This part of GOV.UK is being rebuilt – find out what beta means

HMRC internal manual

Alcohol Wholesaler Registration Scheme

Penalties and Sanctions: Buying from an unapproved wholesaler -when is a penalty chargeable for buying from an unapproved wholesaler?

From 1 April 2017 a penalty is chargeable if a person (whether or not that person is themselves an approved wholesaler) buys alcohol for re-sale from an unapproved wholesaler or trade buyer.

A person could be:

  • an individual
  • a company
  • a partner
  • a partnership
  • a limited liability partnership
  • a member of an AWRS group

Where a penalty for deliberate behaviour is attributable to a company officer’s actions, we can transfer all or part of the liability to pay the penalty to the officer. The penalty must not exceed 100%. They penalty must be paid within 30 days of the date the notice is given.

Members of an AWRS group are jointly and severally liable for any penalties issued to the representative member.

We cannot charge a penalty if the person:

  • has a reasonable excuse for purchasing from an unapproved wholesaler and the failure was non-deliberate, and;
  • the person notified HMRC without unreasonable delay after the reasonable excuse ended.

See CH71500 for further details on ‘reasonable excuse’  

The imposition of an AWRS behavioural penalty does not restrict you issuing a Schedule 41 penalty at the same time where appropriate.