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Important Update! Alcohol Wholesaler Registration Scheme (AWRS)

From 1st April 2017, it will be an offence to buy alcohol for re-sale from an unapproved UK Wholesaler.

Do you produce or sell alcohol wholesale?

If you sell alcohol to another business you may need to apply to register for AWRS. If you are planning to start a business doing this, you must apply at least 45 days before your business starts.

If you haven’t yet made an application, do it now. There are penalties if you continue to trade without approval.

 Do you buy alcohol to sell to others?

HMRC are introducing new rules which will require trade buyers of duty paid alcohol to check that they are buying beers, wines and spirits from a registered wholesaler.

Wholesalers are currently being assessed under the Alcohol Wholesaler Registration Scheme, and from April 1 it will be retailers’ responsibility to check their sources of alcohol are registered under the new rules. Retailers buying alcohol from an unregistered wholesaler after this date will face penalties.

HMRC will provide an online service of approved wholesalers from 1 April 2017. From then, you should check that your supplier is approved. Ask your wholesaler to tell you their AWRS Unique Reference Number (URN); they will also show the URN on their invoices.

You should carry out this check, alongside any other checks, as often as you need to ensure you are making alcohol purchases from an approved wholesaler and not just the first time. The online service and guidance will be available on GOV.UK.

You will need to keep records to prove you have checked that your supplier is approved, so you don’t inadvertently become involved in selling duty unpaid alcohol. You will be able to print or save the details of your check.

Please click here to download a full guide from the Federation of Wholesale Distributors (FWD)

Please click here for more information from GOV.UK

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