Do I need a liquor licence to sell liqueur chocolates? What happens if I want to import or manufacture them?

The Sale of Liquor Act 1999 and Amendment Act 2004 make no specific reference to liqueur-filled chocolates. The Act states in section 2 that any beverage that is lower than 1.15% alc.vol, is not classified as liquor and no licence is needed to sell such a product.

While the alcohol put into these chocolates may be over the legal definition of liquor, when mixed with the other ingredients, the overall alcohol content will be under the 1.15% alc.vol. The general interpretation is that liqueur chocolates are a food product and sellers do not need a liquor licence to sell them.

We suggest that any queries about the importing of products containing alcohol be directed to the New Zealand Customs Service. Telephone 0800 428 786 or contact the local customs port in the area where the importer is located.

Local manufacturers can contact Customs or discuss issues with Excise Licensing Officers in their region. The New Zealand Customs Service website has information with reference to alcohol. Under the heading ‘manufacturers’, there is information about excise duty, duty free and licensing. This is where all relevant information is held about alcohol.