Alcoholic Liquors (Amendment of Enactments Relating to Strength and to Units of Measurement) Order 1979

JurisdictionUK Non-devolved
CitationSI 1979/241

1979 No. 241

CUSTOMS AND EXCISE

The Alcoholic Liquors (Amendment of Enactments Relating to Strength and to Units of Measurement) Order 1979

5thMarch 1979

12thMarch 1979

1stJanuary 1980

The Treasury, in exercise of the powers conferred upon them by section 7 of the Finance Act 1977(a) and of all other powers enabling them in that behalf, hereby make the following Order:—

1. This Order may be cited as the Alcoholic Liquors (Amendment of Enactments Relating to Strength and to Units of Measurement) Order 1979 and shall come into operation on 1st January 1980.

2. The customs and excise Acts specified in the following provisions of this Order shall be amended as follows.

Amendment to the Finance Act 1969

3. The Finance Act 1969(b) shall be amended by substituting, in paragraph 1(a)(iii) of Schedule 7 (definition of whisky), for the words "less than 166.4 degrees proof", the words "an alcoholic strength (computed in accordance with section 2 of the Alcoholic Liquor Duties Act 1979(c)) less than 94.8 per cent.".

Amendments to the Alcoholic Liquor Duties Act 1979

4. The Alcoholic Liquor Duties Act 1979 shall be amended in accordance with the provisions of Articles 5 to 38 of this Order.

5. In section 1 (the dutiable alcoholic liquors)—

(a) in subsection (3) (definition of "beer"), for the words "2° of proof" (in both places) substitute the words "1.2 per cent.";

(b) in subsection (6) (definition of "cider"), omit the words "of alcohol by volume (at a temperature of 20°C)".

(a) 1977 c. 36.

(b) 1969 c. 32.

(c) 1979 c. 4.

6. For section 2 (ascertainment of strength, etc., of spirits, etc.), substitute the following section—

"Ascertainment of strength volume and weight of alcoholic liquors

2.—(1) Subject to subsections (5) and (6) below, this section applies to spirits, methylated spirits and any fermented liquor other than wash, and "liquor" shall be construed accordingly.

(2) For all purposes of this Act—

(a) except where some other measure of quantity is specified, any computation of the quantity of any liquor or of the alcohol contained in any liquor shall be made in terms of the volume of the liquor or alcohol, as the case may be;

(b) any computation of the volume of any liquor or of the alcohol contained in any liquor shall be made in litres as at 20°C; and

(c) the alcoholic strength of any liquor is the ratio of the volume of the alcohol contained in the liquor to the volume of the liquor (inclusive of the alcohol contained in it);

and in this Act, unless the context otherwise requires—

"alcohol" means ethyl alcohol; and

"strength" in relation to any liquor, means its alcoholic strength computed in accordance with this section, the ratio referred to in paragraph (c) above being expressed as a percentage.

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

(4) Different regulations may be made under subsection (3) above for different purposes.

(5) Nothing in this section shall prevent the strength, weight or volume of wine, made-wine or cider from being computed for the purpose of charging duty thereon by methods other than that provided in this section.

(6) Except for the purpose of determining whether liquor is or is not beer (within the meaning of this Act), nothing in this section applies for purposes of the charge of duty on beer.

(7) Except as provided in subsection (8) below, where the quantity of alcohol contained in any spirits or in any methylated spirits falls to be computed in accordance with this section on or after 1st January 1980 and the quantity of those spirits or methylated spirits was last computed in accordance with this section before that date the following conversion factor shall be applied in making the first-mentioned computation, that is to say, one gallon of spirits at proof shall be taken to be equivalent to 2.595 litres of alcohol.

(8) The Commissioners may, if they think fit in any particular case, require the quantity of alcohol contained in any spirits or methylated spirits falling within subsection (7) above to be computed in accordance with this section without applying the conversion factor specified in that subsection.".

7. In section 3 (ascertaining gravity of liquids), for the words "60°F" substitute the words "20°C".

8. In section 4 (interpretation)—

(a) in subsection (1)—

(i) at the appropriate places in alphabetical order insert the following definitions—

"alcohol" has the meaning given by section 2 above;

"strength", in relation to any liquor, has the meaning given by section 2 above;

(ii) in the definition of "case" for the words "23 nor more than 28 fluid ounces" substitute the words "65...

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