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HMRC internal manual

Holding and Movements - Duty Stamps

From
HM Revenue & Customs
Updated
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Scheme Description: Voiding of stamps

The voiding of stamps could take any of the following formats:

Removal

  • In the case of a freestanding stamp, the entire stamp must be removed from the bottle.
  • In the case of a label stamp, the part of the label incorporating the stamp must be removed.

Obliteration

In order to satisfactorily obliterate the duty stamp, in either format, the element ofthe stamp containing the words “For the UK market” must be removed from thebottle. The remaining portion of the stamp does not need to be removed or covered up inanyway. As an alternative, if the goods are to be destroyed or recycled before drawback(see following section) is claimed, destruction (i.e. breaking) of the bottle with thestamp still on it is sufficient to obliterate the stamp.

Obscuration

  • In the case of a freestanding stamp, the stamp must be completely covered by another sticker or label, which is affixed in such a way that it cannot be removed without destroying the stamp itself. Alternatively, it is acceptable to “black out” the stamp using ink or dye, provided that the ink or dye cannot be removed without also removing the ink from the stamp, and therefore destroying it.
  • In the case of the label stamp, either the part of the label incorporating the stamp, or the entire label must be completely covered by a sticker or label which is affixed in such a way that it cannot be removed without destroying the part of the label incorporating the stamp. As with the freestanding stamp, it is acceptable to “black out” the part of the label incorporating the stamp using ink or dye, provided that the ink or dye cannot be removed without also removing the ink from the stamp, thus destroying it.

Notification requirements

The regulations require that:

  • businesses who plan to remove, obliterate or obscure stamps give HMRC notice of their intention, and
  • businesses give HMRC notice that goods which have had stamps removed from them are to be transported out of the UK.

In practice, traders must not deliberately obliterate or remove a duty stamp, ortransport product out of the UK, which previously bore a stamp unless they have given HMRCtwo clear business day’s notice of their intentions. For the purposes of the DutyStamps Regulations, a business day does not include weekends or public holidays.