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HMRC internal manual

Duty Free Spirits Guidance

Technical Guidance: Can Duty Free Spirits be used for cleaning?

Duty Free Spirits cannot be used for general cleaning or other purposes.

However, if Industrial Denatured Alcohol spirits is shown to be unsuitable, DFS may be used to flush out pipework and other apparatus as an integral part of a manufacturing process (eg the manufacture of pharmaceuticals or fine chemicals).

The trader must be able to prove that the use of denatured alcohol in a manufacturing process is not suitable to that process. If he does so, then an authorisation to use Duty Free Spirits in that process may be considered by the National Registration Unit. If necessary they will consult with ESM.

There is a precedent whereby DFS was authorised for cleaning purposes. The cleaning operation involved the cleaning of highly sensitive computer parts in the manufacture of integrated circuit chips for microelectronic technology. It was proved to our satisfaction that the use of a denaturant would harm the process.