Measures Are Getting Smaller!

The standard size of a shot will be getting smaller from September 30, if Tynwald approves the changes.

The proposed change has stemmed from a consultation carried out by the OFT in 2021.

Manx measures are currently sold in one fluid ounce or multiples (thereof), equal to 28.4ml.

If Tynwald approves the change, brought forward by Chairman of the Office of Fair Trading John Wannenburgh, measures would be sold in quantities of 25ml.

Other proposed changes would see fortified wines, e.g. sherry, port and madeira, sold in the glass must be sold in quantities of 50 ml or 70 ml or multiples of either of those quantities; and sales of wines (other than fortified wines) in the glass in quantities of less than 75 ml being deregulated.

The notes for the order paper says: ‘The current one fluid ounce (1/5 gill) quantity has become less widely used as other jurisdictions, in which the necessary measuring equipment is manufactured, have moved to metric quantities.

‘On the basis of the consultation responses, the OFT concluded that, whilst it recognised the argument for the Isle of Man retaining its uniqueness and in normal circumstances would wish to retain the status quo, a situation could not be allowed to develop where illegal measuring instruments, or even a mix of legal and illegal measuring instruments, were being used in licensed premises due to the traditional one fluid ounce (1/5 gill) measuring instruments not being readily available.

‘The OFT is, therefore, in favour of introducing 25 ml as the new legal quantity for gin, rum, vodka, whisky and brandy, to replace the traditional imperial measurement of one fluid ounce (1/5 gill).’

The OFT says this change in legislation is supported by the Licensing Industry.

Consultation

In the 2021 consultation results, the OFT said: ‘The OFT recognises the argument for the Isle of Man retaining its uniqueness and in normal circumstances would wish to retain the status quo, however, the arguments for promoting sensible drinking and facilitating business prevail.

‘A situation cannot be allowed to develop where illegal measuring instruments, or even a mix of legal and illegal measuring instruments, are being used in licensed premises due to the traditional 1/5 gill measuring instruments not being readily available. This would not be in the interests of any party concerned, least of all those of the consumer.’

It also feared that an increase in costs could arise if the 1/5 gill measurements became less readily available. However, while not in charge of pricing, it said that it would ‘make it clear to the industry that prices should be adjusted accordingly’.

And it added: ‘Even allowing for any initial costs in setting up new systems, it is anticipated that the industry will make significant savings if the new metric quantity is introduced and these should be passed on to consumers.’