Tax-free sprits, alcoholic beverages, denatured ethanol and alcoholic preparations resembling alcoholic beverages or taxable spirits can be purchased and used only with the appropriate license for use in place.
A license for use can be granted, provided that the applicant can demonstrate that they have a justifiable need to use alcohol preparations, alcoholic beverages or spirits, meet the necessary conditions and are sufficiently reliable.
The license to use industrial/kitchen alcohol is site-specific. Details of the site name and address, as well as the types of alcohol permitted and an annual quota will be recorded in the license. Tax-free spirits or alcoholic beverages, denatured ethanol and alcohol preparations resembling alcoholic beverages or taxable spirits may only be used for purposes specified in the license.
Pharmacies, health centre and local authority and university hospitals are exempt from the licensing requirement.
User licenses for excise duty-exempt spirits and alcoholic beverages can be granted under certain conditions for purposes set out in Section 17 of the Alcohol Act. These include the production of vinegar, medicines, aromatic substances, nutritional supplements and foodstuffs, scientific research and teaching, necessary laboratory tests and analyses. Licenses can also be granted to private health care providers for scientific and medicinal purposes. Licenses for the purchase of spirits can be granted only if other types of alcohol cannot reasonably be considered suitable for the stated use.
Kitchen alcohol is an alcoholic beverage or alcohol preparation resembling an alcoholic beverage that is used in the preparation of food. In order to be granted a license for use, the applicant must demonstrate that they have a genuine requirement for alcohol tax-free spirits and that they are a responsible person and meet the conditions for licensing.
Applying for a license
To apply for a license to use and purchase industrial/kitchen alcohol, please use the relevant form (Teollisuus-/keittiöalkoholin käyttölupa). Applicants must ensure they have enclosed all the supporting documents listed on the form.
Processing times vary but, as a rule, applications will be processed in approximately 30 days from the date of receipt. The fee payable for the application is determined by a Ministry of Social Affairs and Health decree.
All alcohol license applications should be submitted to Valvira in Finnish or Swedish. Applicants may appoint a representative or proxy to assist them during the application process. The representative is required to present written authorisation to act on the applicant’s behalf.
Import licenses of spirits are granted until further notice and the license will remain valid indefinitely, provided that the license holder continues to satisfy the license requirements.
License holder responsibilities
The license holder is responsible for notifying Valvira in writing of any changes to their details or activities, including changes to ownership, name, location, type of alcohol use and annual consumption. You are also required to notify Valvira in writing if you cease trading or no longer require the license.
Alcohol products subject to licensing must be stored in a locked storage area and the license holder is required to keep a record of consumption. The use of tax-free kitchen alcohol for the preparation of beverages or blended beverages is prohibited. Kitchen alcohol must be stored separately from alcohol intended for serving purposes. The license holder’s responsibilities are set out in more detail in Valvira’s guide, Industrial alcohol and its use, available in Finnish and Swedish.
Valvira may revoke a license if the license holder is found to be neglecting their duties under the license or if there is evidence of other abuses.
An annual control fee is payable by license holders for the control activities performed by the authorities. The fee is payable in arrears and the amount is determined by the license holder’s alcohol purchases and the number of litres imported for their own use. The control fee term runs from 1 September until 31 August. Invoices are issued annually, no later than the end of November.
The control fee is charged at EUR 0.19 per litre for spirits and EUR 0.09 for alcoholic beverages. Please note that the control fee is subject to a minimum of EUR 95.00 and a maximum of EUR 1,900.
No control fee is payable for denatured ethanol and alcohol preparations similar to alcohol beverages.