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HMRC internal manual

Spirits Production Manual

HM Revenue & Customs
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Law, Policy and Application - Procedure table: Approval of new distillers

Approval of new distillers

(referred to in SPIR3100)

  1. Application

Distillers must apply in writing giving:

  • the location of the proposed distillery;
  • the number and description of the vessels used in the manufacturing process, their capacity, and use of all plant;
  • a full description of the manufacturing processes, including size of still;

The distiller must also produce a plan of the premises

  1. Acknowledgement

You should:

  • acknowledge receipt of the application;
  • inform the applicant that building / construction is not to proceed until the proposals have received formal agreement; and
  • give applicant any necessary information about revenue requirements (including locally imposed conditions).
  1. Handling of applications
* If satisfied that the application meets all relevant background checks and legal and policy requirements, give outline approval informing the applicant that work may commence, subject to any modifications or conditions necessary for the security of the revenue.
  1. Action at final approval
* If you are satisfied that the plant is in accordance with the proposals to which outline approval has been given, obtain a distillers 5-digit identifying number and complete a final approval letter ([SPIR3300]( including any additional conditions you deem necessary for security of the revenue, taking into account local circumstances and the results of the CEDRIC check.
* The relevant local audit district should be informed of the new trader who should carry out an educational visit. This visit should report on the trader’s intended systems and security standards. N.B. If the officer carrying out the visit considers that additional security measures are required, they must first ensure that their proposals do not conflict with any Health and Safety or Fire safety requirements. The need for security should not prevent persons from escaping from an area. In the first instance, they should discuss the proposals with the relevant responsible person at the distillery, usually the distillery manager. If there is potential for the proposals to compromise health and safety arrangements at the site, the responsible person will contact an Inspector from Health and Safety Executive (HSE) to assist.
* If the HSE officer confirms that the proposals do conflict with Health and Safety requirements, the visiting officer should contact the alcohol policy team for further guidance.
* The reporting officer should also comment on the requirements for financial guarantee.