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HMRC internal manual

Cider Guidance

Cider production: spoilt cider: destruction


Cider makers have practical control of all aspects of spoilt cider in cases where a proper audit trail exists. This effectively gives cider makers the facility to destroy cider at a time and place of their choosing. However, entitlement to reclaim duty on spoilt cider will depend on the conditions as described in paragraph 13.7 of Notice 162 (GOV.UK) being met.

Cider makers can destroy spoilt cider directly from the container, either remotely or after return to the cider maker’s premises. They may also collect spoilt cider into a spoilt cider vessel for later destruction. Acceptable methods of destruction include:

  • running to drain
  • the addition of substances which make the cider undrinkable
  • use as animal feed.

Officers must be satisfied that the cider is made unsaleable as a beverage. The relevant regulation is 26(1)(b) of the Cider and Perry Regulations 1989.

Remote destruction of spoilt cider is permitted, subject to additional conditions, listed in paragraph 13.8 of Notice 162 being met.

Action before destruction

Normally persons destroying cider are required to measure the quantity and strength of the cider and enter the results in a spoilt cider record (CIDER03570 ‘Records’ refers) before cider is destroyed. However, there may be occasions when the precise quantity and strength are not known before destruction begins (for example, the destruction of cans at a remote site where this requirement may be waived). In other cases there may be adequate commercial records which provide the information required which will allow cider makers to complete the spoilt cider record later than specified times. 

Notice of destruction

Advance notice of the date and time of destruction should only be required in exceptional circumstances when there is a real risk to the revenue. If notice is required, the relevant regulations are 26(1)(c) and 27 of the Cider and Perry Regulation 1989.

Transfer of spoilt cider into other containers

Where claimants transfer spoilt cider from the containers in which it was returned to another vessel for later destruction, they must complete the spoilt cider record and include its strength and quantity to establish a clear audit trail from the time it is returned until the time it is finally destroyed.

The BEER guidance has an assurance section on spoilt product which details possible risks and any action to be taken. You may find this helpful - BEER17000 refers.