The window for applications for approval under HMRC’s Alcohol Wholesaler Registration Scheme opens on January 1 2016 and closes on March 31.
Any wholesaler trading in duty-paid beers, wines and spirits is required to apply for registration during this period. The online application process will be accessed through the Government Gateway, with applicants expected to present details of their company for inspection and approval. Companies which fail to apply during the 3-month window may find that they are unable to trade in alcohol once the scheme goes live in April 2017.
HMRC has issued guidance on the application process and the information required.
Around £1.3bn in duty and VAT is lost to alcohol fraud every year. HMRC believes that the AWRS inspection regime will identify rogue traders and return lost business to responsible, law-abiding wholesalers. From April 2017, any retailer selling alcohol products will be required to demonstrate that they bought their stock from a registered wholesaler.