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According to the Dutiable Commodities (Amendment) Ordinance 2018 (Cap. 109), sale and supply of intoxicating liquor to persons under the age of 18 in the course of business is prohibited. What is the definition of “intoxicating liquor”? What is the scope of the law?

Tobacco and Alcohol Control Office, Department of Health

Intoxicating liquor covers any liquid that contains more than 1.2% ethyl alcohol by volume and is fit for or intended as a beverage. Any drink items that fall under this definition (e.g. cooking rice wine, sherry) will be considered as intoxicating liquor and will be regulated under the new legislation. On the other hand, foods which contain alcohol e.g. alcoholic chocolate/ liqueur chocolate (酒心朱古力), chicken cooked in wine (醉雞) would be exempted under the new regulatory regime.

The law covers the sale or supply of intoxicating liquor in the course of business, regardless of whether payment is involved. The law’s scope covers not only traditional retail outlets such as liquor stores, supermarkets, and convenience stores, and remote distribution such as internet orders, but also supply in the course of business. Examples of supply are free alcohol samples provided to minors in marketing and advertising events, and free gifts of alcohol accompanying other products etc.

The law does not apply to family gatherings or social events with no intention for business.

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Last update: 2 Sep 2019
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