Reliefs from Alcohol Duties

You may qualify for relief from Alcohol Duty if you use alcohol as an ingredient, or for medical, scientific and manufacturing purposes.


You may claim relief from duty for alcohol that you use:

  • to make foodstuffs
  • to make goods not intended for human consumption
  • for a medical or scientific purpose

Alcoholic Ingredients Relief

If you manufacture certain products for wholesale supply, Alcoholic Ingredients Relief lets you:

  • claim a refund on the Alcohol Duty you have paid on spirits, beer, cider, perry, wine and made-wine
  • use duty unpaid alcohol

You can claim Alcoholic Ingredients Relief if you manufacture for wholesale supply:

  • drinks with a strength of 1.2% ABV (alcohol by volume) or less
  • chocolates with no more than 8.5 litres of alcohol per 100 kilograms of chocolate
  • other foods (not drinks) containing no more than 5 litres of alcohol per 100 kilograms of the final product
  • vinegar

You don’t need authorisation or approval, but you do need to follow specific rules to make a claim.

Relief for medical, scientific or manufacturing use

You can apply to receive spirits without payment of Spirits Duty if you use spirits for:

  • medical purposes
  • scientific purposes
  • making goods that are not intended to be eaten

Alternatively, you may be able to use denatured alcohol.

Before you can receive duty-free spirits for medical or scientific purposes, you need to apply to HM Revenue and Customs for authorisation using form EX240.

Other reliefs

You can claim relief for cider or wine that you’ve used as a sample or given for domestic consumption. You can also claim for wine or cider that’s been lost or spoilt.

Published 9 November 2009