Age verification technology in alcohol sales - Call for proposals

03 Jan

Following on from the Home Office’s publication of key learning from their 2022 trials the Government has issued a call….

“…to encourage efforts to develop new technology to improve the experience of consumers and retailers when purchasing age-restricted products. However, the need for strong national standards for age verification technology remains paramount in order to provide confidence to retailers and consumers alike that they are fit for purpose.”

Any innovator or operator of any licensed premises can apply to establish a regulatory ‘sandbox’ test and the call defines what a ‘sandbox’ will and will not allow and the conditions any ‘sandbox’ will be subject to.

The call suggests the following technologies may be suitable for a sandbox trial:

  • Technologies that enhance the likelihood of preventing young people under 18 years old from accessing alcohol
  • Technologies that help reduce violence or abuse towards workers in licensed premises when challenging young people for ID
  • Technologies that secure effective controls on delivery, click & collect or dispatch of alcohol
  • Technologies that reduce the burden on businesses for gaining age assurance
  • Technologies that enhance the protection of personal data of customers purchasing alcohol
  • Technologies that can reduce risks of potential disorder in queues or groups at off licensed premises

Proposals can relate to the retail sale of alcohol, for consumption on or off licensed premises, supply in clubs or postal, remote or novel manners of the delivery of alcohol. They can include new or emerging technologies, delivery channels or operational processes.

Law correct at the date of publication.
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