BC: New liquor trade sample policy

Liquor agents in British Columbia can now purchase liquor for their industry tasting events at wholesale prices and can use any excess liquor at subsequent industry tasting events or charity events. https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2019AG0014-000270

These changes will result in additional premium products available to B.C. consumers, while reducing costs and waste associated with offering sample products at tasting events.

These changes are among the recommendations made by the Business Technical Advisory Panel. Mark Hicken, panel chair, delivered a report and 24 recommendations that represent an industry consensus on ways to improve efficiencies and outcomes for business and government in terms of how government responsibilities, regulation and oversight interact with B.C.’s private liquor business.

“We are pleased to see this step forward,” said Ted Latimer, executive director, Import Vintner and Spirits Association (IVSA). “Our samples are used to educate and promote products to the B.C. restaurants and retail trade. Ultimately, this education and knowledge will help restaurants and retail outlets better serve their customers.”

The changes are expected to save IVSA members 20% in sample product costs.

Out-of-province liquor is now available, within allowable amounts, to licensed liquor agents at the wholesale price for use at any tasting event hosted by an organization representing out-of-province liquor suppliers. Excess liquor samples can also be donated to charitable events. Previously, leftover liquor from tasting events was required to be consumed or destroyed, and could not be removed from the premises when the event was over.

“Trade events are important to the liquor industry in British Columbia, and these changes will support the people who help make these events a success,” said David Eby, Attorney General. “We continue to review the recommendations in the report from the advisory panel and are working with the industry to improve efficiency and outcomes.”

Quick Facts:

A liquor agent is a person who represents an imported liquor product. Agents work with the Liquor Distribution Branch (LDB) and are licensed by the Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch to promote and market products within B.C.
Tasting events are designed to give members of the liquor industry opportunities to sample a range of products.
These changes apply to organizations that are non-profit and represent out-of-province liquor suppliers, as determined by the LDB. The changes apply only to events hosted by these organizations and are not available to the general public.

Learn More:

The Business Technical Advisory Panel’s report can be found here: