Guidance

Denatured alcohol: producing, stocking, distributing, selling and using

What denatured alcohol is, and how you apply for authorisation to produce, stock, distribute, sell or use it.

Overview

Denatured alcohol is alcohol that has been made unsuitable for drinking by the addition of approved denaturants.

There are 3 classes of denatured alcohol:

  • completely denatured alcohol (CDA)
  • industrial denatured alcohol (IDA)
  • trade specific denatured alcohol (TSDA)

Authorisation

If you want to do any of the following to denatured alcohol, you must be authorised or licensed by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC):

  • produce it
  • stock it
  • distribute it in wholesale quantities
  • sell it - although you can sell CDA without any restrictions
  • use IDA or TSDA

Produce denatured alcohol

If you’re already a licensed distiller, rectifier or compounder, you’ll need to write to the National Registration Unit to ask to be authorised - and give details of your distiller, rectifier or compounder licence.

If you’re not already licensed you’ll need to write to the National Registration Unit explaining that you wish to be licensed to denature alcohol.

You should also apply for approval of your intended processes at the same time.

Read more about how to apply for authorisation or for a licence to denature alcohol.

Distribute, hold stocks or sell, IDA or TSDA in wholesale quantities (not less than 20 litres)

You should write to the National Registration Unit explaining that you wish to be licensed to distribute denatured alcohol.

If you intend to hold stocks of denatured alcohol you’ll also need to ‘make entry’ of your premises and apply for an authorisation to use denatured alcohol at the same time

Read more about how to apply for a licence to distribute denatured alcohol and ‘make entry’ of premises.

You must only supply IDA or TSDA to someone who is authorised by HMRC to use it.

Read more about supplying IDA or TSDA in the UK.

Use IDA or TSDA

You should apply to the National Registration Unit explaining that you wish to be authorised to use IDA or TSDA.

Read more about how to apply for an authorisation to use IDA or TSDA.

Read more about producing, supplying and using denatured alcohol.

Published 9 November 2009