Note: As announced on June 30, 2023, the AGCO is extending the period to complete Smart Serve recertification. Certificates with an expiry date between July 1, 2023 and August 31, 2023 remain valid until September 1, 2023
With the arrival of the summer season, the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) reminds liquor licensees of their requirements relating to:
- Tax compliance verification
- Smart Serve recertification
- Temporary patio approvals
- Takeout and delivery eligibility
- Grocery store shelf space requirements
New Tax Compliance Verification requirements come into effect July 1, 2023
Liquor licensees are reminded that effective July 1, 2023, all new applicants and existing licensees applying for, or renewing an AGCO liquor licence (excluding Special Occasion Permits) must complete the tax compliance verification process and obtain their tax compliance verification (TCV) number through the Ministry of Finance’s Tax Compliance Verification portal.
Don’t wait until it’s time to apply or renew. Visit the Tax Compliance Verification Portal now to get started.
Smart Serve recertification requirements are now in effect
The AGCO reminds liquor licensees that Smart Serve recertification requirements are in effect:
- Smart Serve certificates issued before July 1, 2018, will expire on June 30, 2023, at 11:59pm. This includes certificates issued prior to 1995 from the Server Intervention Program.
- Smart Serve certificates issued on or after July 1, 2018, will expire five years from the date of issuance (e.g., if you were certified on July 2, 2018, your certificate will expire on July 1, 2023 at 11:59 pm).
All licensees must ensure that the following persons hold a valid certificate demonstrating the successful completion of Smart Serve:
- Anyone involved in the sale, service, delivery or sampling of liquor, or who takes liquor orders from customers, must hold a non-expired certificate.
- Security staff whom the licensee employs or, in the case of a stadium, uses; and
- Employees involved in the sale and service of liquor from motorized vending carts, as well as course marshals, for Golf Course Endorsement holders.
Smart Serve certificate holders can check their certificate expiry date by logging into their Smart Serve account.
Smart Serve offers a discounted price of $29.95 for those who recertify before their existing certificate expires.
The Smart Serve training program is available online and in-person at various approved training sites across the province.
Note: The final exam is only available online via an online proctoring service.
For more information:
- Visit the Smart Serve website for information on how to renew your Smart Serve certificate, Smart Serve My Certificate, and in-class group Smart Serve training
- Contact Smart Serve Customer Service anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org or call Monday-Friday from 8:30 am – 4:30 pm at 416-695-8737 / 1-877-620-6082 (toll-free)
- Visit the AGCO website to view the Reminder to Liquor Licensees on Smart Serve Recertification Requirements, Information Bulletin: Mandatory Smart Serve® Recertification Will Begin July 1, 2022 and Responsible Liquor Sale, Service and Delivery Training web page
- Contact North | Contact Nord operates 78 online learning centres in communities throughout Ontario. They can provide support with accessing computer workstations equipped with high-speed internet, webcams, and up-to-date browsers.
Requirements for temporary outdoor physical extensions (temporary patios) reminder
Liquor licensees and manufacturers that hold a by-the-glass endorsement are reminded that new requirements for temporary patios came into effect on January 1, 2023.
Licensees located in municipalities must get approval of their temporary patio from their local municipality and must notify the AGCO of the approval, the duration of the approval and any conditions on the approval. The AGCO no longer accepts applications or approves temporary patios for licensees in municipalities.
Licensees on First Nations Reserves should view the following link for more information.
Licensees in Unorganized Areas must apply to the AGCO for approval of their temporary patio.
For more information:
- Information Bulletin: New Requirements for Temporary Outdoor Physical Extensions (Temporary Patios) come into effect on January 1, 2023
- Information Bulletin: Municipalities and First Nation band councils can approve temporary outdoor extensions beginning January 1, 2023
- Notifying the AGCO of an Approved Temporary Patio
Liquor takeout and delivery eligibility requirements reminder
Did you know? Not all businesses that hold a liquor sales licence are eligible to sell liquor for takeout and delivery.
To help determine if you are eligible, see the Liquor Takeout & Delivery Eligibility Requirements web page.
Review Regulation 746/21 (Licensing) under the Liquor Licence and Control Act, 2019 (LLCA) and the Registrar’s Interim Standards and Requirements for Liquor to ensure you are in compliance.
Grocery store shelf space requirements
Beer and wine grocery store licensees are reminded that effective July 1, 2023, 40% of containers of wine, excluding cider, on display must meet the criteria set out in subsection 89(10) of Regulation 746/21 under the LLCA. These changes apply to eligible grocery stores outside of any wine boutique. Previously 45% of wine products were required to meet the criteria.
Licensees can request a list of wine that meets the criteria set out in subsection 89(10) and that is available for sale to eligible grocery stores from the Liquor Control Board of Ontario.
For more information, see Information Bulletin: Liquor Retail Hours of Sale and Grocery Store Shelf Space Requirements
For more information
If you have questions, your local AGCO Inspectors are here to help and support you with additional information and education. If you are unsure who your Inspector is, or have misplaced their contact information, please email Compliance@agco.ca with your licensed establishment address to get connected.
AGCO Customer Service Representatives are available anytime via the iAGCO online portal or Monday to Friday from 8:30 am – 5:00 pm at 416-326-8700 or (toll free) 1-800-522-2876.