HMRC ramps up ethanol approvals for scarce hand sanitiser

Manufacturers of hand sanitisers and gels will have their applications for denatured alcohol – ethanol – fast tracked during the coronavirus outbreak, HMRC has confirmed

Denatured alcohol is the key ingredient in the manufacturing process for the now desperately needed hand sanitising gels which have been conspicuously absent from shelves for several weeks.

HMRC approves all applications to use ethanol, which is integral to the manufacture of sanitised hand gels.

Under the new measures, HMRC will fast track manufacturers’ assurance checks, but they will not be replaced.

The latest move by HMRC should allow more manufacturers to get production lines running again, which would be better late than never as it is one of the key protective measures the government has recommended people use to beat the virus.

Current standards for assuring applications to manufacture, supply or use denatured alcohol will continue to apply.

HMRC said it would ‘strive to process requests within five working days’.

In the past three weeks, HMRC has increased the limit of authorised use denatured alcohol in the production of hand sanitiser gels, totalling 2.5 million additional litres.

An HMRC spokesperson said: ‘By enabling the fast-tracking of authorisations to use denatured alcohol, we are providing manufacturers with the potential to produce the extra hand sanitiser gel needed during the coronavirus outbreak.

‘We hope that this will provide manufacturers with the support they need to meet the sudden increase in demand for their products.

‘HMRC will continue to work with the industry to ensure we are taking all possible steps to support production.’

Existing standards and criteria will continue to be applied to licence applications. Only applications for the Industrial denatured alcohol (IDA) and Trade Specific Denatured Alcohol (TSDA1) used in the manufacture of sanitising hand gel are to be fast-tracked.

Businesses will only be able to apply for permission to produce what they actually need in relation to current rather than anticipated demand.

 

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