With 6 votes in favour, 5 against and 1 abstention, the Council of States Economic Affairs and Taxation Committee (EATC-S) proposed maintaining the ban on retail sales of alcoholic beverages at night. In contrast, with 8 votes to 3, it rejected the setting of a minimum price for alcohol.
Regarding the differences of opinion on the Federal Act on Trade in Alcoholic Beverages, the EATC-S maintained its position: with 6 votes in favour, 5 against and 1 abstention, it proposed maintaining the ban on retail sales of alcoholic beverages between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. and thus following the Federal Council's motion. The majority of the committee is convinced that this measure will help both strengthen the protection of minors and health and improve the safety situation primarily in city centres.
In contrast, with 8 votes to 3, the EATC-S proposed refraining from introducing a minimum price depending on the alcohol content. The majority of the committee believes that this measure would lead to shopping tourism and excessively weaken domestic production. During the deliberations on the Federal Act on the Taxation of Spirits and Ethanol, the committee took note of the fact that the yield taxation model, different variants of which are supported in principle by both chambers, is problematic not only with regard to international trade law, but also the constitution. Consequently, it instructed the SAB to examine an alternative proposal and get the sector's opinion on the matter.
The Council of States will probably deal with this item during the 2013 winter session.