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Re: [new_distillers] A Potential new boy ?

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  • Giles
    ... sourcing materials but.... the law Ok so I am quite aware its not strictly legal, however, I suspect there could be a certain amount of turning
    Message 1 of 3 , Jan 6, 2001
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      > What bothers me right now is not the process of building a still, >
      sourcing materials but.... "the law" > Ok so I am quite aware its not
      strictly legal, however, I suspect > there could be a certain amount
      of turning blind eyes as long as > there > is no selling involved (after
      all who wants a probing from customs > and > excise) and you really
      cant just pop into the local constabulary and > find out what your
      chances are like. > > So, my question to the team is this (and its
      really only for the UK > guests) does anyone one have any ideas on
      what the stakes are for > this > , should I decide to go ahead and
      then be daft enough to get caught. >

      Well, I 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.
    • ken hawkyard-gibson
      ... supposed to a free country but it is far from that in that it tends more toward repression than freedom. We don t even have freedom of speech anymore
      Message 2 of 3 , Jan 8, 2001
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        --- Giles <giles@...> wrote: >
        > > What bothers me right now is not the process of
        > building a still, >
        > sourcing materials but.... "the law" > Ok so I am
        > quite aware its not
        > strictly legal, however, I suspect > there could be
        > a certain amount
        > of turning blind eyes as long as > there > is no
        > selling involved (after
        > all who wants a probing from customs > and > excise)
        > and you really
        > cant just pop into the local constabulary and > find
        > out what your
        > chances are like. > > So, my question to the team is
        > this (and its
        > really only for the UK > guests) does anyone one
        > have any ideas on
        > what the stakes are for > this > , should I decide
        > to go ahead and
        > then be daft enough to get caught. >
        >
        > Well, I 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.
        > Hi Giles, everything in life is a risk. The Uk is
        supposed to a free country but it is far from that in
        that it tends more toward repression than freedom. We
        don't even have freedom of speech anymore thanks to
        the politically correct lobby. I'm 50 and like you
        have never heard of anyone getting bust for making a
        few drops of liquor. I think the police and vat
        (customs and excise) people would be more interested
        in those growing their own dope, dealing etc. But
        given the amount of tax we pay on everything, I think
        the government would love to have that bit extra from
        us by means of big fines.
        regards ken


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