The Public Health Agency of Sweden
Updated 18 June 2021

Technical spirits and alcoholic preparations

Alcoholic products which are not alcoholic beverages or medicinal products are classified as technical spirits and alcoholic preparations even referred to as substances containing alcohol. 

If you are trading in technical spirits or alcoholic preparations, you are subject to the rules and requirements of the alcohol legislation. Among other things, the legislation has requirements for how technical spirits and alcoholic preparations shall be denatured.

Forms for notification and reporting

Underlying content:

Forms for notification and reporting (in Swedish)

Technical spirits are used in industry, research and health care

Technical spirits are mainly used in professional activities. This may be for example alcohol used as a consumable and input raw material in manufacturing industry or for scientific and medical purposes in research and health care. Technical spirits shall also be classified as CN codes 2207 or 2208 under the EU Common Customs Tariff.

Alcoholic preparations include many different types of products

Alcoholic preparations are also available to consumers through the retail trade. They may include, for example, cosmetics, disinfectants, screen washer fluid, fuel and dietary supplements. These preparations contain more than 2.25 per cent by volume of alcohol and are not classified as alcoholic beverages, technical spirits or medicinal products. If you have any questions about whether a preparation shall be classified as a medicine, you should contact the Swedish Medical Products Agency.

Rules for those who trade in technical spirits and alcoholic preparations

Trading in technical spirits and alcoholic preparations is mainly regulated by:

The law and regulations also contain provisions on denaturing and other safety requirements.

The publication Trading in technical spirits and alcoholic preparations contains information for those who trade or intend to trade in these types of products and what rules and requirements you are subject to. There is guidance on how to determine what technical spirits and alcoholic preparations are and in which cases you need to have approval from the Swedish Tax Agency in order to start trading. In the publication we have compiled information about what data you shall submit to the Public Health Agency and explained the terms that appear in the Alcohol Act and the related regulations.

Trading in technical spirits and alcoholic preparations (in Swedish)

Denaturing renders alcohol unfit for consumption

Among other things, the alcohol legislation has requirements for how technical spirits and alcoholic preparations shall be denatured. Denaturing is a method which, in the meaning of the Alcohol Act, involves adding one or more substances to spirits or a product containing spirits. The purpose of denaturing is to make the alcohol or product unfit for consumption.

You always have an obligation to know what applies by law

The information on this website is intended solely to help you, and does not replace what is written in the law. There may also be other laws or regulations from other authorities that you must be aware of. The Public Health Agency continuously updates the content, but we cannot guarantee that the information on the page is always completely up to date.

Further reading

Questions and answers about the manufacture and sale of hand and surface disinfectants (in Swedish)

Questions and answers about alcoholic beverage-like preparations (in Swedish)