Guidance

Pay excise duty without a guarantee

Find out if you can use the Excise Payment Security System when paying the duty due on excise goods released for consumption in the UK.

Overview

If you’re authorised to use the Excise Payment Security System (EPSS), you’ll be able to defer or make payments of excise duty without having to provide a guarantee.

Who the system is for

To apply for EPSS you must have been either:

  • VAT-registered for 3 years or more
  • registered or approved for an excise payment regime for at least 3 years if you’re trading below the VAT registration threshold

Also, you must:

  • pay excise duty under deferment arrangements when excise goods are released for consumption in the UK on importation or from an excise warehouse, registered tobacco premises or oil production premises
  • pay excise duty on excise goods that are released for consumption in the UK from a UK beer, wine, made-wine, cider or perry production premises

EPSS is not available to Registered Consignees, Registered Commercial Importers, or Tax Representatives appointed for distance selling arrangements, as European Union law requires the duty on excise goods moving under these regimes to be covered by a guarantee.

Apply for EPSS

The application form you should use depends on the type of excise duty payments you are making.

Use form EPSS(A) if you’re making deferred payments of excise duty on excise goods released for consumption in the UK on importation or from an excise warehouse, registered tobacco premises or oil production premises. Your application will only be processed if you already have a live Deferment Account Number or you’ve submitted a separate application for one.

Use form EPSS(B) if you’re paying excise duty on excise goods released for consumption in the UK from a UK beer, wine, made-wine, cider or perry production premises.

If you have any queries about your EPSS application, you can contact HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) on Telephone: 03000 521 242 Monday to Friday, 8:30am to 4pm.

After you’ve applied

HMRC will assess your application against certain criteria. They may also do external credit checks if they feel there is a revenue risk.

HMRC will aim to process your application for EPSS within 30 calendar days.

They will inform you of their decision by letter. If you haven’t been authorised, the reason(s) why you’ve failed to meet the authorisation criteria will be included in your letter. You must continue to provide a 100% guarantee to cover your payments of excise duty.

Make an appeal

If HMRC decline your application, you can appeal.

You have 3 options. Within 30 days you can:

  • send new information or arguments to the officer you have been dealing with
  • write to the officer that made the decision to say you want your case reviewed by a different officer
  • have your case heard by the independent Tribunals Service
Published 9 November 2009