V16.118 VAT Notes No 1 2017
Alcohol Wholesaler Registration Scheme (AWRS) – preventing frauds
If you produce or wholesale alcohol
All producers or wholesalers of alcohol have to register with HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) so we can make sure they're operating correctly. Anyone producing or wholesaling alcohol to other businesses before 1 April 2016 should have applied to HMRC for approval by 31 March 2016.
Since 1 April 2016, any wholesale business starting to sell alcohol to other businesses needs to apply at least 45 days before they intend to trade to allow HMRC to process the application. Delaying your application could cause you a problem.
If you sell alcohol to the public
Anyone who buys alcohol from UK suppliers to sell to the public needs to—
— check the businesses they buy from have registered for the AWRS
— have a Unique Reference Number (URN)
We'll publish a list of approved wholesalers on GOV.UK so retailers can check their wholesaler is a legitimate business. This list will be available online from 1 April 2017. Anyone buying alcohol from an unapproved wholesaler may face fines or we could seize their stock.
The AWRS guidance on the GOV.UK website tells you about the scheme and how it affects retailers. Go to, www.gov.uk and search for “Alcohol Wholesaler Registration