Compliance with Alcohol Licensing and Catering Act seriously substandard

4 November 2011

Purchasing alcohol in the Netherlands when you are under 16 is child’s play.

That is the unsettling conclusion of a major national study of compliance with the legal age limit for selling alcoholic drinks, carried out by the University of Twente on behalf of the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport. In the study, 14 and 15-year-old mystery shoppers made a total of 1,338 attempts to buy alcoholic drinks in supermarkets, off-licences, bars and restaurants, sports clubs and through home delivery services. The vast majority of these attempted purchases were successful. In supermarkets, for example, the Licensing and Catering Act was only complied with in 30 percent of cases. Even when sales staff asked for proof of age, many under-age customers nevertheless succeeded in buying alcohol.

More information here.


Dutch Institute for Alcohol Policy STAP
P.O. Box 9769
3506 GT Utrecht
The Netherlands
T: +31 (0)30-6565041
F: +31 (0)30-6565043