The UK Duty Stamps Scheme is UK law and applies to spirits or fortified wines with a strength of 30% alcohol by volume (ABV) or more, of 35 centilitres capacity or above, for consumption in the UK.

Each bottle that you send must have a duty stamp indicating that excise duty has either been paid, or is due to be paid, before it is released onto the UK market. It is your responsibility to pay for duty stamps.

This applies equally to bottles being used as tasting samples in the International Spirits Challenge (ISC) that meet the above criteria.

The ISC is delighted to offer a Duty Stamp service to make the process easier for you. When you enter the competition, simply opt to pay £20 extra per bottle and we will organise for Duty Stamps to be applied at our warehouse. This cost will include the UK duty, taxes and administration fees. You will be responsible for the shipping and customs clearance costs.

Please remember that you need to send two bottles per tasting entry.

It is an offence in UK law to avoid the payment of these taxes on samples.

If you wish to speak to us about any of the above, please call Helen Heppell, International Spirits Challenge on +44 (0) 1293 590 050.

If bottles for the ISC 2018 arrive which do not have UK duty stamps we will invoice you for the cost of providing the duty stamps. The invoice must be paid before the competition takes place or your entry may be withdrawn. In this instance, no refund will be made.

The Commissioners of HMR&C require evidence of payment of duties and VAT as enshrined in The Alcoholic Liquor Duties Act 1979 and enforced by The Customs & Excise Management Act 1979.

Procedures to achieve this are stipulated in the Customs Tariff and Public Notices covering alcoholic products. It is an offence to avoid the payment of these taxes on samples. Further guidance may be obtained from the HMR&C National Advice Service - telephone 08450 109000.