Part 2 of 3
Exclusions to the scheme
You do not need to apply for approval for AWRS if you’re a trader who’s mainly a retailer and you’re covered by the exemption.
This exemption applies if you’re an authorised retailer, with a retail licence, who does not set out to make sales of alcohol to other businesses and you:
- only make wholesale sales that take place unintentionally in the course of your retail activity and without your prior knowledge (like unplanned sales through a supermarket checkout)
- knowingly make wholesale sales but they’re uninvited by you and only on an exceptional basis (perhaps the village fete once a year)
This can happen if you do not know the buyer and the only indication you might have that the purchase is being made for commercial purposes is if a tax invoice is requested.
These are known as ‘incidental sales’.
Corporate group sales
Wholesale sales of alcohol between members of the same corporate group are excluded from the scheme. There’s no need to apply for approval for AWRS.
If wholesale sales are made outside of the corporate group, the companies involved will need to apply for approval.
If more than one company from the same group makes wholesale sales, those companies can apply for group AWRS approval.
Excise Notice 2002 section 14 gives further information about group approvals.
Apply for approval
If you were operating in alcohol wholesaling prior to 1 April 2016 you should have already applied online for approval. If you have not, then you must apply now.
If you intend to start wholesaling in alcohol you must apply for approval at least 45 days before you intend to trade. New businesses should ensure that they have sufficient business planning in place for HMRC to be able to test they meet our Fit and Proper criteria before making their application (Excise Notice 2002, section 6 contains more information). You must wait until you get approval from HMRC before you start trading.
For part 3 in the process click here