Published: 15 April 2020  (Updated: 16 April 2020)

COVID-19 – Excise Duty on Alcohol for Hand Sanitisers, Including Bioethanol

Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) published a factsheet to explain that alcohol used for the production of hand sanitisers is not subject to excise duty, as long as it is denatured (unfit for human consumption) to avoid diversion to the illicit market.  However, there is an exception for use in hospitals or care homes, where undenatured duty-free spirits may be used.  Users of this raw material will still need to seek prior HMRC approval before making or using the alcohol, unless they are a licenced distiller or gin manufacturer.  Please note, these provisions also apply to bioethanol.  More details on this and on the HMRC’s relaxations during the COVID-19 outbreak can be found in the HMRC factsheet and online guidance.

Members can find further information on the production of hand sanitisers in the following CTPA resources:

COVID-19 Advice for the Cosmetics Industry

Hand Sanitisers - Information for Alcohol Producers

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