Supplying liquor to under-18s online or via phone, SMS, messaging platforms illegal from Jan 2
Supplying liquor to those under 18 online or through telecommunications services will be illegal from Jan 2, 2024.
People or businesses, including e-commerce platforms such as Shopee and GrabFood, that supply liquor online or through a telecommunications service will need a licence to do so.
Telecommunications services refer to phone, SMS, and Internet-based messaging services such as WhatsApp and Telegram.
Suppliers and e-commerce platforms will be required to verify the age of buyers, warn those under 18 that it is an offence for them to buy liquor and inform them of the penalty for doing so.
Offenders may be fined up to $10,000.
This amendment of the Liquor Control (Supply and Consumption) (Liquor Licensing) Regulations 2015 follows a review of regulatory requirements by the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Singapore Police Force, the police said in a statement on Nov 18.
“This move ensures parity with liquor licensees who operate brick-and-mortar stores, and will help to curb underage drinking,” police added.
Brick-and-mortar stores are prohibited from selling liquor to anyone under 18.
The new requirements state that a licensee, and an employee of the licensee, must not supply any liquor to those under 18 online, whether through e-commerce platforms or otherwise, or through a telecommunications service.
Those who do, other than through a third-party e-commerce platform, must warn people that it is an offence to buy liquor if they are under 18, and inform them of the penalty for the offence.
A licensee, and an employee of the licensee, must not supply liquor to an individual through a third-party e-commerce platform if they know, or ought reasonably to know, that the platform operator does not take all reasonable steps to ascertain that the individual is 18 years or older, as well as warn and inform them of the offence and penalty.
The police added that as part of the review, licensees will not be required to keep or store the liquor at their licensed premises from Jan 2, 2024; they can use other premises for storage. However, selling liquor from such premises used for storage is prohibited.