Started by kombi1976, January 11, 2014, 07:43:34 PM
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QuoteI took the trouble to look this up a while ago in 'Halsbury's Laws of England' which is the legal encyclopaedia used by the courts and lawyers in general. It is very authoritative. Basically, the situation is this. You can't distill alcohol without a rectifier's licence (Alcoholic Liquor Duties Act 1979 s18(1)). If you do and are caught you will be liable to pay the duty on the alcohol in the spirits you make (currently £19.56 per litre) and to pay a fine of whichever is the greater of £250 and 5% of the duty payable. (Finance Act 1994 s9(2)). Forget getting a license. There are rules about how large (or rather how small) the still can be which would render any home device unlawful and in any case you'd have to pay the duty which sort of defeats the object. As far as I can ascertain, you are not committing a criminal offence by distilling alcohol. All the above are civil matters. I assume that Customs and Excise would seize all your product and your equipment too. In short, you might say that the consequences of a raid on a genuine hobby distiller making liquor for him or herself would be embarrassing but not necessarily disastrous. As for the likelihood of getting caught; well I have never heard of a case in my lifetime (I'm 47). My own guess is that the Customs an Excise are far too busy chasing drugs and liquor smugglers and dealing with VAT fraud to bother with a small time....... Hang on, there's someone at the door.
QuoteHang on, there's someone at the door.