UKWA welcomes HMRC decision to revoke WOWGR legislation

The UK Warehousing Association has hailed as a victory for the industry the intention stated by HMRC at a meeting of the Joint Alcohol and Tobacco Consulting Group last month to repeal the highly unpopular Warehousekeeper and Owners of Warehoused Goods Regulations (WOWGR).

Although changes will not come into effect until next year, the repeal of WOWGR will mean significantly reduced burden on warehouse operators and an end to massive duty assessments, sanctions for breaches of the law and essentially unlawful blocks on trade in spirits.

UKWA CEO Clare Bottle says, “Our specialist Excise advisor Alan Powell has been a prime mover in this process and has been fighting for these changes on behalf of embattled warehouse operators. We are grateful to Alan for his sterling efforts and invaluable advice to our members.”

Under WOWGR, owners of spirits, beer and cider (although not wine or other fermented products) have been required to be registered by HMRC to ‘own’ those goods in a third party excise warehouse. Going forward warehouse keepers holding spirits, beer and cider will need to be authorised and registered, but need take no further action.

Alan Powell adds, “The measure will lighten the load on the warehouse industry and eliminate wasted resources on the part of HMRC on matters that are of no practical use, particularly where there is an imperative from the government for regulatory simplification and removal of red tape. This is excellent news for the entire industry!”