Can a Distributor Offer Free Labor to Install Glycol Draught Systems? Doesn’t the Rules Allowed Us to Provide Free Labor on the Original Installation if the Retailer Pays for the Equipment?

No. 100.210 states: “Distributor servicing, balancing, or inspecting draft beer or wine systems at regular intervals, and providing labor to replace or install rods, taps faucets, fittings and lines in draft beer or wine dispensing equipment, shall not be considered a subsidy. However, free cleaning of coils by a distributor by a company whose services are paid for by a distributor shall be considered a subsidy or something of value…” If free cleaning can’t be provided by a distributor then anything related to coil cleaning like installation of a Glycol system has to be paid for by the retailer.  The rule allowing for free labor is specific to the mechanics of the maintenance and repair of a tap system - not the regular cleaning and not original installation. 

The Commission has earlier stated that if a distributor is found guilty of giving a retailer a draught system or providing free labor to install a brand new system, the distributor may be fined up to $20,000 and have their license suspended for no less than 7 days. ABDI advises any distributor engaging in this activity to cease immediately.

As a distributor am I permitted to give glassware to a retailer if my supplier gives me the glassware free of charge?

No. According to Section 6-6 of the Liquor Control Act, no manufacturer or distributor may “directly or indirectly, sell, supply, furnish, give or pay for, or loan or lease, any furnishing, fixture or equipment on the premises of a place of business of another licensee authorized under this Act to sell alcoholic liquor at retail….”  

Section 6-6 (iv) also states: “…however, such items, for example, as coasters, trays, napkins, glassware and cups shall not be deemed to be inside signs or advertising materials and may only be sold to retailers.”