Duty and Cider Exemption

Fortunately, cider currently enjoys an exemption from duty by Customs & Excise. A cidermaker can make up to 7,000 litres of cider before having to register for duty. This is not an automatic exemption though, and if you intend to make any kind of real quantity you should apply for exemption. Information is available through the following links, and the application form can also be downloaded.

Once applied for, expect a visit to check your premises and to make sure you don’t have vats buried underground. This will be followed by a letter of confirmation (note that you are not exempt until you have this letter!)

If you want to sell cider in quantities over the exempt this, or should you be altering your cider by adding something not on the 'approved' list (e.g. Honey - see here for an except to notice 162 relating to additives), duty should be paid at the rates given below:

Still cider and perry Exceeding 1.2% - not exceeding 7.5% £37.68
Still cider and perry Exceeding 7.5% - less than 8.5% £56.55
Sparkling cider and perry  Exceeding 1.2% - not exceeding 5.5% £37.68
Sparkling cider and perry Exceeding 5.5% - less than 8.5% £245.32
Still wine and made-wine Exceeding 5.5% - not exceeding 15% £253.39
Wine and made-wine Exceeding 15% - not exceeding 22% £337.82

Rates are £ per hectolitre. (percentages relate to the abv.). Grid current as of 26th March 2012.

Note that once you are producing more than the exempt limit, duty becomes payable on all of your cider (not just the bit over the limit)!






Equipment - Sundries

Quick Links:

HMRC Notice 162

National Market Traders Federation

Food Standards Agency

Environmental Health


We are always after help and guidance in order to make the commercial side of cider making easier for those who want to start out.

If you have any experiences you wish to share with us, join the group and contact the administrator (or just post your experiences!)