Monthly returns for Cider Duty (Excise Notice 162a)

Check how to send a monthly return and calculate the duty you owe on cider.

Duty rates

You need to calculate the duty on any cider that:

You must make sure you correctly calculate the strength and volume of your cider.

How much duty you pay depends on the strength of the cider or perry and whether it’s still or sparkling. These are the Cider Duty rates from 13 March 2017.

Type of cider or perry Strength (ABV) Rate per litre
Still More than 1.2%, up to 7.5% 40.38 pence
Still More than 7.5% but less than 8.5% 61.04 pence
Sparkling More than 1.2%, up to 5.5% 40.38 pence
Sparkling More than 5.5% but less than 8.5% 279.46 pence

When the rate changes during an accounting period, you must fill in 2 separate returns for the period. Mark your returns pre or post budget.

Who pays the duty

The person holding the cider at the duty point is liable for the duty.


HMRC will send you a return. You must submit this at the end of each accounting period. Pay Cider Duty by the 15th of the month after your accounting period. You should submit a return even if your duty liability is nil.

Your accounting period is either a:

  • calendar month
  • 4 or 5 week period, as long as you agree this arrangement with HMRC beforehand

Where the 15th day falls at a weekend or on a public holiday, we must have your return and payment by the last working day before it.

Where cider is placed in an excise warehouse, you must pay the duty and tell HMRC using either:

If you have more than one registered premises owned by the same legal entity, you can ask to combine the duty liability for each in one return. But you should keep an individual duty summary for each site and it should be included in a duty account by the site submitting the return.

Cider Duty suspension

You will not always have to pay duty to HMRC immediately. You can:

If you’re only depositing cider in an excise warehouse, you will not need to register with HMRC as an owner of warehoused goods.

You can also take cider into your registered premises and hold it in duty suspension if it’s:

  • cider from another registered cider producer and you’re carrying out further processing on it
  • your own cider after it’s been processed somewhere else

You cannot take duty-suspended cider in a ready-for-sale state unless you produced it on your registered premises.

You must pay duty on cider in duty suspension when it passes the duty point.

When cider becomes liable to duty

Cider becomes liable to duty when it’s:

  • ‘produced’ which is when its strength is more than 1.2% ABV
  • imported

You can hold cider in duty suspension - that is, without payment of duty but always staying liable to duty. You can also, in certain circumstances, move it between registered premises or to excise warehouses in duty suspension.

Passing the duty point

Duty only becomes due when the cider passes the duty point, that’s when it leaves duty suspension. Duty stops being suspended when:

  • you decide you want to pay the duty early for accounting purposes, this is called ‘constructive removal’
  • the cider is lost
  • the cider is irregularly diverted
  • you’re no longer registered
  • the premises where you’re holding the cider stops being registered
  • the cider is consumed in the registered premises
  • the cider leaves registered premises, except when it’s delivered:
    • to other appropriately approved premises for further processing
    • to an excise warehouse
    • for exportation
    • for shipment as stores
    • to HM ships
    • to entitled diplomats
    • to entitled members of visiting forces

Whichever of these events happens first is when you become liable and must pay.

Cider leaves duty suspension if you do not comply with the duty suspension arrangements.

If you produce cider for a commercial grower or lessee, and they do not sell it, you will not have to pay duty on it. The commercial grower or lessee must give you a declaration in writing that they will not sell it.

Constructive removal

You can account for the duty on duty-suspended cider before it’s dispatched from your licensed premises. This is called ‘constructive removal’.

Constructive removal lets you change the status of cider to duty paid without having to remove the cider from your premises.

When cider has been constructively removed, it cannot be returned to duty suspension in licensed premises.

The following line has the force of law under Regulation 12A(3) of the Cider and Perry Regulations 1989.

You must record the date of any change of status of any cider from duty-suspended to duty paid, and the products.

Stopping production

After you’ve stopped production, and your cider is finished and packaged, you’ll have to pay the duty due on any:

  • stock left in hand
  • unexplained shortages

We may also let you destroy the cider stock in hand as if it were unfit for sale. If you want to do this, you must still pay duty on unexplained shortages.

When we’re satisfied that you have accounted for all duties and destroyed your stock of cider, we’ll cancel your registration.

Reporting errors from earlier accounting periods

For mistakes of less than £1,000 in duty

If you find you have not declared enough in a previous accounting period, you must enter the amounts against lines 20 to 22 on the reverse of the return and carry the total forward to lines 35 and 17 for your current accounting period.

If you’ve declared too much you must enter the amounts against lines 20 to 22 on the reverse of your return and carry the total to lines 36 and 18 for your current accounting period. You do not have to send written advice, but keep the details of the mistake for checking.

For mistakes of £1,000 or more in duty

If the total mistake means you’ve under or over declared duty by £1,000 or more, you must make the adjustments on your return but then send the return and full details in writing to:

Environmental Taxes Team
Room ELG-03
St Mungo’s Road
G70 5TR

Published 11 July 2018