If you’re under 18, you’re well aware that buying alcohol from convenience stores like 7-Eleven, bars, or supermarkets is a no-go.
You’ve probably also become accustomed to the routine ID check and then resort to looking for them online.
But guess what? There’s a change in the air.
The Singapore Police Force (SPF) announced on Saturday (18 November 2023) that e-commerce platforms are no longer allowed to sell alcohol to those under the age of 18.
These e-commerce sites are now obligated to implement measures, such as age verification, to ensure that alcohol doesn’t end up in the hands of anyone under 18.
These newly imposed regulations come from a recent review by Singapore authorities, carried out on Saturday, following a close examination of the rules governing online and telecommunication-based liquor sales.
Just a friendly reminder: The legal drinking age in Singapore is 18.
So, while you can’t sidestep the age-check routine, you can always stay on the right side of the law.
Those Under 18 Not Allowed to Purchase Alcohol Online
Any individual or business engaged in the sale of alcohol is already obligated to secure the necessary license for this purpose.
However, with the updated regulations set to come into effect on 2 January 2024, there are more precise guidelines in place, especially for online suppliers and e-commerce platforms like Lazada, Shopee, and Carousell.
The aim is to ensure that liquor is not sold to individuals below the legal drinking age.
Law Extends to WhatsApp and Telegram
These new requirements also extend to the sale of liquor through telecommunication services, encompassing platforms such as WhatsApp and Telegram for businesses involved in liquor sales, as reported by CNA.
According to the police, these measures include making it imperative for the buyer to confirm and declare that they are at least 18 years old, issuing a warning to the buyer that purchasing liquor below the legal drinking age is an offence, and informing them of the associated penalties.
“With effect from 2 January 2024, the supply of liquor to persons under 18 years old online or through telecommunication services will be an offence under the Liquor Control (Supply and Consumption) (Liquor Licensing) Regulations 2015,” the police said in a media release.
If anyone is caught violating these regulations, they could face fines of up to S$10,000.
The decision by the police to implement these changes follows a thorough review of the regulatory requirements governing the online sale of liquor and its distribution via telecommunication services.
The police, in a press release, noted that this move aligns online liquor sellers with the same standards applied to brick-and-mortar liquor retailers, thus contributing to the prevention of underage drinking.
Additionally, as part of this review, licensees will no longer be obliged to store liquor at their licensed premises starting 2 January 2024.
However, it’s important to note that selling liquor from these premises, primarily used for storage purposes, remains prohibited.
So if you’re under the age of 18 and think you can buy alcohol online easily, you’d have to think twice.