New spirits regime comes into operation in October

HM Revenue Customs (HMRC) has reminded wholesalers that from October 1 new legislation comes into force requiring duty stamps in the spirits category.

The UK Duty Stamps Scheme applies to spirits of 30% ABV or more, sold in bottles of 35cl or above. Duty stamps must be fixed to these spirits, before release onto the UK market.

The stamps have been introduced to combat fraud in the spirits market and indicate that UK tax has been paid on the products.

Bottles of spirits in stock that don’t bear a duty stamp can still be sold, as long as wholesalers and retailers maintain records to demonstrate they were purchased before October 1.

John Murphy, director general of the Federation of Wholesale Distributors, said: “We are working closely with HMRC to ensure wholesalers are aware of the impact of duty stamps on their business.”

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