3. Proposals for Implementation and Enforcement
Exemptions to the policy
1. We are considering applying age restrictions to any place in which energy drinks are sold to the public. The restrictions would therefore apply to, among other places, retail, out of home settings and wholesales outlets where energy drinks are sold to the public.
2. Views are sought on how restrictions could, or if they should, be applied to vending machines that are situated in public spaces.
3. Exemptions would apply to locations that are not widely open to, or attended by, young people. This could include, for example, wholesale outlets where sales are only to trade. Similarly, another exemption could be cafeterias and vending machines that are located in workplaces. This would depend on the age to which any restrictions applied.
4. We will also explore the potential to extend any restrictions to sales made online. There are precedents for online age restrictions, for example for alcohol and cigarettes. We will look at how these policies are enforced and whether they can be replicated in this context.
Question 2: If implemented, are there any places where energy drinks are currently sold, that should be exempt from mandatory age restrictions?
Please explain your answer and provide any thoughts on how this could work in practice. In particular, views are sought for energy drinks sales in vending machines and those made online.
Enforcement of the policy
5. We will consider all possibilities for how we could implement a mandatory age restriction. We will continue to discuss how a policy in Scotland could align with approaches elsewhere in the UK.
6. Local authorities are currently responsible for enforcing trading standards and environmental health legislation. We propose that local authorities would be responsible for enforcing any requirements that are implemented.
7. If we were to implement mandatory age restrictions:
a) we would work closely with the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities, Food Standards Scotland and representatives of trading standards and environmental health officers to assess resource implications
b) we would aim to minimise demands on existing enforcing authorities as well as those subject to the restrictions
c) we would work closely with local authorities and retailers to develop
i. ministerial guidance to local authorities
ii. an implementation guide for retailers
d) we would consider giving local authorities relevant powers, including in relation to powers of entry and powers to obtain information
e) similar to food safety legislation, we would consider giving local authorities powers to issue
a. compliance notices
b. fixed penalty notices
f) we would consider creating relevant offences for sellers.
8. We would not propose to make it an offence for those under the age restriction to purchase energy drinks. We see the responsibility here clearly falling on the seller. Similarly, we would not propose to make it an offence for someone to purchase energy drinks for a person under the age restriction.
Question 3: Please comment on our proposals for enforcing any requirements that are implemented.
Please include any practical issues that we should consider to ensure that the enforcement of any policy implementation is done fairly and is not overly burdensome.
Evaluating the policy
9. Depending on the action taken, we will consider how best to evaluate the policy once implemented. Monitoring could include assessing:
- compliance with the policy by retailers
- any impact on Scottish businesses
- any changes in consumption levels by the age groups affected
- any related impacts on health and wellbeing.
Question 4: Please comment on our proposals for evaluating any policies that are implemented.
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