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Focus Area: Coronavirus/COVID-19

TTB Allowing Distilled Spirits Permittees to Produce Hand Sanitizer to Address the COVID-19 Pandemic

On March 18, 2020, in response to the Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, the Acting Administrator of the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) issued certain exemptions and authorizations to distilled spirits permittees (DSPs) who wish to produce ethanol-based hand sanitizers to address the demand for such products. Under the guidance:

  • Any existing DSP can immediately commence production of hand sanitizer or distilled spirits (ethanol) for use in hand sanitizer (described below) without having to obtain authorization first.
  • Alcohol fuel plants (AFPs) and beverage DSPs are exempted from the requirement to obtain additional permits or bonds to manufacture hand sanitizer or to supply ethanol for use in the manufacture of hand sanitizer to other TTB permittees who are authorized to receive such distilled spirits. AFPs and beverage DSPs must continue to keep records of their operations, including any undertaken as authorized under this exemption.
  •  Hand sanitizer products are not subject to Federal excise tax if made with denatured ethanol, but if made with undenatured ethanol, Federal excise tax applies.
  • All TTB-permitted DSPs (including AFPs and beverage DSPs) may manufacture hand sanitizer products consistent with World Health Organization (WHO) guidance that are comprised of denatured or undenatured ethanol, glycerol (not less than 1.45% of the finished hand sanitizer product on a volume basis), and hydrogen peroxide (not less than 0.125% of the finished hand sanitizer product on a volume basis), without first obtaining formula approval from TTB.
  • Industrial alcohol user permittees may also use denatured ethanol to manufacture hand sanitizer consistent with World Health Organization (WHO) guidance without first obtaining formula approval.  Industrial alcohol user permittees also are exempt from the requirement to request approval from TTB to increase the quantities of denatured ethanol that they may procure.

The guidance is available here: https://www.ttb.gov/public-guidance/ttb-pg-2020-1

DISCLAIMER: The information provided is for general informational purposes only. This post is not updated to account for changes in the law and should not be considered tax or legal advice. This article is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship. You should consult with legal and/or financial advisors for legal and tax advice tailored to your specific circumstances.

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