No implementation date for revised pubs code

Drinks: Drinks
Other: Business

The Department for Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS) has today released a revised version of the pubs code, but has failed to detail when the legislation may come into force.

The long-awaited code was due to be implemented by 26 May. However, it was announced in early May that this date had been set back by ‘technical errors’.

Under the new regulations, tenants of pub companies and breweries that operate 500+ pubs will be able to request a Market Rent Only (MRO) agreement, meaning they will no longer be tied to buy drinks and other products direct from their landlords.

A BIS spokesperson today said that it was now a case of letting the regulations go through the parliamentary process.

‘It is important to get the pubs code right for both tenants and pub owning businesses,’ they said. ‘We needed to amend a small number of technical errors and the revised draft regulations have now been laid.

‘The code will come into force slightly later than first expected but we expect it to be in place this summer to support the pub industry and enable it to thrive.’

Though clarification of the code has been welcomed, trade groups continue to urge its speedy implementation. The Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR) chief executive Kate Nicholls said the body would be pressing BIS for a solid timeline.

‘The publication of the revised code will provide licensees with some peace of mind and a sense of clarification on an issue that has dragged on for some time now,’ she said.

‘We note with some concern, however, that the revised code appears to give no mention of a solid implementation date, only that the legislation will take effect the day after its approval.

‘Any further delays risk adding to the sense of uncertainty, undermining confidence and investment and will pose further problems for any lessees with ongoing issues.’

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