Guidance

New duty band for still cider (Excise information sheet 1)

Find out the new mid-strength band and duty rate for still cider from 1 February 2019 if you’re a registered cider maker or excise warehousekeeper.

Overview

At Autumn Budget 2017, the government announced its intention to introduce a new duty band for still cider of a strength of at least 6.9% alcohol by volume (abv) but not exceeding 7.5% abv to encourage the production and consumption of lower-strength ciders. The new mid-strength duty band will come into effect on 1 February 2019.

This followed a HM Treasury consultation on alcohol structures between March and June 2017. A summary of the responses to proposals made, the government’s response to the consultation and the proposed next steps in the process was published on 1 December 2017.

Rates

Current Alcohol Duty rates.

From 1 February 2019, there will be 3 duty rates for still cider, split into 3 bands, including a new mid-strength band (the changes will also apply to still perry).

The new bands for still cider will be:

  • above 1.2% but less than 6.9% abv
  • from 6.9% up to 7.5% abv
  • above 7.5% but less than 8.5% abv

How to prepare

The start date of 1 February 2019 is to allow for a transition period, in advance of this date, for cider makers to reduce the abv of their products if they wish to. It’s also to allow them, and any excise warehousekeepers, who receive and move UK and imported cider products within the new band range, to adjust their software products accordingly, if required, to provide for the new band.

The new band will have the tax type code of 487 for HMRC accounting purposes. The duty rate will be announced at Budget 2018 along with the rates for other alcohol products. This change will have no effect on the current duty exemption for small cider makers producing less than 70 hectolitres.

Contact

If you have any questions contact the Alcohol Policy Team by email: alcoholpolicy@hmrc.gsi.gov.uk.

Published 16 May 2018