Guidance

Soft Drinks Industry Levy credit for exported, lost or destroyed drinks (notice 4)

Find out if you can claim a Soft Drinks Industry Levy credit for exported, lost or destroyed drinks, and what evidence you need to get and keep.

You can claim a levy credit on your Soft Drinks Industry Levy returns for drinks that you’ve paid the levy on and are:

  • exported by you or someone else in the supply chain
  • reasonably expected to be exported by someone else
  • lost or destroyed

You can only claim the credit if you’ve registered for the levy and have paid the levy directly to HMRC.

How to claim a levy credit

You’ll need to get and keep the required evidence of the exported, lost or destroyed drinks, as described in this guidance.

You’ll need to claim a levy credit on your quarterly Soft Drinks Industry Levy returns.

You have 2 years from the date that the drinks became chargeable to the levy to claim a levy credit.

Credit for lost or destroyed drinks

You can claim a levy credit for drinks that are:

  • lost
  • destroyed
  • disposed of as waste
  • reprocessed
  • spilled and cannot be used

Evidence you need for lost or destroyed drinks

The text in this section has force of law under regulation 13 of the Soft Drinks Industry Levy Regulations 2018.

To claim a levy credit for lost or destroyed drinks, you must get and keep evidence that shows that the drinks have been lost or destroyed, and the:

  • quantity in litres, including how much of it met or did not meet the higher levy band
  • levy band of all drinks you’ve paid the levy on
  • place and date the drinks were lost or destroyed
  • cause of the drinks becoming lost or destroyed
  • company, organisation or individual that had possession of the goods immediately before they were lost or destroyed
  • refunds given to customers because of drinks lost or destroyed (if this applies)

You do not need to have a single document showing all of this information, but all of your evidence together must show the required information. It must also allow HMRC to see that this information relates to the drinks you’ve paid the levy on and are claiming the credit for.

Credit for exported drinks

To claim a levy credit for drinks that have already been exported, you must have the required evidence when you make your claim.

To claim a levy credit for drinks that you expect will be exported by someone else, you must get the required evidence that the export has happened. You should get this by the end of the next reporting period after the period for which you made the claim. If you do not get the evidence by then, you must add the levy credit back in your next return.

The evidence you need to get and keep depends on how and where the drinks are exported.

Evidence you need for all exported drinks

The text in this section has force of law under regulation 17(2) of the Soft Drink Industry Levy Regulations 2018.

To claim a levy credit for exported drinks, you must get and keep evidence that shows that the drinks have been exported from the UK, and that shows the:

  • supplier
  • consignor, if different from the supplier
  • customer
  • brand of drinks that have been exported
  • method of transporting the drinks
  • route of movement of the drinks
  • destination

If the export is not carried out as part of a supply to a customer, the evidence does not need to show the supplier and customer, but it must show the owner of the drinks.

You do not need to have a single document showing all of this information, but all of your evidence together must show the required information. It must also allow HMRC to see that this information relates to the drinks you’ve paid the levy on and are claiming the credit for.

If you did not arrange for the drinks to be exported yourself

If you want to claim a levy credit for drinks you didn’t export yourself, you can get and keep a declaration from the person who arranged the export that:

  • confirms that the drinks have been exported
  • confirms that they hold documents that shows all of the required evidence for exports set out in this guidance
  • commits to keep those documents for at least 6 years from when the claim for an export levy credit is made
  • commits to provide those documents to you and HMRC when requested

HMRC will expect you or the person providing the declaration to provide the required evidence if they want to verify that the drinks have been exported. If you or the person providing the declaration does not provide the evidence to HMRC on request, your claim for an export levy credit could be refused and you might need to repay any export levy credit you’ve already received.

Evidence for drinks exported outside of the EU

Exports of liable drinks to a country that is not a member of the EU will need to comply with any relevant customs procedures. These, along with the procedures of your freight carrier, will produce paperwork that you can use as evidence to support your levy credit claim.

Examples of this evidence include:

  • a Goods Departed Message, generated by the National Export System (NES) when the drinks are exported directly out of the UK to a third country
  • a screen print of the DEVD (Display Entry Version Details) option 2 in the CHIEF (Customs Handling of Import Export Freight) system showing a Status of Entry code 8 and Input Customs Status Code 60
  • a certified Single Administrative Document (Form C88) Copy 3, stamped by customs at the office of exit from the EU where the drinks leave the EU from another member state
  • an International Consignment Note or Lettre de Voiture International, fully completed by you, the haulier and the receiving customer
  • Freight Transport Association transport documents, fully completed and signed by the receiving customer confirmation from the NCTS (New Community Transit System) that the community or common transit procedure has been discharged
  • authenticated sea waybills
  • authenticated air waybills
  • PIM/PIEX International consignment notes
  • master air waybills or bills of lading
  • certificates of shipment containing the full details of the consignment and how it left the UK

Evidence for drinks exported to EU member states

If you export liable drinks to an EU member state, there might not be customs procedures that will produce paperwork that can be used as evidence of export. In these cases, you can use commercial transport documents generated by your freight carrier.

Examples of this kind of evidence include:

  • consignment notes
  • authenticated air waybills or sea waybills
  • master air waybills or bills of lading
  • contracts of carriage
  • packing lists
  • insurance and freight charges documentation
  • evidence of payment of freight charges
  • evidence of receipt of the goods in the EU member state

Evidence for drinks moved over land to the Republic of Ireland

If drinks are exported to the Republic of Ireland over land, you’ll need to get and keep evidence to show this. The evidence you need depends on how the drinks are transported.

Drinks transported by road

If the drinks are transported by an independent carrier, you should get a copy of the carrier’s invoice or consignment note, along with evidence that they’ve been delivered to premises in the Republic of Ireland.

If the drinks are transported as part of a supply to a customer, you should get a copy of the delivery note showing the customer’s:

  • name
  • address and delivery address, if different
  • EU VAT number (if this applies)
  • signature, or signature of their authorised representative confirming they’ve received the drinks

If the drinks are transported as part of your general stock on hand, you need to get records that show the movement and reallocation of the drinks to the premises in the Republic of Ireland.

Drinks transported by rail

If the drinks are transported by rail, you’ll need the consignor’s copy of the consignment note, signed by the railway official accepting the drinks for delivery to your customer.

Drinks collected by the customer or their representative

If the drinks are collected by the customer or authorised representative, you’ll need the written order completed by the customer showing the:

  • customer’s name, address and EU VAT number
  • name of the authorised representative collecting the drinks (if this applies)
  • address the drinks will be delivered to
  • vehicle registration number of the transport used
  • signature of the customer or authorised representative confirming they’ve received the drinks

Evidence for drinks exported by your customer or a subsequent customer

If you’ve not exported the drinks, but they’ve been exported by someone below you in the supply chain, you’ll need to get evidence of the export from them so that you can claim the levy credit.

You’ll also need to get and keep evidence that the exported drinks were the same ones you paid the levy on.

You should be able to show this using transactional documents showing evidence that you supplied the drinks to your customer, and any further supply to other operators in the chain. Examples of this kind of evidence include:

  • the customer’s order
  • the sales contract
  • internal company records
  • a tax invoice
  • proof of dispatch and receipt of the drinks
  • proof of payment

Drinks exported as part of a commercial supply

If the export of the drinks is part of a supply to a customer, evidence of the transaction may be used as part of your evidence of export. Examples of this kind of evidence include:

  • the customer’s order
  • the sales contract
  • internal company records
  • the export sales invoice
  • an advice note
  • proof of payment

Commercially sensitive evidence

To support your claim for a levy credit, you might need to get evidence from someone else who’s involved in the export. For HMRC to accept evidence, the documents must show that the drinks exported were the same as those on which the levy has been paid.

The documents must also allow HMRC to:

  • see the information required
  • follow an audit trail through the supply chain

If they do not want to disclose the commercial arrangements they have with their own customers, they can give you redacted documents. These documents will need to include the customer’s name and address, but if HMRC can still see the chain of custody of the drinks without it (like by using batch numbers), then this and other information can be redacted.

Drinks sold or given to international passengers

The text in this section has force of law under regulation 17(2) of the Soft Drink Industry Levy Regulations 2018.

If liable drinks leave the UK as stores on international passenger transportation, then as well as the general export information required, you must also include more information with your evidence.

You must include a signed statement from either the operator of the international passenger transport, or business supplying liable soft drinks on it, confirming that all of the liable drinks will be consumed on international passenger transport.

If not all of the liable drinks will be consumed on international passenger transport, you must get a signed statement that confirms:

  • how they’ll monitor the volumes which are consumed on international routes
  • that they’ll provide this information to someone who wants to claim an export credit
Published 3 April 2018