A brief survey reveals the hurdles that current Ukrainian legislation places before alcohol sellers. Firstly, a business must be licensed to sell alcohol, and the drink’s packaging must be marked as legal with a label marking its accise compliance. This is the first rule that street sellers ignore. Then, Article 153 of the 1995 Law of Ukraine ‘On the state regulation of manufacture and sale of aethyl, cognac and fruit spirits, alcohol and tobacco products’ forbids the sale of alcohol, including beer, to persons under 18. If in doubt on the person’s age, the vendor must request their ID. Failure to comply will result in fines and even license annulment. There are also regulations banning the sale of alcoholic drinks in the vicinity of schools.
The most recent changes to the law, which came into force on July 1 2015, designate beer as an alcoholic drink which can only be sold under a license, too. It is also banned from kiosks and other similar retailers.
However, partly due to lack of real control, and partly due to the economic crunch, cases of illegal alcohol sale are on the increase. Web portal kharkov.comments.ua reports 69 cases this year alone, which cost 6 entrepreneurs their licenses. However, the hope is that this trend will stop in view of rising alcohol prices and a notable dip in consumption.