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Do you wholesale or retail alcohol?

The Alcohol Wholesaler Registration Scheme requires all wholesalers to be registered with HMRC.

Wholesalers – persons who sell or arrange the sale of alcohol to others for onward sale to the public must register

Wholesales are any sale of alcohol made to another person for trade purposes which includes any retailers licensed to sell alcohol who knowingly sell alcohol to other businesses for onward sale to the public. YOU MUST register as an alcohol wholesaler under this scheme before 1 April 2017 OR YOU WILL BE COMMITTING AN OFFENCE.

This would apply whether you are a drinks merchant or agent, a small scale producer, or a retailer who also supplies wholesale to other businesses.

From 1 April 2017, EVERY alcohol retailer must ensure any alcohol purchases are made only from registered wholesalers. With limited exception, any purchase being made from a non-registered wholesaler, will result in possible prosecution of both the non-registered wholesaler AND the retailer! To record proper due diligence, retailers should ask to see the registration document issued by HMRC and consider asking for a copy for their own files!

If you think this could apply to you, you have until 1 APRIL 2017 to register if you are a wholesaler OR to check your wholesaler has the necessary registration document if you are a retailer!

The registration process is open and HMRC are accepting applications. The application for registration is free and can be done online here.

IT IS A CRIMINAL OFFENCE IF YOU DO NOT REGISTER OR DO NOT CHECK YOUR WHOLESALER IS REGISTERED!

If you require assistance with this or any other licensing matter, please contact John Cassells at jgc@businesslaw.co.uk or Ali Fleming at af@businesslaw.co.uk or telephone to speak to either of them on 01383 721 621.

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