The authorities are having difficulty harmonizing the rules of the online sale of alcohol: what is the reason

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Senator Klishas sent a bill to the government to legalize the online sale of alcohol in mid-June, but soon withdrew it for revision. Recall that the sale of alcohol online has been officially prohibited since 2007, and if something is sold or bought in this way, then it is, for the most part, counterfeit. The authorities want to solve the problem. Back in April, the government submitted a bill to the State Duma on conducting an experiment on the online retail sale of domestic wine from November 1, 2023. It is assumed that the infrastructure of the state postal service will be used for delivery. But the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia opposed and did not support the experiment. The department emphasized that the document does not take into account the existing ban on the sale of alcoholic beverages to minors.

Meanwhile, the damage for entrepreneurs working in the legal field from illegal online sales of alcoholic beverages in 5 years could amount to about 130 billion a year, said Artem Sokolov, president of the Association of Internet Trade Companies, citing data from a study by the NIFI of the Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation.

Then Senator Andrey Klishas wrote in his telegram channel that illegal Internet sales of alcohol are not only damage to business and the state (which is certainly true), but most importantly, it is a threat to people’s health and life. However, despite his open support for the legalization of online sales of alcohol, the senator still decided to withdraw his bill. This temporary suspension or the document is waiting for complete oblivion, unfortunately, it was not possible to find out the senator or his representatives. “Let’s leave this topic without comment for now,” Klishas’ assistant told MK.

Meanwhile, the opinions of experts regarding the permission to sell alcohol online are not unambiguous. Marketplaces have long stated that they are ready to introduce two-factor identification of a client when buying alcohol, said Ivan Samoylenko, managing partner of B&C Agency. The plan involves the passage of identity verification using the “Gosuslug”, then receiving a QR code and presenting it to the courier upon delivery. The entire path “from the manufacturer to the buyer” will be regulated by the application of EGAIS standards. But the desire of Internet merchants alone is not enough for the legalization of such sales to take place.

“It should be noted that in many developed countries where the sale of alcohol online is allowed, the state has created strong control mechanisms. And we in Russia also need this,” the expert continues. “Although the potential demand for buying wine or beer online is huge, the state is in no hurry to give businesses every opportunity to earn on this. It is very important to comply with the requirements of the law and not harm the consumers themselves, and the access of minors to such an opportunity to buy alcohol online should be limited. And the development of requirements for the sellers of these products also needs to be very thorough and comprehensive.”

The remote sale of wine will increase the availability of such products for the population, which will naturally lead to an increase in its consumption, Viktor Zykov, a member of the Coordinating Council under the Ministry of Health, is convinced. In this regard, according to him, this initiative is contrary to the interests of public health, since its implementation could lead to an increase in alcohol-related mortality and morbidity.

“It is known that a significant proportion of wine consumers are women, for whom there is an increased risk of an increase in the prevalence of alcoholism. It can be assumed that if the bill is passed, the rates of female alcoholism will increase over time, ”he warns.

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