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HMRC internal manual

Beer Guidance

Spoilt beer: Introduction and Law

The law which covers spoilt beer relief is section 2 of the Finance (No.2) Act 1992 and regulations 26 to 33 of the Beer Regulations 1993. They provide relief from duty on beer which has become spoilt or unfit for use after it has been removed from registered premises.

The circumstances in which brewers may judge beers to be spoilt are many and varied. The decision that beer is spoilt is entirely the brewer’s.

Regulation 26(1) entitles a registered brewer or packager to recover duty on beer which has not or will not be consumed in the UK. It does not matter how the beer became spoilt or unfit for use.

Note: Any beer which has been accidentally lost or destroyed after leaving registered premises, is not entitled to relief under regulation 26(1).

Under regulation 26(2), a claimant must comply with the conditions in the regulations and any other conditions imposed in a public notice. Detailed information on spoilt beer relief can be found in section 20 of Notice 226.