Trade urged to be ready for rules changes

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The Wine & Spirit Trade Association is urging drinks operators not to be caught out by the introduction of mandatory code regulations on October 1.

New rules will require all licensed premises to have age verification policies in place and on-trade operators to make small drinks measures available.

Pubs, bars and restaurants will have to serve 125ml glasses of wine, 25ml or 35ml measures of spirits (depending on the outlet's normal serve) and halves of beer and cider.

They must also make customers aware of the options on menus or when ordering.

The possibility of scrapping the code is among options being considered in the current consultation on licensing, but in the meantime they will come into force on October 1 as originally planned.

The WSTA says officials have indicated that the age verification policy is the more likely rule to be scrapped.

Chief executive Jeremy Beadles said: "It's vital businesses are aware of these changes and ready to comply when they come into force.

"I'd also urge businesses which want to see the mandatory code conditions affecting them overturned, to respond directly to he government's licensing consultation with evidence of the cost imposed on their business."

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