A new registration scheme (AWRS) for wholesalers of alcohol is being introduced from 1 January 2016 (the scheme was originally due to be launched from 1 October 2015 but was subsequently postponed).

Existing alcohol wholesalers or start-ups before 1 April 2016 will need to apply online for registration between 1 January 2016 and 31 March 2016.

From 1 April 2017, trade buyers who buy their alcohol from UK wholesalers for resale will need to make sure that these wholesalers are approved by HMRC. The check will be made using an online look up service, and using this to check the validity of wholesalers will form part of these businesses’ ‘due diligence’ processes.

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