Alcohol Wholesaler Registration Scheme (AWRS)

Did you know that ‘You can be fined or go to prison if you buy alcohol from a wholesaler who isn’t approved’?

A new law that came into force on 1 April 2017 means that you are responsible for checking that the wholesaler(s) who supplies your alcohol has been approved by HMRC under the Alcohol Wholesaler Registration Scheme (AWRS).

You should check that all your suppliers have an AWRS Unique Reference Number (URN), which should be found on their invoices, and then visit HMRC’s Approval Page to confirm their registration by entering the URN and following the instructions. If you cannot find a supplier’s URN then you will need to request it from them, in order to check their registration. If they are not registered then you must not trade with them until they are and you can confirm that on the approval page.

You will need to repeat this check periodically, to ensure the wholesalers you trade with remain registered for the AWRS. You should also keep records of the checks as evidence of due diligence if required by HMRC.


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