Importing Wines, Beers & Spirits into the UK

Site updated regularly - last updated March 2017

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  • Customs Tariff Classification
  • Alcohol of European Origin
  • The old paper system (AAD) & the new EMCS System (e-AD)
  • How to calculate excise duty
  • Related Links


  • When it comes to the importation of alcoholic drinks, you will have to pay excise duty on the alcohol content, regardless of which Country your drinks are being shipped from, just in the same way that excise duty is payable on Oils and Tobacco products. ukimports

    Customs Tariff Classification

    As is the same with any other products, when it comes to researching about importing alcohol in to the UK, it is firstly advisable to familiarize yourself with the way in which different alcoholic beverages are classified for Customs purposes in the UK Customs Tariff.

    Chapter 22 of the Customs Tariff, covers ‘BEVERAGES, SPIRITS AND VINEGAR’, and is initially divided as follows:

    2203 Beer made from malt
    -
    - 2203 00 01 - In containers holding 10 litres or less
    - 2203 00 10 - In containers holding more than 10 litres

    When it comes to the rate of excise duty on Beer, you will need to know the annual production, as indicated in the table below:

    Beer
    Incl. Ales & Lagers

    Drink Strength
    (ABV%)

    Tax
    Code

    Rate of
    Excise due*

    Up to 1.2%
    ukimports
    431 £ 0.00 - nil
    ukimports
    Large brewery with an
    annual production of
    Between 1.2% and 2.8%
    ukimports
    446 £ 8.42
    ukimports
    60,000 Hectolitres or
    more
    Between 2.8% and 7.5%
    ukimports
    473 £ 19.08
    ukimports
    If exceed. 7.5% - High Strength Surcharge
    ukimports
    447 £ 5.69
    ukimports

    Beer
    Incl. Ales & Lagers

    Drink Strength
    (ABV%)

    Tax
    Code

    Rate of
    Excise due*

    Up to 1.2%
    ukimports
    431 £ 0.00 - nil
    ukimports
    Micro brewery with
    an annual production
    Between 1.2% and 2.8%
    ukimports
    446 £ 8.42
    ukimports
    of less than 5,000
    Hectolitres
    Exceeding 2.8%
    ukimports
    443 £ 9.54
    ukimports
    If exceed. 7.5% - High Strength Surcharge
    ukimports
    447 £ 5.69
    ukimports

    Beer
    Incl. Ales & Lagers

    Drink Strength
    (ABV%)

    Tax
    Code

    Rate of
    Excise due*

    Up to 1.2%
    ukimports
    431 £ 0.00 - nil
    ukimports
    Small sized brewery
    with an annual product.
    Between 1.2% and 2.8%
    ukimports
    446 £ 8.42
    ukimports
    of more than 5,000
    Hectolitres but less than 60,000 HL
    Exceeding 2.8%
    ukimports
    441 £ variable
    ukimports
    If exceed. 7.5% - High Strength Surcharge
    ukimports
    447 £ 5.69
    ukimports


    *the rates shown above are as per the new rates implemented on the 13th March 2017, and are based on the percentage of alcohol

    …………………………………

    2204 Wine of fresh grapes, including fortified wines; grape must other than
    that of heading 2009

    -
    - 2204 10 - Sparkling wine
    - 2204 21 - Other wine; grape must with fermentation prevented or arrested by the addition of alcohol
    - 2204 30 - Other grape must

    …………………………………

    2205 Vermouth and other wine of fresh grapes flavoured with plants or aromatic
    substances

    -
    - 2205 10 - In containers holding 2 litres or less
    - 2205 90 - Other

    Wine & Made-Wine

    Drink Strength
    (ABV%)

    Tax
    Code

    Rate of
    Excise due*


    Low Alcohol Drinks
    Up to 1.2%
    ukimports
    431 £ 0.00 - nil
    ukimports
    These rates apply to
    both Sparkling & Still
    Between 1.2% and 4.0%
    ukimports
    433 £ 0.8893
    ukimports
    Between 4.0% and 5.5%
    ukimports
    435 £ 1.2230
    ukimports

    Wine

    Drink Strength
    (ABV%)

    Tax
    Code

    Rate of
    Excise due*

    Sparkling Between 5.5% and 8.5%
    ukimports
    412 £ 2.7946
    ukimports
    Between 8.5% and 15.0%
    ukimports
    411 £ 3.6972
    ukimports

    Wine

    Drink Strength
    (ABV%)

    Tax
    Code

    Rate of
    Excise due*

    Still Between 5.5% and 15.0%
    ukimports
    413 £ 2.8865
    ukimports

    Wine

    Drink Strength
    (ABV%)

    Tax
    Code

    Rate of
    Excise due*

    Still or Sparkling Between 15.0% and 22.0%
    ukimports
    415 £ 3.8482
    ukimports
    Exceeding 22.0%
    ukimports
    419 £ see below
    ukimports

    Wine & Made-Wine

    Drink Strength
    (ABV%)

    Tax
    Code

    Rate of
    Excise due*

    Sparkling Between 5.5% and 8.5%
    ukimports
    422 £ 2.7946
    ukimports
    Between 8.5% and 15.0%
    ukimports
    421 £ 3.6972
    ukimports

    Made-Wine

    Drink Strength
    (ABV%)

    Tax
    Code

    Rate of
    Excise due*

    Still Between 5.5% and 15.0%
    ukimports
    423 £ 2.8865
    ukimports

    Made-Wine

    Drink Strength
    (ABV%)

    Tax
    Code

    Rate of
    Excise due*

    Still or Sparkling Between 15.0% and 22.0%
    ukimports
    425 £ 3.8482
    ukimports
    Exceeding 22.0%
    ukimports
    429 £ see below
    ukimports

    *the rates shown above are as per the new rates implemented on the 13th March 2017, and are based per Litre of Wine or Made-Wine


    Type of Drink

    Drink Strength
    (ABV%)

    Tax
    Code

    Rate of
    Excise due*

    Wine Exceeding 22.0%
    ukimports
    419 £ 28.74
    ukimports
    Made-Wine Exceeding 22.0%
    ukimports
    429 £ 28.74
    ukimports

    *the rates shown above are as per the new rates implemented on the 13th March 2017, and are based per Litre of Alcohol

    …………………………………

    2206 Other fermented beverages (for example, cider, perry, mead); mixtures of
    fermented beverages and mixtures of fermented beverages and non-alcoholic beverages, not elsewhere specified or included

    -
    - 2206 00 10 - Piquette
    - 2206 00 31 - Other

    Type of Drink

    Tax Code Rate of Excise Due*
    Cider and Perry - Strength up to 1.2% 431 £ 0.00 - no excise duty payable on low-strength Cider or Perry. ukimports
    Sparkling Cider and Perry - Strength between 1.2 and 5.5% 481 £ 0.4038   ukimports
    Sparkling Cider and Perry - Strength between 5.5 and 8.5% 485 £ 2.7946   ukimports
    Still Cider and Perry - Strength between 1.2 and 7.5% 481 £ 0.4038   ukimports
    Still Cider and Perry - Strength between 7.5 and 8.5% 483 £ 0.6104   ukimports
    Cider and Perry - Strength exceeding 8.5% 435
    (classed as Wine)
    £ see above   ukimports

    *the rates shown above are as per the new rates implemented on the 13th March 2017, and are based per Litre of Cider or Perry

    Please Note:
    Only pure apple cider or pure pear cider is classed as 'Cider'. Any/all other cider which is coloured or flavoured, is classed as 'Made-Wine' and is subject to a higher rate of excise duty under tax code [435].

    …………………………………

    2207 Undenatured ethyl alcohol of an alcoholic strength by volume of 80 % vol or higher; ethyl alcohol and other spirits, denatured, of any strength
    -
    - 2207 10 - Undenatured ethyl alcohol of an alcoholic strength by volume of 80 % vol or higher
    - 2207 20 - Ethyl alcohol and other spirits, denatured, of any strength

    …………………………………

    2208 Undenatured ethyl alcohol of an alcoholic strength by volume of less than 80 % vol; spirits, liqueurs and other spirituous beverages
    -
    - 2208 30 - Whiskies
    - 2208 40 - Rum and other spirits obtained by distilling fermented sugar-cane products
    - 2208 50 - Gin and Geneva
    - 2208 60 - Vodka
    - 2208 70 - Liqueurs and cordials
    - 2208 90 - Other

    Type of Drink

    Drink Strength
    (ABV%)

    Tax
    Code

    Rate of
    Excise due*

    Spirits Between 1.2% and 8.0%
    ukimports
    438 £ 28.74
    ukimports
    (Incl. Spirit-based drinks) Exceeding 8.0%
    ukimports
    451 £ 28.74
    ukimports

    *the rates shown above are as per the new rates implemented on the 13th March 2017, and are based per Litre of Alcohol

    …………………………………

    Further sub-divisions do apply on top of the above descriptions. Either Click Here to view our dedicated web page, to find the correct classification code for your particular goods being imported, or email the Customs Classification team at classification.enquiries@hmrc.gsi.gov.uk ukimports

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    Alcohol of European Origin

    Most goods which originate from any member European of the EU, have the luxury of not incurring any charges of duty and / or VAT. That, however, does not apply to excisable goods, such as Alcohol and Tobacco products, etc.

     

    Excise duty must be paid on all alcoholic drinks before it can be released into Free Circulation for resale or any other commercial use. (The exception being when small amounts are transported by an individual for personal consumption, and is under the Personal Allowance limit).

     

    To arrange for the Customs clearance, and payment of excise duty, you will need to employ the services of a 'REDS Agent' ('REDS' stands for: Registered Excise Dealers and Shippers). There are several about, and although your preferred agent may not be a 'REDS Agent' themselves, they may have negotiated preferential rates, with an agent whom they use regularly, meaning that they too will be able to arrange the clearance for you.

     

    We can help you with the clearance and/or shipping of drinks from another EU Member Country. Contact our Imports Team for full details.

     

    For more information on how REDS works, please feel free to contact a member of our Imports Team, on (T) 0845 309 6360, or email us at: enquiries@ukimportservices.com

     

    Please note:

    If you have alcohol shipped from outside the EU, then you do NOT require the services of a 'REDS Agent', but we can still help you with the Customs clearance. ukimports

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    The old paper system (AAD) & the new EMCS System (e-AD)

    Before January 2011, it used to be common place for alcoholic beverages which were being shipped to the UK, from another Member EC State, be accompanied by an AAD (Administritive Accompanying Document) Form, but this is now being updated into a digital format and computerised on the EMCS computer system. If your goods are shipped from the EC, duty suspended, then your supplier will more than likely now use this European-wide EMCS computer system, creating an e-AD record of the movement of your drinks, for each shipment.

     

    Please note:

    Even though this is only a requirement to duty suspended drinks, UK Customs prefers that even those shipments which are 'duty pre-paid' to be entered onto the EMCS system. ukimports

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    How to calculate excise duty

    The way in which you calculate excise duty on alcoholic drinks, varies depending on the type of drink, which you are looking to import.

     

    For assistance with the calculation of excise duty, or if you just want more information on on this or any other topic, please contact our Imports Team on: (T) 0845 309 6360, or email your enquiry to: enquiries@ukimportservices.com. ukimports

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    - Click here to read Public Notice 203 - Registered Excise Dealers and Shippers

    - Click here to read more about the AAD

     

    Email Us

     

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    Related Links


  • How to calculate Duty/VAT
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  •