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 October 2021

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. Not all changes will come in at the same time. A guide to the Phase 1 changes that came in on 1 October 2021 is available. Detail of the remaining changes along with indicative dates is now available. Phase 2 is scheduled to come into effect in April 2022 and the following provisions are expected to be included in phase 2.

PHASE 2 - Expected commencement date: 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
11 Sales and consumption of intoxicating liquor in local producer's premises
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 provisions will not come into effect until at least October 2022, but are expected to come into effect by October 2023.

Remaining Provisions Expected commencement date  2022/23
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.
20 Prohibition of loyalty schemes
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

 


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