Alcohol / Excise Specialists

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Importing Alcohol for a Commercial purpose?

Why not see if we can help with paying the excise duty to UK Customs

Frequently Asked Alcohol Questions (FAQs)

The following are just some of the regularly asked questions about REDS and the importation of alcohol generally. If after reading these pages, you still require further information, then please feel free to contact a member of our Imports Team.

Questions about alcohol
I have heard that only REDS agents deal with Alcohol, is this correct?

No.  Since the UK left the EU, any Customs Broker should now be able to clear your alcohol.

Contact a member of our Imports Team using our Online Form, to find out more about the process and our charges.

Why is it important for me to find out the annual production of the brewery which has produced the beer which I want to import?
You do not necessarily need to know. However, if the beer has been produced by a relatively small brewery or a Microbrewery, then you could be eligible for a reduction in the amount of excise duty which you pay.

If you are not too concerned about the rate of excise duty, then that is fine. You will be charged at the Full rate of beer duty.

If you would like to know more, then please contact a member of our Imports team.

Do I need a licence to import alcohol?

Perhaps the most asked question, and one which we ourselves can and cannot answer.

Do you need a licence to import the drinks? No. However, you may need a licence to store the drinks on your premises and/or to sell the drinks in the UK.

Where to find out more… contact your local council and they should be able to advise you on this.

My Supplier is saying that they need an 'Excise' number... where do I get one?
Often when you are asked for an ‘Excise’, it will be so that your supplier can raise an e-AD on the EMCS computer system.

If this is your situation, then contact a member of our Imports Team and they will be able to explain when we can provide with one to use.

Do my goods need to be delivered into a UK Bonded warehouse?
If you are pre-paying the excise duty, by using our REDS service, then ‘No’ you don’t need to have your goods delivered into Customs Bonded warehouse, but instead can have your goods delivered straight to you.

If, however, you use someone elses service where the excise duty isn’t payable until you are ready to sell them, then ‘Yes’. These goods will then need to be stored at a Customs-approved ‘Wet’ bond. The storage charges for this, come at a premium.

Does it matter in which EU Country my drinks are produced?
In most cases, ‘No’. Goods produced within the EU, travelling around the EU, all follow the same rules.

However, any drinks produced in a certain Country, which then has those drinks returning back into that Country, will face a certain amount of scutiny.

For example, Fosters lager is brewed in the UK. If you are looking to import Fosters into the UK, then you will certainly by asked ‘Why?, surely it is cheaper to buy it here in the UK, where you don’t have to pay for transporting it 100’s of Miles’.

Is there anyone who can give me specialist advice to help me with my business?

Yes, there are plenty of associations who should be able to help, and here are just a few (in no partiular order):

Do I need a REDS agent if I am travelling to the EU and buying drinks for myself?
No. So long as your goods under within the ‘Personal Allowance’ limit, then you can just bring the goods with you.
I am not VAT registered and my supplier is telling me that they have to charge me VAT in their Country, and now I read that I have to pay VAT in the UK too, is this right?
Yes, unfortunately it is true.

However, we would suggest that you speak to either your supplier, or the Customs department in the Country where your goods are coming from, to see if it is possible to reclaim the VAT if you provide proof of export?

Related Pages

Importing Alcohol for a Commercial purpose?

Why not see if we can help with paying the excise duty to UK Customs

UK Import Services Limited
Global Shipping and UK Customs Broker

PO Box 832
Rainham
Kent
ME8 1DQ
United Kingdom

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