Temporary changes to the use and supply of denatured alcohol and duty-free spirits, to help businesses who produce hand sanitiser and gel.
HMRC is experiencing a high demand for authorisations to use duty-free spirits and denatured alcohol for hand sanitiser use. We are currently processing most applications within 5 working days.
You should only contact HMRC about the progress of your application if you have not heard from us after 5 working days.
If you use these temporary measures, you still need to follow:
- HMRC guidance about producing, supplying or using denatured alcohol
- safety guidance for industry about cosmetics from the Office for Product Safety and Office for Product Safety and Standards
- advice from the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency to decide if your product is a medicine or a medical device
- guidance on the Health and Safety Executive’s website about placing biocides on the market
- Department for Transport guidance on transporting dangerous goods
HMRC will give at least 30 days notice before we withdraw these temporary measures.
If you’re already producing hand sanitiser
If you’re authorised to use duty-free spirit to produce hand sanitiser for hospitals
You’ll be automatically authorised to produce sanitiser for care homes.
Removal of limits on denatured alcohol and duty-free spirits used in the production of hand sanitiser
You do not need to apply to increase your annual usage limit if you’re already authorised to use industrial denatured alcohol, trade specific denatured alcohol 1 or duty-free spirit to produce hand sanitiser for retail or hospital use.
If you’re authorised to use TSDA 6 or 7
You can produce hand sanitiser if you’re already authorised to use trade specific denatured alcohol 6 or 7.
If you want to produce hand sanitiser
If you want to produce or use denatured alcohol or duty-free spirit to make hand sanitiser you can use:
- industrial denatured alcohol
- trade specific denatured alcohol 1, 6 or 7
- duty-free spirit - but only if the hand sanitiser is for supply to hospitals and care homes
You should apply to HMRC in the usual way, unless you’re a licensed distiller or gin manufacturer.
Licensed distiller or gin manufacturer
If you hold duty suspended ethanol in an excise warehouse, you can denature the ethanol by either:
- producing a hand sanitiser that meets World Health Organisation (WHO) formulations for handrub
- meeting the formulations of industrial denatured alcohol, or trade specific denatured alcohol 1, 6 or 7
You do not need to tell HMRC or get approval, but you must keep a record of the:
- amounts of ethanol denatured
- method used
If you supply trade specific denatured alcohol or duty-free spirit
If you’re a licensed supplier of trade specific denatured alcohol or duty-free spirit and you’re supplying it for hand sanitiser, you do not need to restrict the volume supplied. But you should continue to:
- inspect authorisations
record details of supplies made