register for alcohol wholesaler scheme
ALL microbreweries and small scale
wine producers must apply for the new Alcohol Wholesaler Registration
Scheme, HM Revenue and Customs warned on 15 January 2016. Anyone selling
alcohol to other businesses must apply for approval with HMRC before 31
March 2016. The Alcohol Wholesaler Registration Scheme will help tackle the
£1.3bn a year in unpaid alcohol duty and ensure that legitimate traders are
not struggling to compete with those trading illegally. HMRC is working hard
with trade associations and industry representatives to ensure relevant
businesses are aware but have found some smaller alcohol producers believe
they do not need to register.
Laura Pollard, HMRC's Deputy Director for Alcohol and Tobacco, said:-
"If you sell alcohol to other businesses then you're a wholesaler and need
to register. Don't assume this doesn't apply to you. Check the guidance and
make sure you're not caught out. The scheme will help ensure the alcohol
supplied to retailers is legitimate, which will force the dishonest traders
out of business."
The Alcohol Wholesaler Registration Scheme is designed to crack down on
alcohol duty fraud by ensuring the supply of alcohol to retailers; the
shops, pubs, restaurants and other outlets that sell to consumers; is
HMRC will assess applicants to ensure they are 'fit and proper',
which involves considering factors like connections to convicted alcohol
fraudsters, not conducting sufficient checks to protect themselves from
receiving illegal supplies and poor record keeping.
Wholesalers that are not 'fit and proper' cannot trade in
alcohol and will face hefty fines if they continue.
Businesses will need to provide information such as types of customer,
products sold, premises used and details of their main suppliers, when they
Retailers will have to buy from approved wholesalers from April 2017. HMRC
will publish details of approved wholesalers online. More details about
registering are available by clicking on