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HMRC internal manual

Duty Free Spirits Guidance

Glossary: Glossary of terms


Advice Centre The Excise and Inland Customs Advice Centre  
Alcohol Ethyl alcohol or ethanol.  
ALDA The Alcoholic Liquor Duties Act 1979.  
Art or manufacture Not defined in law, but is interpreted as including manufacturing and related processes, scientific or medical research and teaching.  
Authorised User A person authorised to receive and use spirits under section 8 or 10 of ALDA.  
CEMA The Customs and Excise Management Act 1979.  
Compound To combine or mix spirits with any other substance so as to produce British Compounded Spirits (BCS), without distilling.  
DEB Alcohol denatured with Bitrex and Tertiary Butyl Alcohol - it can be used in cosmetics and perfume.  
Denatured Alcohol Ethanol with agreed formula of chemicals added to deter use as alcoholic beverages, yet allow the alcohol to be used for various industrial uses. See Notice 473 (HMRC web)    
Denaturant An approved substance that is added to spirits to make them unpalatable.  
Distiller A person holding a licence to manufacture spirits whether or not the process used is actually distillation.  
Duty Free Spirits (DFS) Spirits delivered free of excise duty under section 8 or 10 of the Alcoholic Liquor Duties Act 1979.  
EC The European Community.  
Ester An organic compound produced when an alcohol (ethyl, methyl, etc) reacts chemically with an acid.  
Ether An organic compound in which 2 hydrocarbon radicals are joined by an atom of oxygen.  
Excise duty A charge levied for fiscal purposes, at the same rate on home-produced and imported spirits.  
HMWR The Excise Goods (Holding, Movement Warehousing and REDS) Regulations 1992.  
Marker A chemical compound with properties similar to ethanol, which is difficult to remove after mixing with spirits, and which therefore remains in the mixture as a ‘tracer’ or ‘policeman’.  
Methylated spirits Old term for Denatured Alcohol  
Plain British Spirits Spirits in their original state, manufactured in the United Kingdom, and without artificial flavour.  
Potable Fit to drink.  
RTR The Revenue Traders (Accounts and Records) Regulations 1992.  
Spirits Ethanol (otherwise known as ethyl alcohol).  
Tax warehouse A premises approved for the production, processing, holding, receipt or dispatch of excise goods under duty-suspension arrangements.