Reliefs from alcohol duties

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


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

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

  • drinks with a strength of 1.2% 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

Alcoholic Ingredients Relief lets you:

  • claim a refund on alcohol duty you have paid on spirits, beer, cider or perry, wine and made-wine
  • use duty unpaid alcohol if you manufacture any of the following for wholesale supply

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, you need to apply to HM Revenue and Customs for authorisation using form EX240.

Read more on applying to receive duty-free spirits.

Published 9 November 2009