Alcohol licensing and registration of clubs

Legislation in relation to the sale of alcohol in licensed premises and the supply of alcohol in private member clubs.

The Liquor Licensing laws changed on 1 June 2022

In Northern Ireland, alcohol may only be sold to the public in licensed premises. The Licensing (NI) Order 1996 specifies the categories of premises for which a licence may be granted.

Private Members’ clubs which wish to supply alcohol to members and guests may apply for a certificate of registration under the Registration of Clubs (NI) Order 1996.

The Department is responsible for liquor licensing and registration of clubs legislation; the courts are responsible for administering it; and the PSNI is responsible for enforcing it.

The Licensing and Regulation of Clubs (Amendment) Act (Northern Ireland) 2021 makes changes to the Licensing (Northern Ireland) Order 1996 and the Registration of Clubs (Northern Ireland) Order 1996. The guide, details the Phase 1 changes which came into effect on 1 October 2021 the Phase 2 changes which came into effect on 6 April 2022, and the Phase 3 change which came into effect on 1 June 2022. It has also been updated to include the Phase 4 changes coming into effect on 1 October 2022 and the final change in Phase 5 on 6 April 2023.

The following provisions came into effect on 6 April 2022.

PHASE 2 - commenced on 6 April 2022
Section Section name
Changes to the Licensing (Northern Ireland) Order 1996
7 Major events
9 Places of public entertainment: inclusion of cinemas
10 Licence for off-sales
12 Requirement for off-licence
13 Removal of requirement for children’s certificate, etc.
14 Underage functions
15 Private functions
16 Delivery of intoxicating liquor to young persons
17 Restaurants and guest houses: notice displaying licence conditions
22 Occasional licences: conditions
26 Body corporate: change of directors
Changes to the Registration of Clubs (Northern Ireland) Order 1996
28 Sporting clubs
34 Major Events
35 Removal of requirement for children’s certificate, etc.
36 Underage functions
37 Private functions
38 Young people prohibited from bars
40 Restrictions relating to advertisements

The following provision will come into effect on 1 June 2022

Phase 3 - commenced 1 June 2022
Section Section name
Changes to the Licensing (Northern Ireland) Order 1996
11 Sales and consumption of intoxicating liquor in local producer's premises

The following provisions will come into effect on 1 October 2022.

Phase 4 - commencing 1 October 2022
Section Section name
Changes to the Licensing (Northern Ireland) Order 1996
18 Prohibition on self-service and sales by vending machines
19 Restrictions on off-sales drinks promotions in supermarket’s, etc.
25 Code of practice
Changes to the Registration of Clubs (Northern Ireland) Order 1996
29 Consent required for alterations to premises
39 Prohibition on self-service and supply by vending machines
41 Code of practice

The final provision will come into effect on 6 April 2023.

Phase 5 - commencing 6 April 2023
Section Section name
Changes to the Licensing (Northern Ireland) Order 1996
20 Prohibition of loyalty schemes

 


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