not sell the same can individually, the calculation for minimum pricing
purposes is:
£0.50 x 4 x 0.440 x 24 = £21.12.

Damaged or close to date stock can be sold at a reduce price provided that price is not less than the minimum for the product sold.

Staff Training

Staff training remains a condition of alcohol licensing in Scotland.

Preparation for 1 May

Trading Standards have confirmed that retailers need to ensure that all price labelling, either on the products or on shelves, displays, etc must be changed to reflect the new pricing.

Price marked packs that are priced below the minimum should either be removed from sale or have the pricing removed or completely covered.

Till systems must also be updated.

Trading Standards emphasise the importance of customers not being mislead over pricing.

Enforcement

A licensed premises in Scotland will have a new mandatory licensing condition specifying that alcohol will not be sold for less than the minimum price.

Enforcement remains with local Licensing Standards officers.

When will MUP take effect?

Minimum unit pricing for alcohol sold in Scotland will take effect on 1 May 2018.

More information

Further advice can be found at www.minimumunitpricing.scot 

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