Wine Duty

Find out if you need to register for Wine Duty as a wine or made-wine producer and how to submit returns and payments.


Wine Duty is payable on the production of wine or made-wine of more than 1.2% alcohol by volume (ABV).

Wine is defined as a drink produced by fermentation of fresh grapes or grape must.

Made-wine is any other drink - apart from beer or cider - containing alcohol that is made by fermentation, rather than by distillation or any other process. For example, mead is classed as made-wine.

Read more about wine production.

Fortified wine or wine mixed with spirits

If you produce any of the following, they are classed as spirits and you must pay duty at the Spirits Duty rate:

  • wine or made-wine fortified to a strength above 22% ABV
  • a drink that is classified as a spirit rather than a wine - for example, because most of the volume or alcohol of the final product comes from the spirit element rather than the wine

Read about wine classification.

Licence to produce wine

If you produce wine or made-wine for sale of more than 1.2% ABV, you must apply for a wine producer’s licence from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) and pay Wine Duty.

How to get a wine producer’s licence

You should complete WMW1 and send it to HMRC. You’ll need a licence for every set of premises where you intend to produce wine for sale. You’ll need to complete a separate form for each licence.

You must also submit plans of your premises with your application. You should make it clear where your wine-making equipment will be sited on your premises, along with any identifiable markings on the equipment.

Responsibilities of a licensed wine producer

As a licensed wine producer you must:

  • keep certain records and accounts
  • calculate duty, and make monthly returns and payments of duty to HMRC on time

Read more on your responsibilities as a licensed wine producer.

Wine Duty suspension

You don’t necessarily have to pay Wine Duty to HMRC immediately. You can:

  • hold wine that you’ve made on your registered premises in duty suspension
  • send it to another licensed wine producer for further processing
  • send it to an excise warehouse approved to hold wine in duty suspension, for storage purposes or to carry out certain processes, eg bottling

If you’re only depositing wine or made-wine in an excise warehouse you do not have to be registered with HMRC as an owner of warehoused goods.

You can also receive the following duty-suspended wine into your registered premises and continue to hold it in duty suspension:

  • wine from other licensed wine producers for you to carry out further processing on it
  • your own wine after it’s been processed elsewhere

You can’t receive duty-suspended wine in a ready-for-sale state unless it was produced on your licensed premises.

Wine Duty becomes payable to HMRC when the earliest of the following events takes place:

  • when it leaves duty suspension for sale on the UK market, including in your own retail premises
  • the wine is consumed
  • you decide you want to pay the duty early, perhaps for accounting purposes - this is called ‘constructive removal’

These events are known as ‘duty points’.

Read more about receiving, storing and moving excise goods.

Returns and payments

You must submit a wine return form EX606 (which HMRC will send to you at the end of each accounting period) and pay any Wine Duty by the 15th of the month after the accounting period. You should submit a form even if your duty liability is nil.

Where wine is placed in an excise warehouse, you must pay the Wine Duty using either:

Read more about returns and payments.

Read about completing forms W5 or W5D.

Wine Duty rates

The amount of Wine Duty payable on wine or made-wine is calculated according to its strength and whether it’s sparkling or still.

Get the latest Wine Duty rates.

Published 9 November 2009