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HMRC internal manual

Spirits Production Manual

Technical guidance: Why do we need a spirits regime?

Spirits have been dutied in Scotland and other parts of the United Kingdom since the 17th century, and in this time they have played an important part in raising revenue for the Treasury. Today the duty on spirits accounts for 35% of the revenue raised from alcoholic beverages and 3% of the total revenue collected by the Department.

Due to the high level of duty imposed on spirits great emphasis is placed on ensuring that traders manage their manufacturing and storage systems in a way which minimises the riskof duty evasion, whilst ensuring that the duty is collected efficiently, effectively and economically. The law requires that any person wishing to produce spirits must take out a distiller’s licence and comply with primary and secondary legislation (regulations) relating to spirits manufacture. This provides a legal framework for the effective controlof all aspects of spirits production up to and including delivery to the Distiller’s Warehouse.