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There’s less than a month to go until the biggest alcohol duty shake-up in 140 years comes into effect, when small producers will benefit from reduced rates on qualifying products, such as draught beer and cider.

From 1 August 2023, all alcoholic drinks will be taxed solely on their alcohol by volume (ABV) instead of by the current method, which uses four separate taxes for beer, cider, spirits, wine and made-wine.

The reforms will replace and extend the existing Small Brewers Relief with Small Producer Relief. This means all small businesses that produce any alcoholic products with an ABV of less than 8.5% will be eligible for lower rates on products that qualify, if they produce less than 4,500 hectolitres annually.

Small producers can check the reduced rates of duty that apply to them by using the Small Producer Relief calculator. HMRC is also running a series of live webinars throughout July 2023 and in the months ahead to further support the drinks industry through these changes.

To promote innovation and responsible drinking, drinks below 3.5% ABV will be charged at a new lower rate of duty.

The new system will create six standardised alcohol duty bands across all types of alcoholic products and apply to all individuals and businesses involved in the manufacture, distribution, holding and sale of alcoholic products across the UK.

To assist wine producers and importers in moving to the new method of calculating duty on their products, temporary arrangements will be in place for 18 months from 1 August 2023 until 1 February 2025.

Jonathan Athow, director general of customer strategy & tax design, HMRC, said: “After listening to feedback from industry, economists, consumer organisations, public health groups and many business owners, the new Alcohol Duty system will be based on the founding principle of taxing alcoholic products by strength, ensuring consistency across the board for the first time.

“The new system will support the government’s public health objectives and provide extra support to small producers.”

Visit for more information on the new alcohol duty rates and reliefs.