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Operation of ÁTVR is founded on clear public health and societal reasons

ATVR CEO Ívar J. Arndal
Ívar J. Arndal

20.05.2024 - The operation of ÁTVR is based on evident public health and societal reasons, which include limiting access to alcohol and combating alcohol misuse and its harmful effects, IOGT Iceland reports.

Illegal online alcohol sales undermine government goals aimed at public welfare.

While illegal online alcohol sales have not been curbed, numerous online stores have emerged. It is easy to find around thirty online stores that sell and deliver alcohol illegally directly from domestic warehouses to consumers. ÁTVR has received information that minors, who have just obtained their driver's licenses, are delivering alcohol to their peers, who claim it has never been easier to access alcohol. Alcohol stores or "delivery points" have also started to appear throughout the capital area.

The ÁTVR annual report, released recently, highlights these issues.

Concerns from the CEO

Ívar J. Arndal, the CEO of ÁTVR, expressed significant concerns about the impact of illegal online alcohol sales on the company’s operations and public health goals. In the annual report, he highlighted a 2% decline in alcohol sales to ISK 38.2 billion and a nearly 9% drop in cigarette sales, attributing much of this downturn to illegal online sales. Arndal noted that ÁTVR's share of paid alcohol taxes has fallen from 73.7% in 2019 to 68.2% in 2023, resulting in a decrease of ISK 400 million in dividends to the state treasury. "If no action is taken regarding these online sales, ÁTVR may have to significantly reduce its services in the coming years to avoid operating at a loss," he stated.

Arndal also stressed the importance of maintaining ÁTVR’s public health mission amidst these challenges. He reiterated that the operation of ÁTVR is founded on clear public health and societal reasons, including limiting access to alcohol and combating its misuse. He pointed out that the current legal framework, which grants ÁTVR the exclusive right to retail alcohol, is essential for protecting public health. "Allowing private entities to engage in alcohol retail would effectively abolish ÁTVR's monopoly, leading to a market-driven environment where public health considerations are abandoned," Arndal warned.


Source: IOGT Iceland

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