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HMRC internal manual

Duty Free Spirits Guidance

Law, Policy and Application: Assessments and penalties (continued)

Relief from duty on imported goods not for human consumption containingspirits


(2) Subsection (3) below applies if -

(a) the Commissioners make a direction under subsection (1) above, but

(b) it turns out that the goods were for human consumption.

(3) In such a case the Commissioners -

(a) may assess as being excise duty due from the relevant person an amount equal to the

*duty that would have been chargeable on the goods if the direction had not been made. *

(b) may notify him or his representative accordingly

*(4) The reference in subsection (3) above to the relevant person is to the importer or (if different) the person who sought the direction *- ALDA s11 as amended by the Finance Act 1998 Sch 2.

Policy and Application

In cases where there is no satisfactory audit trail and the trader cannot prove to your satisfaction that the spirits used were used for an approved purpose, the duty on the spirits becomes due. You can raise an assessment for the amount of duty due on the spirits.

The power to assess was introduced with effect from 1 October 1998. No retrospection applies and therefore you can only assess for periods from that date.

From October 2001 the normal 3 year rules will apply.

The assessment should be directed to the importer, or the person who is approved to use DFS.