Alcohol Wholesaler Registration Scheme to come into effect in April

Posted in Licensing | January 20, 2017 | by Dadds LLP Solicitors

From 1 April 2017 if you buy alcohol to sell from a UK wholesaler, you’ll need to check that the wholesaler has registered with HMRC and has an Alcohol Wholesaler Registration Scheme (AWRS) Unique Reference Number (URN).

The AWRS scheme was introduced by HMRC to tackle alcohol fraud, and is relevant to all businesses that trade in duty paid alcohol in the UK, including brewers and pubs. You can get more detailed information on the HMRC website.

HMRC states that businesses need to apply for AWRS if all the following apply:

  • a business sells, or arranges the sale of alcohol, and has an establishment in the UK
  • sales are made at, or after, the point where Excise Duty is due
  • sales to other businesses are made for onward sale or supply

According to The Morning Advertiser, any licensee found purchasing stock from an unregistered wholesaler could be fined up to £10,000.


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