Beta This part of GOV.UK is being rebuilt – find out what this means

HMRC internal manual

Spirits Production Manual

HM Revenue & Customs
, see all updates

Law, Policy and Application - Transfer of Distiller’s Licence and removal of trade


Subject to any provision of the Customs and Excise Acts 1979 or any other enactment relating to the licence or trade in question, where the holder of an excise licence to carry on a trade dies, or where the holder of such a licence in respect of premises specified therein leaves those premises, the proper officer may transfer that licence in such manner as the Commissioners may direct, without any additional payment, to some other person for the remainder of the period for which the licence was granted – CEMAs104(1).

Policy and Application

If a licence holder dies or leaves the distillery premises, the licence may be transferred to another person. Before transferring a licence, you must be satisfied that spirits production will continue or will re-commence within 12 months of the date of transfer.


Subject to any such provision as aforesaid (CEMA s104(1)), where any person who holdsan excise licence in respect of any premises removes his trade to other premises on which it may be lawfully carried on, the proper officer may authorise in such manner as the Commissioners may direct the carrying on, without any additional payment…, of that trade on those other premises for the remainder of the period for which the licence was granted – CEMA s104 (2)

Policy and Application

A licence holder whose trade is removed to other premises may transfer the licence to the new premises, provided that the new premises meets the normal criteria for the issueof a licence.

The procedure for transferring licences is set out in SPIR3290.