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HMRC internal manual

Holding and Movement Alcohol Strategy - Unannounced Visits

Procedures and good practice: Can I make an unannounced visit at private premises?

Yes. It is likely that you will need to visit a registered excise business at their private premises, as the records may be held at their home address. However, should you require access to private premises you must record this in your notebook and ask the occupier to sign it. You should immediately produce your ID and give your name, office and explain the purpose of your visit. You should record your reason for entering e.g. visit for whatever reason, returning or collecting records, etc. You must remember that the owner of the premises can withdraw permission at any time. If this happens, you must leave immediately. If permission is refused, you must not try to enter private accommodation.

If entry to a private premises is refused, you should arrange with the trader a convenient time and date to visit. Alternatively, you could arrange to meet at the trader’s business premises, or arrange for the trader to bring his records to your office.