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Below Cost Sales

A ban on the sale of alcohol below cost, defined as duty plus VAT, came into force on May 28 2014.

The new licensing condition, which is part of the Mandatory Code of Practice, sets the minimum price beneath which no alcohol product will be permitted to be sold. Any breach of this condition will be a breach of a retailers’ licence and can be enforced by the local licensing authority.

The Home Office have issued detailed guidance on how to ensure compliance with the ban, which available on their website. However, there are a number of products that have been subject to confusion over their duty rates, especially high strength ciders. The new ACS guidance aims to provide clarity on these products and the applicable duty rates.

ACS has produced the guidance in conjunction with the Local Government Association and the Wine and Spirit Trade Association.

Download 'Below Cost Sales Guidance Note'