Thursday, 29 January 2004

Questions (14)

Róisín Shortall


12 Ms Shortall asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform when he intends to use the powers available to him under the Intoxicating Liquor Act 2003 to introduce regulations providing for traceability of alcohol sold in off-licences; if the EU has been notified of the proposed regulations; if a response has been received from the EU or other member states; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2500/04]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform)

The powers in question are contained in section 22 of the Intoxicating Liquor Act 2003. They provide for the making by me of regulations to specify particulars to be affixed to any container in which intoxicating liquor is sold for consumption off the premises which would enable the licensee and the licensed premises concerned to be identified.

With a view to ensuring effective implementation of this measure, I am consulting with interested parties prior to making such regulations. Discussion of issues arising in this context is ongoing between officials in the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform and representatives of trade organisations and other interested parties, including the gardaí.

In order to avoid any later challenge to regulations made under section 22 on the grounds that proper procedures had not been followed, I intend to notify the European Commission of proposed regulations in accordance with the so-called technical standards or transparency directives, Directives 98/34/EC and 98/48/EC. These directives have been put in place at EU level in order to give the European Commission and the member states an opportunity to examine, in advance, proposed national standards and rules in the interests of transparency and the smooth functioning of the internal market. The notification will take place in due course when consultations with interested parties have concluded and details of the draft regulations have been progressed.