- February 20, 2018
Online Sale of Alcoholic Beverages in Russia Deferred Until 2019
January 1, 2019 was introduced as the new implementation date in the latest version of the bill on online retail sale of alcoholic drinks in Russia. From this day, retailers won’t be banned from selling alcoholic beverages online any longer. Previously, the ban was expected to be removed in early 2018.
The main opponent of this bill is the Russian Ministry of Healthcare. Its main arguments against lifting the ban is that it could increase the rate of other related violations such as selling alcohol to minors (under the age of 18) or selling alcohol during the night, as well as an increasing market share of counterfeit products.
Even if the bill comes into force despite the influence from opposing parties, one shouldn’t expect to find a wide range of liquors in online stores. At first only wines, champagne, beers, ciders and meads will be available for online sale. Stronger drinks are expected to be available only in 2020. At the same time the bill implies that at an early stage only manufacturers and wholesale companies will be allowed to sell alcohol online (retailers will have to wait even longer).