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New laws coming into force to tighten the business-to-business sale of alcoholic beverages

New laws are coming into force to tighten the business-to-business sale of alcoholic beverages as HMRC cracks down on fraud to ensure the Exchequer gets its full share of excise duty, estimated at over £10billion annually.

In addition to HMRC’s Alcohol Wholesaler Registration Scheme (AWRS), which comes into full effect from April 2017, vendors must also contend with the new Union Customs Code (UCC) being rolled out next year by the EU to standardise the movement of trade across member states.

To meet these requirements businesses must review their obligations, even with companies who would not consider themselves to be wholesale, while those importing or exporting alcohol will also need to comply with the EU’s Authorised Economic Operator (AEO) scheme from 1st May 2016 or face delays in the release of goods as well as severe sanctions.

With potentially even further legislation to tighten controls on the sale of alcohol in the pipeline, Langdon Systems Ltd says it’s paramount that businesses have the IT solution that enables them to be fully compliant with the regulations that apply if they are not to be exposed to operational restraints, potential fraud, financial penalties or even legal action.

Langdon Systems has over 30 years’ experience in customs and excise technology and expertise. Their approach is designed and proven to reduce the burden on businesses through the provision of comprehensive software packages that integrate with and complement existing systems and operations. The solution is enhanced by a dedicated systems, technical and legislative support.

The Wine and spirits sector, a fiercely cut-throat market where margins are very tight, leaves no room for error. Compliance with the latest tax schemes and EU legislation will provide for a significant competitive edge for companies over competitors who are incurring dwell time or additional guarantees to operate Customs Procedures.

Langdon Systems’ Customs Manager, Dave Bradbury, said: “We’re working with high profile retailers and distributors of alcohol products to ensure that they are compliant with the new measures. We supply comprehensive and robust software solutions which interface with any warehouse IT system, giving assurance to the user that they have full Customs compliance.

“However, even if you have Excise Duty sorted out, the new UCC from May 1st 2016 could upset the applecart for companies dealing with imported goods from outside the EU. Langdon Systems’ software can do all the legwork, such as the returns and reporting to other member states for checking recipients and guarantees for the movement of goods.”

Those that fail to adhere to the AEO standard will be subject to Mandatory Guarantees to operate Customs Procedures and must submit prior notification of release of goods. A dwell time will be imposed and goods may not be removed until it has expired otherwise penalties will apply.

Langdon Systems provides a dedicated service for achieving AEO (C) status for businesses in the UK and other EU Member States and is urging them to ensure their operations are compliant by the May 1st 2016 deadline. The emphasis is on producing a comprehensive AEO package to present to HMRC with the ultimate goal of gaining AEO certification.

In an environment in which industry is increasingly targeted, compliance and assurance for legitimate business is paramount. Prevention of exposure to fraud, financial difficulties and possible legal action is essential.

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