Compliance Manager

Each year the Scotch whisky industry contributes roughly £5 billion to the British economy accounting for a quarter of the UK's total food and drinks exports and supporting 40,300 jobs. Exports of Scotch Whisky contribute £4 billion a year to Britain's trade balance, creating a compliance and administrative requirement on all Scotch Whisky businesses.

As a compliance manager it is your responsibility to ensure that the distillery complies with the paperwork required to export Scotch Whisky across international borders a business. As well as ensuring that its employees and projects comply with all relevant regulations and specifications, including health and safety, environmental, legal and ethical requirements the business has to navigate.

Role Description

You will focus on the creation, co-ordination and compliance of data required to comply with HMRC as well as the external standards ranging from Risk, COSHH, Manual Handling Assessments etc and Systems Auditing through monthly reports.

As a compliance manager you perform a key role in the site’s governance team; with a solid understanding of the legal aspects of imports and exports and in-house policies compliance requirements. You will perform regular audits of business procedures and processes to ensure this compliance.

Main duties and responsibilities

The role of a compliance manager involves the following duties and responsibilities:

  • Ensuring the compliance of C&E, SDVS and AWRS legislation, standards and protocols in all defined markets including the preparation of tax returns and other submissions for timely submission to authorities after in-house approval.
  • Overseeing the flow of spirits into, through and out of to excise warehouse. Including applying further excise warehouse approvals where required. Management of duty stamps and duty clawback.
  • Working with Finance to agree tax disclosures and accurate calculation and reporting.
  • Maintaining a current working knowledge of tax laws and regulations (both local and international) including the specific filing information required.
  • You will be the key site contact for all HMRC communications and reporting. And will take responsibility for ensuring all employees are aware of their obligations in terms of compliance.
  • Responsible for overall C&E strategy, monitoring, controls, monthly C&E KPIs and being the external liaison for the site / business area. Responsibilities include investigating and driving improvements with any C&E incidents.
  • Continually review processes and procedures for managing tax including operational effectiveness, identification of risks and providing recommended changes required due to changes in legislation where required.
  • Design and management of wider areas of compliance, risk management and business continuity management including internal and external audits, GAR audits, records retention and ISO 9001 using risk assessment procedures and appropriate management checks and independent audits.
  • Regularly assess the efficiency of control systems and recommend effective improvements. Including the design, monitoring and recommended improvements of control systems that deal with violations of legal and internal policies.
  • You will create and implement strong control systems for the adherence to internal policies and external regulations including acting as the Management Representative for ISO 9001 and controls and assurance of risk management.
  • Ensure compliance with authorised destructions process and conduct track and trace requests for the site.
  • Conducting periodic audits and investigating discrepancies and rule infringements of company procedures and processes.


Skills and experience

Skills and experience which may benefit anyone considering a job as a compliance manager include:

  • Degree-level education (or equivalent) in relevant subject area (e.g., Business Administration, Economics, Finance, Accounting, Business, Tax or Law) from a reputable university. Or a Compliance Management Certificate or Certificate in Compliance.
  • Qualified tax and/or finance professional with tax accounting/IFRS/C&E experience (including deferred tax) and a sound understanding of HMRC legislation as it applies within the Drinks Industry (Spirit Supply, Packaging and Export).
  • 3 to 5 years of compliance experience in a tax environment either in Industry or a Profession (preferably FMCG/Blue Chip) covering all forms of direct & indirect taxes.
  • Experience in one or more of the areas of risk: C&E, Risk and Assurance and Security.
  • Excellent verbal & written proficiency in English and preferably other languages.
  • Attention to detail
  • Outstanding communication and interpersonal abilities.
  • An analytical mindset, excellent organizational skills and a forensic attention to detail.
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills.

Qualifications Required

To apply you must have a third level qualification in Business Administration or an equivalent qualification, a minimum of 12 months experience within the last 3 years working within a similar role and you must be computer literate with experience of using Microsoft office.

It is desirable you hold a recognised qualification and experience of carrying out Audits on ISO Management Systems, such as ISO45001, and experience working in a similar role within the food and drink industry.

Did you know?

Tax on the average bottle of Scotch Whisky in the UK currently stands at 70%, meaning around £3 in every £4 spent on Scotch Whisky in the UK goes to the HM Treasury in excise and VAT.


Institute of Brewing and Distilling
Tel: 020 7499 8144
Twitter: @IBDHQ

National Skills Academy for Food and Drink
Tel: 0330 174 1253
Twitter: @NSAFD

Scotland Food and Drink
Tel: 0131 335 0940
Twitter: @scotfooddrink

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The Scotch Whisky Association

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