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Hygiene: Products

Treasury written question – answered on 23rd March 2020.

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Photo of Tonia Antoniazzi Tonia Antoniazzi Labour, Gower

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether the Government will allow businesses in the UK to produce hand sanitiser, for free local distribution, from waste alcohol without an industrial manufacturing licence during the covid-19 outbreak.

Photo of Jesse Norman Jesse Norman The Financial Secretary to the Treasury

Manufacturers of hand sanitiser do not need a licence, although anybody that uses alcohol or alcohol waste within a manufacturing process must be authorised by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC).

To meet the additional demand for hand sanitiser, the Government has been supporting manufacturers by ensuring they have access to the denatured alcohol they need. Since the beginning of March, HMRC has fast-tracked the authorisation of over 3 million additional litres of denatured alcohol for hand sanitiser production.

However, in light of continuing high demand for duty free alcohol in these products, HMRC have now announced several easements to their current requirements. Under these new measures alcohol or alcohol waste held within an excise warehouse may be used, without HMRC’s prior approval, to produce hand sanitiser without the payment of excise duty, provided that the final product meets the World Health Organization’s formulation for Handrub.

Further information on all the measures introduced by HMRC to support hand sanitiser production can be found at:

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