Have you registered with the AWRS scheme yet?
If not, you have just a couple of days to do so. Every UK wholesaler of beer, wine and spirits is required to register before March 31 2016, affecting all businesses that sell alcohol to other businesses. The scheme’s aim is to reduce the sale of illicit alcohol on which no duty has been paid and which may be dangerous to consumers.
All wholesale businesses that trade in alcohol have to register and will undergo rigorous checks prior to approval. Any company not registered by the deadline, or that fails the inspection, will no longer be able to wholesale alcohol. From 2017 retailers will also be required to check to see if their suppliers are approved.
Penalties for wholesalers who fail to comply with the registration are severe. Penalties for trade buyers (including retailers, restaurants, bars and pubs) who buy alcohol from unregistered wholesalers will start from April 1, 2017. Any alcohol found in the premises of unregistered businesses may be seized, whether or not the duty has been paid.
Applications can be made through the government’s AWRS website here.
For more information and guidance on registering please click here.