Insights - 31 Jul. 22
Do you need a Delivery Order? – Whisky Cask Investment
Do you need a Delivery Order? – Whisky Cask Investment
There is a lot of contradicting information in the press and from industry insiders regarding Delivery Orders (D.O's) and if you need one to legally own a Whisky Cask.

In this article, we are going to break down this commonly asked question in order to bring some clarity to the situation.

What is a Delivery Order?

A delivery order is a document used by bonded warehouses to update the owner’s details of casks maturing in their warehouses. A delivery order is only required when a change of ownership occurs. As the owner’s details are recorded when a cask is first filled, a delivery order is not required at this stage. 

There is no standard format for a delivery order and the appearance of the documents will vary from warehouse to warehouse. However, the function of the document remains the same.

How do I get a Delivery Order?

Over 22 million Scotch Whisky casks are currently maturing inside bonded warehouses in Scotland. These bonded warehouses vary in size, with some being small outbuildings on the distillery site and others being over 100,000 square foot warehouses.

It’s vital to understand the scale of the operation at these bonded warehouses when it comes to acquiring a delivery order.

In order to receive a delivery order, the new owner of the cask MUST hold an account with the bonded warehouse.

How do I open an account with a bonded Warehouse?

Each bonded warehouse will have its own criteria that must be met in order to open an account. Although each warehouse might differ on certain points, every bonded warehouse must determine if the account holder is classed as a revenue trader.

If the client is a revenue trader, they must obtain and hold a valid WOWGR licence, issued by HMRC. The WOWGR licence allows the individual or business to own and hold duty suspended goods. Dealing with the WOWGR licence holder is far simpler for a bonded warehouse as all due diligence has already taken place with HMRC.

Should the client not hold a WOWGR, the bonded warehouse must complete due diligence on the client to determine if they are in fact a revenue trader or not. 

Due to the incredible number of casks on site, over 100,000 casks in some cases, it is very rare that bonded warehouses open accounts for individual clients. It’s much simpler and cost-effective to only open accounts with WOWGR holders. These warehouses simply don’t have the staff levels to deal with thousands of individual applications.

Do I need a Delivery Order to own a Cask of Whisky?

No.

As we’ve explained above, as a private individual, it would be extremely difficult to open an account with a bonded warehouse. When you purchase casks through Whisky Investment Partners you are buying stock we own and being held under our account as we are proud owners of a WOWGR licence. 

All our clients are issued with an invoice and a certificate of ownership, a document clearly displaying the cask’s details and its legal owner. Should Whisky Investment Partners be liquidated, these details clearly show the owner’s details and are legal proof that the casks are your assets, not ours.

Will Whisky Investment Partners supply me with a Delivery Order?

Yes.

Whisky Investment Partners are more than happy to issue delivery orders to any and all of our clients that hold open accounts with a bonded warehouse. We’ve provided this service before for our clients who have had their casks transported to warehouses where they hold accounts. 

It is worth noting that any storage and insurance included when you purchase a cask through Whisky Investment Partners will be surrendered when the delivery order is completed. These services rely upon the casks being held under our account unless stated otherwise.

What to look for when purchasing Whisky Casks

When purchasing any cask of alcohol that is being stored under bond, it’s essential to do your due diligence and check for certain facts. Although scams within the cask alcohol trade are few and far between, it’s essential that all potential clients check for key signs with the businesses they deal with. Most legitimate businesses will display key information regarding their company at the bottom of their web pages.

WOWGR License Number: Is the firm recognised by HMRC to trade duty suspended goods? What is their WOWGR number and have you been provided with a copy of their certificate? License numbers usually start with GBOG.

Company Number: All UK businesses have a registration number. You can use this to check the business details and owners.

VAT Number: Possessed and displayed by businesses charging and paying VAT in the UK.

We advise anybody looking to purchase cask alcohol to take their time when researching potential sellers and brokers. Check for key signs of a business’s validity such as its website, business address, contact numbers and social media activity. Should you be in any doubt, refrain from making a purchase before consulting a professional for further advice.

Here at Whisky Investment Partners, we’re the proud holders of a WOWGR license and have excellent relationships with both our clients and our bonded warehouses. You can click here to read our independent Feefo reviews.

We’re happy to offer impartial advice on cask ownership and management, so please feel free to get in touch should you have any queries.

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