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HMRC internal manual

Beer Guidance

Failed Deliveries: Procedure for return of failed deliveries to registered premises

Unless duty paid beer is spoilt and comes back for reprocessing, it cannot be returned to duty suspension.

A brewer may send beer from their registered premises and account for the duty but, due to circumstances beyond their control, be unable to make the delivery and have to bring the beer back.

If a brewer’s accounting system cannot distinguish between beer held in duty suspension and duty paid beer returned to registered premises because of a failed delivery, then, as a concession, they may set up a “failed delivery” account. This procedure is only applicable to genuine failed deliveries.

There is no provision in law which provides for the failed delivery system and, as such, is seen as a concession which is allowed to the brewing industry.

As a brewer’s system is set up to charge duty on all deliveries, it accordingly charges duty for a second time when the beer is subsequently re-delivered. This does not mean that the beer has ever reverted back to duty suspended status. The purpose of the failed delivery account is to allow the brewer to claim a credit to offset this second charge of duty. The net credit on the failed delivery account should be deducted from the total duty due for the accounting period.

A brewer cannot re-deliver the beer (which was subject to the ‘failed delivery’) to a duty suspended customer as, to then subsequently claim a credit, would, in effect, return the duty paid beer to duty suspension. This would be in contravention of regulation 15A of the Beer Regulations 1993.