Excise Notice 39: spirits production in the UK

Find out what spirit manufacturers need to do to comply with HMRC.



This notice cancels and replaces Notice 39 (March 2020).

Changes have been made in the following sections:

  • Distiller’s warehouse: providing a financial guarantee - Section 10.4
  • UK spirit drinks with a geographical indication (GI) protection - Section 12
  • Change of business ownership - Section 2.1, 3.1 and 14

This notice explains the:

  • licensing of distillers, rectifiers and compounders
  • procedure of approving distiller’s plant and production process
  • warehousing of spirits
Published 1 January 2012
Last updated 20 December 2021 + show all updates
  1. Sections 2.1, 3.1 and 14 have been updated with information about a change of business ownership.

  2. This page has been updated because the Brexit transition period has ended.

  3. Information added about temporary changes to the use and supply of denatured alcohol and duty-free spirits, to stop the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).

  4. Guidance on the accuracy of returns has been updated.

  5. Section 11.3 has been updated with information on where you can send a written general enquiry about excise.

  6. Section 14.1 updated to clarify when a rectifier or compounder doesn't need a licence to re-distil, combine or mix spirits.

  7. Updated Excise Notice 39 cancels and replaces the previous version issued on 1 January 2012.

  8. First published.