The 2015 Budget introduced new law that requires all WHOLESALERS of alcohol (anybody who sells alcohol to someone who will sell those goods again) to require a licence to trade.
You can only apply for this licence from 1st October to 31st December 2015. Failure to apply in this window will mean that YOU CANNOT trade from 1st January 2016.
HMRC estimate that approximately 21,000 companies will require registration but have already said that as each application will be subject to a strict and proper test, not all applicants will be successful.
From January 2016, HMRC will undertake a fifteen month assurance programme to assess whether all applicants meet the “fit and proper” criteria. The fit and proper will be explained in a public notice.
FROM NOW: You must make sure that you show due diligence and perform checks on the goods and suppliers from whom you buy alcohol. You cannot trade in alcohol with long supply chains, or where the price seems too good to be true or if the supplier has a poor track record. It is in your own interests to get this right now.
From 1st April 2017 RETAILERS can only buy alcohol from LICENSED WHOLESALERS. Retailers, too, must implement processes and checks that must be evidenced. No sale of alcohol will be able to take place unless the supplier licence is valid (there will be an HMRC online or telephone verification system available).
QUESTION: But we have processes and controls in place already!
HMRC will expect to see evidence that all checklists and processes have been followed. This is a nightmare for manual filing. Here at PGEA we have developed checklists, questionnaires and staff training to show your due diligence and provide the evidence demanded by HMRC to meet all due diligence requirements.
ALL BUYERS AND SELLERS OF ALCOHOL IN THE BUSINESS MUST HAVE CHECKLISTS THAT MUST BE FOLLOWED AND FILED PLUS TRAINING OF KEY MEMBERS OF STAFF.
Contact Phil Griffiths on 07540 370132 or use the contact form on this site NOW, to discuss how we can keep you trading after 1st January 2016 and increase your chances of your application for a wholesaler licence being successful.
Processes may be in place but can you currently show HMRC they are being followed ?