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Apply for permission to use alcohol tax-free

If you use alcohol commercially and it is not used for drinking or enjoyment purposes, you can do so tax-free in many cases. To do this, you usually need permission.

With the permission 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 manufactured, processed, processed, stored, received or dispatched. Before obtaining a permit, the customs administration generally checks whether certain requirements regarding your tax reliability are met.

In some cases, the alcohol must be denatured in order to be used tax-free. During denaturing, certain substances are added to the alcohol so that it is no longer drinkable or edible. For the following purposes, you can use alcohol products tax-free on request:

  • for the manufacture of medicinal products, if you are allowed to do so under pharmaceutical law
  • undenatured for the production of vinegar
  • denatured for the manufacture of goods which are neither medicinal products nor foodstuffs
  • denatured for heating, cleaning or other purposes not intended for the manufacture of goods
  • undenatured for the production of food flavourings for the flavouring of beverages with an alcoholic strength by volume not exceeding 1,2 % by volume or other foodstuffs, excluding alcohol and other alcoholic beverages
  • undenatured for the production of chocolates with an alcohol content of up to 8.5 litres of alcohol per 100 kilograms
  • undenatured for the manufacture of other foodstuffs with an alcohol content not exceeding 5 litres of alcohol per 100 kilograms, but not for spirits and other alcoholic beverages

The permit lists certain obligations that you must observe. If you do not observe them, restrictions are to be expected, which can lead to the revocation of the permission.

Process flow

You must apply for permission in writing:

  • Download the form "Application – tax-free use" (Form 2740) with the "Declaration of Operation" (Form 2741) via the website of the Customs Administration.
  • Fill out the form completely, compile the required documents and send them by post to your main customs office.
  • The Main Customs Office will examine your application.
  • You will receive a notice with permission or a rejection.
  • You can now use the permit requested in the application (Form 2740) and issued by the main customs office as proof of eligibility.


  • They are tax-reliable.
  • Your estimated annual requirement for undenatured alcohol products shall be at least 25 litres of pure alcohol.

Which documents are required?

2-fold each:

  • Declaration of Operation on the Exact Purpose and Manner of Use (Form 2741 "Declaration of Operation – Appendix to Form 2740")
  • Plan of the establishment in which the places of storage and use of the alcohol products applied for are marked, together with the addresses
  • for companies and other institutions:
    • current extract from the register of trade, partnerships, cooperatives or associations or
    • Copy of the business registration or
    • Copy of the shareholders' agreement
  • for drug manufacturers: copy of the manufacturing authorization under pharmaceutical law
  • for pharmacies: copy of the operating permit

In individual cases, your main customs office may request further documents or waive certain requirements.

What are the fees?

There are no costs for the permit.

What deadlines do I have to pay attention to?

Your permission may be limited to a period of time noted on it.

Processing duration

The processing time depends on the specific circumstances of each individual case, in particular on the result of the examination of the actual operating conditions. Since the time spans vary greatly here, no uniform processing time can be specified.

Applications / forms

Forms: yes
Online procedure: no
Written form required: yes
personal appearance necessary: no

"Application – Tax-Free Use" (Form 2740)

"Declaration of Operation – Annex to Form 2740" (Form 2741)


- Opposition. Detailed information on how to lodge an objection can be found in your decision.
- Action before the Tax Court



The text was automatically translated based on the German content.

Technically approved by

Federal Ministry of Finance

Professionally released on


Source: Serviceportal Niedersachsen (Portalverbund des Bundes und der Länder)

Further Links

Single points of contact of the state of Lower Saxony, Single points of contact of the countries of Europe, advice and assistance for EU citizens and their families.