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HMRC internal manual

Alcohol Wholesaler Registration Scheme

The scheme: approval of premises

The regulations provide that a business must apply for approval in respect of all premises from which they carry on a controlled activity.  These are known as ‘trading premises’.

For the purposes of AWRS we define trading premises as all business premises from which a business is carrying on or intends to carry on a controlled activity, whether they are owned by the business or a third party. This includes any premises from which they are selling, arranging, exposing or offering alcohol for wholesale sales, except where the premises in question are authorised for retail purposes and the sales are only incidental in nature. It also includes any storage premises from which controlled liquor is directly delivered to the wholesaler’s customers.

Wholesalers are required to keep records of any other premises they use for storing alcohol for wholesale sale. Details of these storage premises must be provided to HMRC on request and you should check on visits that businesses have records of their storage premises.

We approve premises used by approved businesses so they cannot hide any premises they use for wholesale activity. If there were any concerns about a particular premises, you should consider placing conditions on the business’s approval, for example, requiring a controlled activity to be carried on only at premises specified or approved by HMRC.