According to the Alcohol Act, the wholesale of spirits and alcoholic beverages is subject to a licence and allowed only to actors possessing a wholesale licence for spirits or alcoholic beverages granted by Valvira.
The wholesale licence shall be granted until further notice unless the applicant has applied for a temporary licence, the operation is seasonal in nature or Valvira has justified reasons to grant the licence for a maximum of one year to monitor the preconditions or effects of an applicant’s operations which are subject to a licence.
A licence valid until further notice shall remain valid as long as the licence holder is deemed to fulfil the requirements for the wholesale licence or the licence holder notifies Valvira of the termination of the licence/operations.
While the wholesale licence is valid, the licence holder is responsible for fulfilling the prerequisites needed and the reliability required for these operations. If necessary, Valvira may, free of charge, revoke the wholesale licence either for a set period of time or permanently if the provisions, regulations, restrictions or conditions laid down are not complied with or the licence holder is deemed to have lost the prerequisites for being granted the licence or its reliability.
Supervision of the wholesale of spirits and alcoholic beverages
The wholesale is supervised, for example, through supervisory inspections, market surveillance, sampling, and document and register supervision. Both plan-based supervision, based on a risk assessment, and reactive supervision are used. The importance of the self-monitoring of the licence holders is emphasised and in its self-monitoring plan, the company must describe the measures taken to guarantee the product safety of the alcoholic beverages.
Reporting obligations of the wholesalers of spirits and alcoholic beverages
The wholesalers of spirits and alcoholic beverages are obligated to report the products they import to Valvira’s product register. The alcohol sales are reported monthly to Valvira.
A supervision fee is collected annually for the supervision of the wholesale of spirits and alcoholic beverages. The fee is determined in accordance with the annex of the Alcohol Act and comprises a fixed base fee and a surcharge based on the extent of the operations. The base fee is also collected from those licence holders whose licence is valid during the supervision fee period in question. The annual supervision fee is no less than EUR 250 and no more than EUR 26,500.