On-trade

SEO fees to continue on hold

The Minister for Justice Helen McEntee TD and the Minister for Finance, Paschal Donohoe TD have announced that court fees and the associated excise duty relating to Special Exemptions Orders will continue to be waived until the end of April this year.

 

Reform of the SEO process and associated costs is a long sought-after reform for the industry that will be addressed in the new legislative proposals.

Reform of the SEO process and associated costs is a long sought-after reform for the industry that will be addressed in the new legislative proposals.

This follows a previous waiver that was in place from the 19th of October 2021 to the 31st of December 2021.

Nightclubs and late bars need to obtain a SEO from the District Court for every occasion that they want to trade past normal trading hours.

These SEOs permit extended opening hours until 2.30am.

The court fee for each SEO is €300 plus an additional excise duty of €110 per application and in some cases legal costs can add to this bill.

“I know that the lifting of restrictions will be warmly welcomed, perhaps no more so than by those working in nightclubs and late bars,” commented Minister Helen McEntee, “All licence holders, but particularly those serving in the late-night trade, have found themselves in such a difficult situation as a result of Covid-19. This Government is committed to supporting these businesses and the night-time economy to get back on their feet in 2022.

“We initially introduced the waiver in relation to SEOs (for late-night trade licence-holders who traditionally trade past normal opening hours) in October of last year and I’m delighted to be able to extend this exemption until the end of April 2022.

“I look forward to further changes in this area as part of my reforms to the licensing laws in the forthcoming Sale of Alcohol Bill.”

The Government gave its approval on the 15th of September 2021 for the drafting of the General Scheme of the Sale of Alcohol Bill and work is “well advanced on this major legislative reform”.

Reform of the SEO process and associated costs is a long sought-after reform for the industry that will be addressed in the new legislative proposals.

However the Minister pointed out that it will be still necessary for the SEO court application to be made and for the order to be obtained by the licensed premises concerned.

“The waiver of court fees and excise duty for SEOs recognises the particular difficulties experienced by the sector where many businesses have been closed for a significant period of time or had to operate at a reduced capacity on reopening last October,” added Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe.

 

Sign up for Drinks Industry Ireland

Get a free weekly update on Drinks Industry trade news, direct to your inbox. Sign up now, it's Free