The Union Customs Code will present significant challenges to the alcoholic drinks industry

Alcoholic drinks organisations are set to face some tough challenges over the next couple of years with the introduction of new legislative changes. The first of these is EU’s new Union Customs Code (UCC), which comes into force this May. Here, we explore how the UCC, particularly its cornerstone AEO scheme, will affect organisations in this multi-billion pound industry.

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.

HMRC’s Alcohol Wholesaler Registration Scheme (AWRS), comes into full effect from April 2017. However, vendors must now also contend with the new Union Customs Code (UCC) being rolled out this May 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.

Can You Really Afford to Roll The Dice With Customs Compliance?

Don't take any chances regarding customs compliance

With potentially even further legislation to tighten controls on the sale of alcohol in the pipeline, 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.

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.

We’re currently working with high profile retailers and distributors of alcohol products to ensure that they’re compliant with the new measures. Our comprehensive and robust software solutions interface with any warehouse IT system, giving assurance to the user that they have full Customs compliance.

Ignore the Union Customs Code at Your Peril!

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’s software can do all the legwork for you, 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.

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.

Applying for AEO status

AEO Application form

At Langdon Systems we provide a dedicated service for those intent on achieving AEO (C) status for businesses established in the UK and urge them to ensure their operations are compliant by the May 1st 2016 deadline.

We host one day “Introduction to AEO” seminars and complete AEO training programmes which can be tailored to be delivered in-house for your own specific requirements.

Next Steps

  • Visit our dedicated AEO website to find out more about the Union Customs code and the Authorised Economic Operator scheme
  • Contact us for more information about our AEO training programmes
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