French Court of Cassation decides against unlawful alcohol sales

On 3 March 2021, the Cour de Cassation (French Court of Cassation) ended a long judicial story involving our local branch in Douai against some associations who sold alcohol illegally.

Associations committed various infringements in the North of France. They were selling alcohol outside of any administrative authorization, or events at a low price (as they were not subject to any charges) and had all the material to operate this sale, such as beer taps, fridges, cash registers, drinks tariffs, without answering the fiscal obligations and taxations. Hence, this situation necessarily resulted in unfair competition and acts of para-commercialism that were harmful to the neighbouring bars. Many bars had lost turnover and customers to the associations because of the significantly lower cost. According to the Cour de Cassation, all this based our claims on the demonstration of fault, damage and a causal link between the fault and the damage as prescribed by the legislation.

Therefore, the Commercial Chamber of the Court of Cassation quashed the Court of Appeal’s decision. Our local branch was finally victorious as it should have been from the beginning. This is one decisive step toward better regulation of these local associations based all around the territory serving alcohol outside the legal framework.