Online marketplace warnings for retailers

17 May, 2019 by Andy Young

Retail Drinks Australia has reminded all liquor retailers of the need to be vigilant about online alcohol sales and deliveries. The association has said retailers should conduct thorough self-audits to ensure any third party websites they are using are compliant with relevant state and territory legislation.

Retail Drinks CEO Julie Ryan warned retailers that the liability for non-compliance sits with them and not the online marketplace, so the fundamental principals of responsibility and compliance should be front of mind for retailers.

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“Retailers should always take a great degree of caution in ensuring that their practices adhere to the relevant liquor legislation in all the states and territories in which they operate, especially concerning online alcohol sales and deliveries,” said Ryan.

“Retailers cannot rely on representations of compliance from third-party websites, and we are actively working with several members to provide clarity on their obligations in each state and territory.”

This warning follows concerns raised by liquor retailers earlier this year regarding the use of eBay by BoozeBud, an online retailer owned by AB InBev’s, ZX Ventures, to sell certain CUB products.

Ryan also reaffirmed Retail Drinks’ commitment to pursuing a responsible retailing environment for the online alcohol sales and deliveries space, with a voluntary, industry-wide Code of Conduct to be launched shortly giving retailers full confidence that their processes are compliant.

“Given the importance of ensuring compliance in the online and digital space, Retail Drinks is currently in the process of developing a comprehensive Code of Conduct governing online alcohol sales and deliveries,” she said.

“The Code is being developed in close consultation and collaboration with various industry and government representatives and will serve as a robust, best-practice and fit for purpose framework allowing retailers to participate in this space in a responsible and compliant way.”