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HMRC postpone Alcohol Wholesaler Registration Scheme until 1 January 2016

Alcohol Wholesaler Registration Scheme will be delayed until 1 January 2016.

Commenting, Jonathan Smith, Partner at Poppleston Allen said:

“HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has confirmed that the opening of the window for applications for registration under the Alcohol Wholesaler Registration Scheme (AWRS) will be delayed until 1 January 2016.

All alcohol wholesalers, including those who already hold other excise registrations, must now submit their AWRS application from 1 January 2016 and by 31 March 2016.

HMRC had originally planned to start taking applications from 1 October 2015, with the window closing on 31 December 2015. The HMRC confirmed that the delay is due to some technical issues that need to be fixed before the service is launched.

The AWRS scheme requires any business trading or selling in alcohol in wholesale volumes to be registered and able to demonstrate that they are fit and proper and have their supply chains tested. Licensed retailers will be required to prove that any alcohol they stock has been bought from a registered wholesaler. The purpose of the scheme is to reduce alcohol duty fraud.

Additionally, people who purchase alcohol from wholesalers must now carry out due diligence to ensure they are buying from a registered wholesaler.

The scheme also introduces criminal sanctions and penalties for non-compliance.”

The application can be made online to HMRC, is free and further details and guidance can be found on the following website:


We will keep you informed on any further updates in respect of this matter. ”.

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For more information please contact Jonathan Smith

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