In previous articles we have explained various aspects of The Alcohol Wholesaler Registration Scheme (‘AWRS’), including the consequences of failing to register and the fit and proper test which has to be satisfied upon application for registration.

John Veale of Kangs Solicitors now considers due diligence and the considerations upon which HMRC must be satisfied prior to allowing a wholesaler admission to AWRS.        

The team at Kangs Solicitors has vast experience and is highly regarded nationwide for assisting clients facing HMRC investigations of every nature, including those involving regulatory offences, duty evasion, cheating the revenue and other tax related offences.

Our team is led by Hamraj Kang, recognised as a leading expert in the field. He is one of only two solicitors nationally to be ranked as a ‘star individual’ for five consecutive years in the legal directory Chambers & Partners.

Other members of the team are ranked in the Legal 500 and also ranked in Chambers & Partners.

For an initial no obligation discussion, please call our Team at any of our offices detailed below:

Due Diligence | Assessing Risk | Kangs AWRS Procedure Solicitors

The exercise of adequate due diligence involves assessing potential risks inherent when trading wholesale in alcohol including possible involvement in the supply of alcohol for fraudulent purposes or receiving alcohol that has been smuggled or illegally diverted to the UK.

Although HMRC does not maintain a specific comprehensive checklist it does offer guidance in that, to achieve acceptance to AWRS: 

  • the risks of alcohol duty fraud within the supply chains that a wholesaler is operating must be objectively assessed,
  • proportionate and reasonable checks on day-to-day trading of a wholesaler must be in place and enforced,  
  • the adopted procedures must provide effective and timely mitigating action as soon as a potential risk of fraud is identified,
  • checks conducted are properly recorded and there is a management system effectively operated to ensure that the required checks are efficiently carried out. 

Avoiding Fraud | Kangs AWRS Solicitors  

Whilst the wholesaler must be vigilant at every level, scrutiny may be required, for example, of:

  • financial arrangements – involving credit checks, security for payment, and the financial stability of other traders involved, 
  • proof of identity – which may require obtaining Companies House documents, VAT and Excise Registration validation, ascertaining registration of the supplier/customer with AWRS,    
  • letters of introduction and site visits and meetings with officials,  
  • transport costs – to ensure they economically compatible with the trade being conducted, and that transport arrangements are to be properly recorded,
  • provenance of the goods – are all aspects of the trade properly documented to prove that the goods may be legally traded, inspected, transported, duty has been paid where required and that the anticipated profit does not suggest that ‘the deal is too good to be true’.

How We Can Help? | HMRC Defence Solicitors

We have been representing clients in the alcohol industry for over twenty years and offer services to assist businesses and individuals resolve issues and disputes with HMRC in the following areas:

How To Contact Us | Kangs Customs & Excise Offences Defence Solicitors

Hamraj Kang leads an award-winning team of solicitors nationally reputed for its excellence in HMRC investigations.

We welcome new enquiries by telephone or email.

Our team of lawyers is available to meet at our offices in London, Birmingham or Manchester or, alternatively, we are happy to arrange an initial no obligation meeting via telephone or video conferencing.

If you are subject to any investigation by HMRC in connection with your involvement in the alcohol trade or other trading activity, or if you need assistance with AWRS registration, please do not hesitate to contact the team at Kangs Solicitors through any of the following who will be pleased to speak to you:

Hamraj Kang
hkang@kangssolicitors.co.uk
07976 258171 | 020 7936 6396 | 0121 449 9888

John Veale
jveale@kangssolicitors.co.uk
0121 449 9888 | 020 7936 6396

Tim Thompson
tthompson@kangssolicitors.co.uk
0161 817 5020 | | 0121 449 9888 | 020 7936 6396