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Dutch News
Teens used to check for alcohol sales 2/21/2007
20 February 2007

AMSTERDAM — The Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (VWA) will soon sign a deal with small retailers, cafe owners and supermarkets allowing the agency to use teenage “mystery guests”, Het Algemeen Dagblad reports.

The law forbids the VWA from deploying “mystery guests” without warning, as that would be considered provocation. The agency plans to encourage retailers to commission independent monitoring bureaus instead. The bureaus will be sending in 15 and 16-year-old purchasers as part of the checks.

In exchange for their cooperation, the retailers are guaranteed they will be charged no fines if a violation is spotted. The fines for selling alcohol to minors usually amount to 3,600 euros per violation.

“They get the no fines guarantee from us and we know they have regular checks running”, says Boudewijn Kustner, head of luxury goods department at VWA.

The new system will also allow the 79 VWA inspectors currently busy with alcohol checks to focus on other violations, such as illegal cafés in caravans and private homes.

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