Are you ready for the UK Duty Stamps Scheme?

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Are you ready for the UK Duty Stamps Scheme?

Postby Matt2 » Fri May 12, 2006 2:06 pm

Do you produce, store or supply spirits for the UK market? If you do, you need to act now to be ready for the UK Duty Stamps Scheme. From 1st October 2006, bottles of spirits of 30% ABV or more will have to display a duty stamp when they pass a UK Excise duty point. This means that from this date onwards, you will not be able to release unstamped bottles onto the UK market without first affixing duty stamps.

:arrow: Find out more here

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Postby Deactivated Member » Sat May 13, 2006 10:11 am

This is very interesting, a first thought is that it only applies to the original bottlers who must ensure bottles are 'stamped' and therefore, Duty Paid.

However, I am slightly confused by this statement:

"Unstamped bottles can still be sold if duty was paid on them before 1 October 2006 and records are kept to show this. "

I wonder how the second-hand market will be affected by this, as technically, I read that if anyone has an older bottle, it may no longer be sold in, or to, the UK without "Adequate Records", whatever they may be.

I can't see that this can be true, but it does read that way.


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Postby Paul A Jellis » Mon Jul 03, 2006 4:38 pm

I see that this is starting to bite, according to the latest issue of SWR an independent bottler has sent out a list of a range of products that are being withdrawn from the UK (home) market because it is too much trouble to put tax stamps on niche whiskies.

A one-off or the first of many? Thanks Mr Brown, I may soon need to travel abroad to buy the whiskies I want, thus adding to the congested roads and air space!

Cheers, Paul

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Postby irishwhiskeychaser » Mon Jul 03, 2006 5:15 pm

Strange that an Independant bottler would find this too much trouble. Not that I know what's involved. But at the end of the day it's only book keeping and sticking on a few labels. I'm sure this will iron itself out in the end once people get used to it and hopefully not affect you choice in the UK. And if it does can ye start sending more over here instead :wink:

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Postby Lawrence » Mon Jul 03, 2006 7:17 pm

It's not just 'sticking on a few labels' they are part of the back label so the labels have to be redesigned, new printing plates etc, etc, etc. There's an article about what's invlolved in Issue 56.

It won't stop the origianl problem, typical of any government really.

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Postby irishwhiskeychaser » Mon Jul 03, 2006 8:34 pm

I suppose that is a bit of an out lay for a small company all right.

My issue is still on the way so I have not had the chance to read about it yet..... I think my issue comes via Singapore through Seattle forwarded to Syndey and then Dublin before they put it on a bicycle courier across to the west of Ireland :lol: but I don't mind as I always get it eventually. I just get educated a month later than everybody else :(

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Postby Deactivated Member » Tue Jul 04, 2006 8:33 am

I have just had another look at the official governemt website for this which is linked at the top of the WM page.
The label has two different formats, one incorporated into the back label, thus printed as part of the back label, a second is a separate sticky label which may be stuck onto existing back labels without changing them.

"The duty stamp is a 25mm diameter roundel and will be available in two formats:
a self-adhesive freestanding stamp available for direct application to bottles by hand or by using machinery (Type A);
a stamp incorporated in bottle labels bearing a trademark (Type B)"

I am still rather confused by all this because the article also states "For sale in the UK" and also gives the reason as "To combat fraud".

This implies that it is a measure to prevent or control the following:

1. Fake bottles being sold in the UK.
But, if someone can reproduce good enough labels to convince people that they are buying a genuine Scottish whisky, then I am sure reproduction of this little stamp will be no problem too!

2. Payment of Duty.
Any bottle with this stamp effectively proves that duty has been paid.
Now, this is where I have some problems with my understanding. I know many residents of the UK still don't believe this, or perhaps don't WANT to believe it, but the UK is an integral part of the EU and there is no longer any concept of "Duty" or "Duty Free" between EU countries.
Yes, I know individual countries each have their own alcohol or spirits duties, but my problem lies with the possible marketing or propaganda (FUD!) that the Government will no doubt circulate when this is introduced.
Will they try to convince the public that "No Stamp = Fake"?
In which case, what about all the bottles sold outside the UK but WITHIN THE EU which are perfectly legal, non-fakes but don't have the "UK" stamp?
There are no restrictions for selling these to the UK as this is all EUROPE and duty will have paid within EUROPE which is perfectly legal.

So, I am now falling into the belief that this is nothing other than another of the UK Government's infamous White Elephants, but one which could cause many problems.

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Postby irishwhiskeychaser » Tue Jul 04, 2006 10:14 am

You are totally correct M-T. I live in the Republic of Ireland (as you know) and we have similar repressive duties as the UK has. Yet as a member of the EU I can import a case of whisk(e)y from Germany (typically) for a substantial difference and because the respective duty has been paid in the source country this is totally legal. However if a buy a bottle outside EU I am faced with the prospect of paying duty & vat unless I'm travelling then I have only a basic duty free quota.

However I did see a news report on the BBC a good while back which was saying that there was bogus exporters running large scale operations who were actually pretending to export the stock but actually resold it in the uk with out the duty being paid. By doing this they were making huge profits by selling high volumes of spirits (and cigarettes) at regular prices less duty therefore creating a huge and accepting black market.

So maybe this is where they were comming from

As you say it's all tosh .... There is no way legally that they can enforce restriction on bottles of spirits with out these stamps from the EU if your worried about that.

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Postby Deactivated Member » Tue Jul 04, 2006 10:52 am

I don't think for one minute they would be stupid enough to try to enforce some restriction, but I suspect there will be a large public information release promoting the "idea" that "No Stamp = Fake or Illegal", thus effectively restricting sales by FUD (Fear, Uncertainty & Doubt).

I am still totally unsure of what the EU would say or do about this, but if it happens, then surely they must act to hold back the UK Authorities a little.


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Postby Janieclare » Thu Aug 24, 2006 11:56 pm

happy to buy any of my preferred whisky without a stamp at a discount . . . .

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