Alcohol Wholesaler Registration hit by 'technical difficulties'

By Emily Sutherland contact

- Last updated on GMT

The scheme has been delayed until 1 January
The scheme has been delayed until 1 January

Related tags: Wholesale, Marketing, Due diligence

A government scheme designed to crack down on the production of counterfeit alcohol has been delayed due to ‘technical issues.’

Registration for the Alcohol Wholesaler Registration (AWRS) scheme, which was due to start from October, has been delayed until 1 January 2015 to give HMRC time to fix the problems.

The HMRC said: “We are committed to giving customers a fully tested, first class system.

"We have chosen a new launch date to make sure the service is right before making it widely available, and to avoid putting additional burden on industry during the busy winter trading period.

"This will include inviting a selection of customers to use the system from 1 October, and provide us with feedback which we will use to refine it.”

The AWRS scheme requires any business trading or selling alcohol in wholesale volumes to be registered and able to demonstrate that they are ‘fit and proper’ in an attempt to reduce alcohol duty fraud.

Business must prove there is no evidence of illicit trading, no key people within the business have previously been involved with fraud and that appropriate due diligence is in place.

Alcohol wholesalers must be registered from January or face a penalty charge.

Illegal alcohol products cost the government £1.2 billion each year, and retailers have been warned to ask themselves if very cheap alcohol deals are ‘too good to be true.’

Related topics: Beer, Wine, Spirits & Cocktails, Cider

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