Check if you need to register for Cider Duty, how to register and if you need to pay duty.
Duty is charged on cider that’s made to sell and is:
- made by fermenting apple or pear juice and only adding permitted ingredients
- more than 1.2% but less than 8.5% alcohol by volume (ABV)
In this guide, ‘cider’ refers to both apple cider and perry (pear cider).
Juice requirements for cider
Before fermentation takes place, the mixture you use to make cider must have at least 35% apple or pear juice at a gravity of 1,033 degrees or above.
The final product must also contain at least 35% apple or pear juice at a gravity of 1,033 degrees or above.
You can dilute the juice with water, or it can be concentrated or come from the dilution of concentrated juice.
If 2 or more pre-fermentation mixes are blended, the pre-fermentation mixtures are taken as a whole when establishing volumes and strengths. If a cider is made by blending 2 or more ciders, the pre-fermentation mixtures for each of these ciders are taken as a whole.
You must pay the sparkling cider rates of duty if the cider has an ABV of more than 5.5% but not more than 8.5% ABV and:
- it’s in a closed bottle with excess pressure, due to carbon dioxide, of 3 bars of pressure or more at 20°C
- regardless of pressure, it’s held in a closed bottle with a ‘mushroom-shaped stopper’ held in place by a tie or fastening
Low strength cider
You do not pay duty on cider that has 1.2% ABV or less. But you must record details of the manufacturing operations in your production records. You can move the cider using your commercial despatch documents.
If you want to make low strength cider by removing alcohol, you should contact the excise enquiries helpline who’ll advise you on the rules that affect the process you use.
Cider that’s classified as ‘made-wine’
Cider is classified as ‘made-wine’ if :
- it has 8.5% ABV or more
- the label of the container or the accompanying invoice or delivery note shows it’s 8.5% ABV or more
- it contains any ingredient that adds colour or flavour and is not a permitted cider or perry ingredient (because the ingredient is not on the list, or is above the maximum concentration)
You must pay Wine Duty if your cider is classified as ‘made-wine’.
Who needs to register to make cider
If you make more than 7,000 litres of cider a year to sell, and it’s more than 1.2% ABV, you must register for Cider Duty with HMRC and pay duty.
You must also be registered if you make cider sparkling, unless you plan to carry out this process in an excise warehouse. You can make still and sparkling cider on the same registered premises.
Claim an exemption from registration
You can apply for an exemption from registration if you make, or expect to make, less than 7,000 litres of cider in a rolling 12 month period.
You can ask for an exemption from registration online.
If you make more than 7,000 litres in a year, you must register within 30 days of passing the limit.
If you’ve registered for Cider Duty and make less than 7,000 litres in a year, you’ll need to cancel your registration and claim an exemption.
Register for Cider Duty
You must register each site where you’re going to make cider to sell. You’ll need to fill in a separate online form for each registration.
You must also send plans of your premises with your application and include the full address of the premises. You must show where your cider-making equipment will be sited on your premises, along with any identifiable markings on the equipment.
Retail premises, within or attached to your registered premises, are not included in the registered premises. You must pay duty on any cider going into the retail premises when it’s moved from the registered premises.
If you’ve removed cider from your registered premises to the UK home market, and you’re registering for the first time, you must arrange for a guarantee to cover any duty you owe until you’ve paid HMRC.
If you have a question about your application after you’ve sent it, write to:
Excise Processing Teams (EPT)
For enquiries before you send your application, contact the excise enquiries helpline.
It can take up to 45 days for HMRC to process your application.
It’s an offence, and you’ll be liable to a penalty, if you make cider to sell:
- on premises that are not registered
- if you’re not registered
If you’ve not registered for Cider Duty, you must tell us as soon as possible.
After you register for Cider Duty
HMRC will check your application and may visit your premises. If we accept your application, we’ll send you a Certificate of Registration. This will confirm the date your registration starts and conditions. Keep this certificate on the premises it applies to. Your premises will be registered as cider production premises. Registered cider production premises are tax warehouses but not excise warehouses.
If we refuse your application, we’ll tell you why in writing. You can appeal against our decision.
Your registration will last until production ends. You must tell us in writing if you plan to stop production or when you’ve stopped production.
Responsibilities of a registered cider maker
As a registered cider maker you must:
You must also be approved for the Alcohol Wholesaler Registration Scheme if you sell duty paid alcohol to another business.
Changes affecting your registration
Tell us about changes that could affect your registration, including:
- stopping production
- change of partner details
- change of director details
- change of address of your registered premises, you’d also need to submit plans of your premises
- change of name of the registered person, for example, change of company name (where the same company number is kept)
- the production of other excisable goods on your premises
- financial difficulties or impending insolvency
- becoming VAT registered or deregistered
You must write to:
HM Revenue and Customs
Excise Processing Teams (EPT)
It can take up to 15 working days to make changes to your current registration, so tell us about any changes as soon as possible.
Some changes would need a new application and plans of your premises to be submitted, for example:
- change of legal entity, for example, formation of a limited company
- change in the ownership or control of your business (in the case of a sole proprietor or partnership)
It can take up to 45 working days to process your new application, so tell us about any changes as soon as possible.
What you can do once you’re registered
As a registered cider maker you can:
- make cider on your registered premises
- carry out operations and procedures set out in these cider guides, including the removal of duty suspended cider to other approved UK and EU warehouses
- store, in duty suspense, on your registered premises, cider made at those premises
- receive cider, in duty suspense, from other approved warehouses for further processing
- take back, in duty suspense, your own product from other warehouses (that are approved to take cider) where it has gone through further processing, for example aeration, pasteurisation and bottling
You’re not allowed to take spirits, beer, wine or imported cider in duty suspense.
You’re not allowed to take cider that’s ready to sell from another registered premises or approved warehouse unless it was originally made on your registered premises.
You must apply for approval as a Trade Facility Warehouse if you want to make cider that’s classed as ‘made-wine’ using spirits for fortification.
Using your registered premises for other excise trades
You can use your premises for other excise trades (for example, as a compounder of spirits) if:
- you’re licensed or registered to carry out that trade
- you observe restrictions or conditions imposed by HMRC
- your working practices and records identify the trade being carried out in any room, vessel or piece of equipment that can be used for 2 or more trades