By now, if you sell alcohol, you’ll know that The Alcohol Wholesaler Registration Scheme comes into effect in April 2017. Which means that, by now, you should also have registered for assessment by HRMC, because if you haven’t been approved to sell alcohol by next April, your business customers will no longer be able to buy from you legally.

STL is working hard with clients to ensure their stock and duty management operations are up to HMRC standards.

What’s Involved in the Alcohol Wholesaler Registration Scheme?

Once registered with the scheme, wholesalers will undergo rigorous checks by HMRC to ensure they are ‘fit and proper’ to trade in alcohol before the deadline of April 2017.

This assessment will include background and operational checks to ensure the organisation has no history of duty fraud, that it has a policy in place to ensure it is only sourcing from legitimate alcohol suppliers, and that it maintains satisfactory records of orders and sales.

As part of the process, the applicant will need to provide trading information such who its main suppliers are, who it sells to (type of customer), the products sold, and the premises it trades from.

For most legitimate, organised businesses, this will only create a minor headache and, once approved, HMRC will publish its details in the approved wholesaler list, online, enabling its customers to legally trade with it after April 2017.

However, for those companies that haven’t systematically documented their orders and sales, it presents a bigger challenge – and this might be a sign that it is time to invest in IT. A merchandise management system such as STL’s MMS, along with the new AWRS module, will help collate all the information required by HMRC and ensure the new obligations for customer identification are fulfilled.