Clause 82 - Approval requirement: producers

Part of Finance (No. 2) Bill – in a Public Bill Committee am 3:45 pm ar 16 Mai 2023.

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Photo of Abena Oppong-Asare Abena Oppong-Asare Shadow Exchequer Secretary (Treasury) 3:45, 16 Mai 2023

We come to chapter 5 of the Bill and a group of clauses concerning regulated activities and approvals. Clauses 82 and 83 would require any person producing alcohol products to be approved by HMRC as a fit and proper person to do so, as determined by the HMRC commissioners. Clauses 84 and 85 provide exemptions from the approval process, so that a person may produce alcoholic products for their own consumption or for research into, and experiments in, the production of alcoholic products without needing approval from HMRC.

Clause 86 restricts the mixing of multiple alcoholic products, except in certain circumstances, such as if it is done in an excise warehouse and the mixing occurs before the duty point; the alcoholic products being mixed are all of the same type and strength; or the alcohol duty on each product has been paid and the resulting mixed product is to be consumed at the place where the mixing took place, such as a pub or bar. Clause 87 sets out that a person cannot mix water or any other substance with alcoholic products if the mixing is after the duty point, the mixed product is to be sold, and the resultant product would have attracted a higher amount of alcohol duty if the mixing were done prior to the duty point.

Clause 88 provides for HMRC to make regulations concerning the production, packaging, keeping and storing of alcoholic products; charging alcohol duty in reference to a strength that might reasonably be reached; relieving alcohol products from alcohol duty in certain circumstances; and regulating prohibition of the addition of substances and mixing. Before the Minister says that these are all largely administrative clauses, which I do not dispute, these seem like quite wide powers. I am interested to see that they will be subject to the negative procedure. Perhaps he can explain why that is the case?

Clause 89 sets out the penalties or forfeiture that can occur if a person fails to comply with clauses 82, 86 and 87, and any regulations made under clause 88, as we have just discussed. As we know, this is an administrative set of clauses laying out a reasonable approval and exemptions process, so we will not oppose it.