Clause 98 - Definitions

Part of Finance (No. 2) Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 4:15 pm on 16 May 2023.

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Photo of Abena Oppong-Asare Abena Oppong-Asare Shadow Exchequer Secretary (Treasury) 4:15, 16 May 2023

We now come to chapter 7 of the Bill, which concerns the wholesaling of controlled alcoholic products. Clause 98 provides several definitions relevant to the chapter, and clause 99 allows HMRC commissioners to make specific definitions concerning whether goods are to be considered wholesale or retail sale. Clause 100 lays out an approval process to allow a person to carry out wholesale activity. Again, that simply reproduces, with updated terminology, sections of the Alcoholic Liquor Duties Act 1979.

Clause 101 requires HMRC to keep a publicly available register of all approved wholesalers, and clause 102 provides HMRC with powers to regulate the wholesale system. I would be grateful if the Minister could humour me and give me more information on how the register will be made publicly available, what timescales have been given to HMRC and what publication dates will be required for that information.

Clause 103 turns the focus to purchasers of alcoholic products, specifying that a person may not buy controlled alcoholic products unless they are buying from an approved wholesaler. Clauses 104 and 105 and schedule 10 make it clear that a penalty could be incurred if a person knows, or reasonably suspects, that they have bought alcoholic products from someone who is not suitably approved.

Clause 106 defines a group for the purposes of the alcoholic product wholesaler provisions, and clause 107 provides definitions for some of the terms used in the chapter. We do not take issue with this set of clauses concerning wholesale transactions, and we will not oppose them.