The below Parliamentary question was asked by Rebecca Long Bailey on 2016-03-03.
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, what processes are in place to ensure that wholesalers sign up to the Alcohol Wholesaler Registration Scheme by the end of March 2016.
The application window for the Alcohol Wholesaler Registration Scheme (AWRS) closes on 31 March. HMRC is using appropriate channels to ensure customers who need to apply are aware of their obligations in good time to enable them to meet that deadline.
Once the application window has closed, HMRC will assess the applications it has received. Appropriate action will then be taken to enforce the requirements of the new scheme.
HMRC has been ramping up communications for AWRS over the last 12 months. It has issued several press notices and articles including regional and national media as well as specialist press and social media. HMRC is also working through key stakeholders and representative bodies associated with the alcohol business sectors to issue partnership marketing, giving a reach of 55,000 businesses. In February I wrote to individual businesses that may need to apply for AWRS to remind them of the deadline.
The HMRC communications approach to this scheme is designed to ensure messages reach everyone who needs to receive them. If, however, analysis of applications after the deadline reveals a particular category of customers ‘missing’ to a significant degree from the applications received, and there is evidence that the programme of extensive communications failed to reach them, HMRC will explore whether there are any implications for the way in which follow up action is taken for that particular group.