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HMRC internal manual

Wine Guidance

Licensing: introduction

Anyone who produces wine for sale is required to hold an excise licence for each set of premises at which wine is produced. Licensed wine producers may produce, hold and move wine in duty suspension to other licensed premises and excise warehouses approved to receive wine.

Information on who must apply for a licence and when and how to apply can be found in sections 3 of Notice 163 (GOV.UK)

It also explains what an excise licence allows or does not allow a wine producer to do.

The licensing of a wine producer’s premises by HMRC makes them a ‘tax warehouse’ without the need for a separate approval. ‘Tax warehouse’ is a term adopted by the EU to describe any premises approved for the production, holding and movement of excise goods under duty suspension arrangements.


The sections of ALDA that relate to the licensing of wine and made-wine producers and the premises at which wine and made-wine is made are sections 54 and 55. The regulations relating to the licensing of wine and made-wine producers and removal of wine and made-wine without payment of duty are contained in Part II of the Wine and Made-wine Regulations 1989, regulations 5, 6 and 7 and Part IV regulation 12.

To note. A wine producer must also register for the Alcohol Wholesaler Registration Scheme (AWRS) if they sell duty paid alcohol to another business. It is the responsibility of any business who purchases alcohol for onward sale or supply to check that the wholesaler they purchase from has been approved by HMRC. Therefore, any business purchasing wine from a wine producer should check that the producer has been approved as an alcohol wholesaler under AWRS. Details of approval and AWRS procedures can be found in the AWRS guidance and Notice 2002: Alcohol Wholesaler Registration Scheme.