If you use alcohol commercially and it is not used for drinking or enjoyment purposes, you can do so tax-free in many cases. As a rule, you need a permit for this.
With the permit, you can obtain alcohol untaxed from a German tax warehouse. A tax warehouse is a place approved by the main customs office where alcohol or alcohol products may be produced, processed, stored, received or dispatched. Before granting a permit, the customs administration generally checks whether certain requirements are met with regard to your tax reliability.
In some cases, the alcohol must be denatured in order to be used tax-free. Denaturing involves adding certain substances to alcohol to make it no longer drinkable or edible. You can use alcohol products tax-free on application for the following purposes:
- for the manufacture of medicinal products, if you are allowed to do so under the legislation on medicinal products
- undenatured for the manufacture of vinegar
- denatured for the manufacture of goods which are neither medicinal products nor foodstuffs
- denatured for heating, cleaning or other purposes not involving the manufacture of goods
- Undenatured for the manufacture of food flavourings for flavouring beverages containing not more than 1,2 % by volume of alcohol or other foodstuffs, except alcohol and other spirituous beverages
- Undenatured for the manufacture of pralines of an alcoholic strength by volume not exceeding 8,5 litres per 100 kilograms
- undenatured for the manufacture of other foodstuffs of an alcoholic strength by volume not exceeding 5 litres of alcohol per 100 kilograms, but not for spirits and other spirituous beverages.
The permit lists certain obligations that you must observe. If you do not comply with these, you will be subject to restrictions that may lead to the revocation of the permit.