Guidance

Permitted ingredients for Cider Duty

Check which ingredients to use to make cider or perry that qualifies for Cider Duty rates. If you use other ingredients, you must pay Wine Duty rates instead.

You can only pay Cider Duty rates if the cider you make contains only the permitted ingredients below, and within the limits for each ingredient.

If your cider or perry contains other ingredients, it’s classed as ‘made-wine’ and you’ll need to register and submit returns for Wine Duty.

Ingredients

Ingredient Maximum concentration or limit
Apple aromas (natural only) No limit but must meet rules on aromas
Apple juice (fresh or concentrate) Limited to 25% if used in the making of perry
Apple wine No limit but must only contain ingredients permitted in the making of cider and perry
Cider - out of condition No limit
Cider vinegar Limited to the quantity necessary to adjust acidity
De-alcoholised concentrated cider (Cidrasse) No limit but must only be produced from ingredients permitted in the making of cider
Neo-hesperidine No limit
Nitrogen No limit
Pear aromas (natural only) No limit but must meet the rules on aromas
Pear juice (fresh or concentrate) Limited to 25% if used in the making of cider
Pear wine No limit but must only contain ingredients permitted in the making of cider and perry
Perry - out of condition No limit
Perry vinegar Limited to the quantity necessary to adjust acidity
Sugars and sugar syrups No limit
Water No limit

Sugars and sugar syrups

Sugars and sugar syrups include:

  • high fructose corn syrup or high fructose syrup
  • fructose Hydrolysed starch or hydrolysed starch syrup
  • glucose
  • liquid sugars
  • sucrose
  • sugar

Apple and pear aromas

You can only use natural pear and apple aromas to produce cider or perry. This means that you can only derive aromas from pears and must keep the typical characteristics of pears.

Pear and apple aromas and how you use them must conform to the National Association of Cider Makers (NACM) Code of Practice: ‘Restoration Aromas - Conditions for Use’. You can only use pear and apple aromas to restore flavour.

Additives

The following additives are allowed but are limited by the current food legislation limits.

Additive E number  
Acesulfame-K E950  
Acetic acid N/A  
Ascorbic acid and its salts E300 - E302  
Aspartame E951  
Carbon dioxide N/A  
Citric acid and its salts E330 - E333  
Dimethyl dicarbonate (Velcorin) E242  
Lactic acid and its salts E270, E325, E326  
Malic acids and its salts E296, E350a, E351b, E352a  
Saccharin (and Na, K, and Ca salts) E954  
Sorbic acid and its salts E200, E202, E203  
Sucralose E955  
Sulphur dioxide and its salts E220 - E224, E226 - E228  
Salt (Sodium chloride) N/A  
Tartaric acid and its salts E334 - E336  

Colouring

You can use colouring in cider or perry, but only to make cider or perry that’s straw, gold or golden brown colour. The permitted colourings are:

Colourings E number
Acid brilliant green BS E142
Anthocyanin E163
Caramel E150a, E150b, E150c, E150d
Carmoisine E122
Cochineal E120
Indigotine E132
Mixed Carotenes E160a, E160b, E160c, E160d, E160e
Ponceau 4R E124
Quinoline yellow E104
Sunset yellow E110
Tartrazine E102

Processing aids

There are no restrictions on the use of processing aids to make cider or perry, as long as they do not change or alter the characteristics of the cider or perry.

Residual traces of these aids may stay in the final product as long as they do not change the colour or flavour of the cider or perry.

Type of processing aid Example
Decolourizers Charcoal
Enzymes Pectinase
Filter aids Cellulose
Kieselguhr
Fining aids Bentonite
Gelatin
Isinglass
Tannin
Miscellaneous Anti-foaming agents
Calcium carbonate
on-exchange resins
Lactic acid bacteria
Microbial nutrients other than urea and its derivatives
Yeast and yeast culture

In some ciders, yeasts and bacteria may be present in considerable numbers.

Adding new permitted ingredients

If you want to add a permitted ingredient to the list, you must discuss if the ingredient is a suitable additive with the NACM.

If they think your proposal reasonably falls within the Alcoholic Liquor Duties Act 1979 definition of cider, you must submit your application to the Excise Enquiries Team along with the NACM’s written endorsement.

HMRC will not approve applications to add herbs or spices, fruit juices other than apple or pear, or flavours of any type other than those specified in the current permitted ingredients list.

Published 11 July 2018