Alcoholic Liquor Duties Act 1979



Alcoholic Liquor Duties Act 1979

1979 CHAPTER 4

An Act to consolidate the enactments relating to the excise duties on spirits, beer, wine, made-wine and cider together with certain other enactments relating to excise.

[22nd February 1979]

Be it enacted by the Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

I Preliminary

Part I

Preliminary

S-1 The alcoholic liquors dutiable under this Act.

1 The alcoholic liquors dutiable under this Act.

(1) Subsections (2) to (8) below define for the purposes of this Act the alcoholic liquors which are subject to excise duty under this Act, that is to say—

(a ) spirits,

(b ) beer,

(c ) wine,

(d ) made-wine, and

(e ) cider;

and in this Act ‘dutiable alcoholic liquor’ means any of those liquors and ‘duty’ means excise duty.

(2) ‘Spirits’ means, subject to subsections (7) and (8) below, spirits of any description and includes all liquors mixed with spirits and all mixtures, compounds or preparations made with spirits but does not include methylated spirits.

(3) ‘Beer’ includes ale, porter, stout and any other description of beer, and any liquor which is made or sold as a description of beer or as a substitute for beer and which on analysis of a sample thereof at any time is found to be of a strength exceeding 2 of proof, but does not include—

(a ) black beer the worts whereof before fermentation were of a specific gravity of 1200 or more; or

(b ) liquor made elsewhere than upon the licensed premises of a brewer for sale which on analysis of a sample at any time is found to be of an original gravity not exceeding 1016 and to be of a strength not exceeding 2 of proof.

(4) ‘Wine’ means any liquor obtained from the alcoholic fermentation of fresh grapes or of the must of fresh grapes, whether or not the liquor is fortified with spirits or flavoured with aromatic extracts.

(5) ‘Made-wine’ means any liquor obtained from the alcoholic fermentation of any substance or by mixing a liquor so obtained or derived from a liquor so obtained with any other liquor or substance but does not include wine, beer, black beer, spirits or cider.

(6) ‘Cider’ means cider (or perry) of a strength less than 8.7 per cent. of alcohol by volume (at a temperature of 20C) obtained from the fermentation of apple or pear juice without the addition at any time of any alcoholic liquor or of any liquor or substance which communicates colour or flavour other than such as the Commissioners may allow as appearing to them to be necessary to make cider (or perry).

(7) Angostura bitters, that is to say, the aromatic flavouring essence commonly known as angostura bitters, shall be deemed not to be spirits, but this subsection does not apply for the purposes of sections 2, 5, 6 and 27 to 30 below.

(8) Methyl alcohol, notwithstanding that it is so purified or prepared as to be drinkable, shall not be deemed to be spirits nor shall naptha or any mixture or preparation containing naphtha or methyl alcohol and not containing spirits as defined in subsection (2) above.

S-2 Ascertainment of strength, weight and volumeof spirits and other liquors.

2 Ascertainment of strength, weight and volumeof spirits and other liquors.

(1) For the purposes of the Customs and Excise Acts 1979, the strength, weight or volume of any spirits shall be ascertained in accordance with the following provisions of this section.

(2) Spirits shall be deemed to be at proof if the volume of the ethyl alcohol contained therein made up to the volume of the spirits with distilled water has a weight equal to that of twelve-thirteenths of a volume of distilled water equal to the volume of the spirits, the volume of each liquid being computed as at 51F.

(3) ‘Degree of proof’, ‘degree over proof’ and ‘degree under proof’ shall be construed by reference to a scale on which 100 denotes the strength of spirits at proof and—

(a ) 101, or 1 degree over proof, denotes the strength of spirits which would be at proof if there were added thereto such quantity of distilled water as would increase by 1 per cent. the volume of the spirits computed as at 50F;

(b ) 99, or 1 degree under proof, denotes the strength of spirits which would be at proof if there were removed therefrom such quantity of distilled water as would reduce by 1 per cent. the volume of the spirits computed as at 50F;

and so in proportion for any other number of degrees.

(4) The equivalent at proof of any spirits not at proof shall for the purposes of the Customs and Excise Acts 1979 be deemed to be their volume—

(a ) multiplied by the number of degrees of proof representing their strength; and

(b ) divided by 100.

(5) The Commissioners may make regulations prescribing the means to be used for ascertaining for any purpose the strength, weight or volume of spirits, and any such regulations may provide that in ascertaining for any purpose the strength of any spirits any substance contained therein which is not ethyl alcohol or distilled water may be treated as if it were.

(6) Different regulations may be made under subsection (5) above for different purposes.

(7) This section shall apply to methylated spirits and to any fermented liquor as it applies to spirits but, in relation to wine, made-wine or cider shall not apply so as to prevent the strength, weight or volume of wine, made-wine or cider from being ascertained for the purpose of charging duty thereon by methods other than that provided in this section.

S-3 Meaning of and method of ascertaininggravity of liquids.

3 Meaning of and method of ascertaininggravity of liquids.

(1) For the purposes of the Customs and Excise Acts 1979—

(a ) ‘gravity’, in relation to any liquid, means the ratio of the weight of a volume of the liquid to the weight of an equal volume of distilled water, the volume of each liquid being computed as at 60F;

(b ) where the gravity of any liquid is expressed as a number of degrees that number shall be the said ratio multiplied by 1,000; and

(c ) ‘original gravity’, in relation to any liquid in which fermentation has taken place, means its gravity before fermentation.

(2) The gravity of any liquid at any time shall be ascertained by such means as the Commissioners may approve, and the gravity so ascertained shall be deemed to be the true gravity of the liquid.

(3) Subject to subsection (5) below, where for any purposes of the Customs and Excise Acts 1979 it is necessary to ascertain the original gravity of worts in which fermentation has commenced or of any liquid produced from such worts, that gravity shall be determined in such manner as the Commissioners may by regulations prescribe.

(4) Different regulations may be made under subsection (3) above in relation to different liquids.

(5) Where the original gravity of any worts has been determined in accordance with regulations made under subsection (3) above for the purpose of charging duty under section 38 below by reference to the quantity and original gravity of worts produced, a deduction of 34 shall be allowed from the original gravity so determined, so however as not to reduce the original gravity by reference to which the duty is charged below the gravity of the worts as ascertained by the proper officer in accordance with subsection (2) above.

S-4 Interpretation.

4 Interpretation.

(1) In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires,—

‘authorised methylator’ means a person authorised to methylate spirits under section 75(1) below;

‘beer’ has the meaning given by section 1 above;

‘black beer’ means beer of the description called or...

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