VAT News

Excise Compliance Issue for Retailers and Wholesalers of Alcohol


Excise Compliance Issue for Retailers and Wholesalers of Alcohol

An issue for our network of Accountants and Tax advisers who may have such businesses within their client portfolio’s. We are aware that HMRC are taking a very firm line with businesses who fail to meet the registration obligations under the Alcohol Wholesaler Registration Scheme (AWRS).


Wholesaler Approval:

Under the AWRS which came fully into force in April 2017, wholesalers of alcohol have to be approved by HMRC as “fit & proper” in order to continue trading. Some businesses which have been refused approval risk going out of business, given the length of time it takes any appeal to be heard by the Courts. However, in a recent case, the Court of Appeal has identified that HMRC can grant temporary approval to traders pending resolution of any appeal.

If you have any clients that are involved in Alcohol Wholesaling (bear in mind this may be just a part of their business) then it might be an opportunity to contact them and check they have been approved.

This is a scheme that also impacts on Retailers of alcohol as well as wholesalers.


Alcohol Retailer Checks

Since 1 April 2017, if you buy alcohol to sell from a UK wholesaler, you’ll need to check that the wholesaler has been approved by HMRC and has an AWRS Unique Reference Number.

There was no need for a business to check all its suppliers on 1 April 2017, but they are expected to carry out checks before the next trade with each wholesaler. This check needs to be repeated periodically to ensure that the wholesalers the business deals with continue to be approved for AWRS and the business needs to keep records that the proper checks have been made. 

Centurion has direct links with both Excise and Customs Duty Specialists who are highly experienced advisers should you or your clients have questions in this regard so do not hesitate to get in touch

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