Some of the newly approved changes to the alcohol act will enter into force as soon as on 1 January, 2018, according to the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health.
Finnish grocery shops, for example, will be allowed to retail beverages with an alcohol content of a maximum of 5.5 per cent, regardless of how the beverages have been produced, as of the beginning of next year.
“This means that grocery stores, kiosks and petrol stations would be able to begin selling stronger beers and ciders and long drinks produced by adding distilled alcohol,” reads a press release from the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health.
The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health also reports that bars, pubs and restaurants will be allowed to advertise happy-hour discounts also outside the establishment – in newspapers or on the streets, for example – as of next January. The opening hours of such establishments will similarly be de-regulated, although the changes to the serving hours of alcohol will not come into effect until 1 March.
The producers and wholesalers of strong alcoholic beverages, as well as the establishments serving them, will be able to display the prices of their products on their websites. The right has thus far been reserved only to the state-owned alcohol retailer, Alko.
The Regional State Administrative Agencies, meanwhile, will begin accepting retail trade licence applications from microbreweries as of 1 January.
The Finnish Parliament expressed its support for the reform bill in a confirmation vote on Tuesday. The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health says the reform will be discussed once more at a government session and presented for final confirmation to President Sauli Niinistö on 28 December.
The alcohol act reform will enter into force in full on 1 March, 2018.
Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Photo: Martti Kainulainen – Lehtikuva
Source: Uusi Suomi