Retailers need to check to see if they need to sign up for the new Alcohol Wholesaler Registration Scheme or risk a fine.

The Alcohol Wholesaler Registration Scheme, which is aimed at helping combat illicit alcohol and duty fraud, officially comes into effect on March 31 and applies to wholesalers and any retailers that sell alcohol to businesses. 

According to figures from HMRC, only 2,500 out of a possible 20,000 retailers and wholesalers have applied so far.

An HMRC spokesperson said: “If they carry on trading and they haven’t applied or registered by March 31, then they risk being fined.”