Producers manufacturing more than 200 litres of pure alcohol annually are classified as commercial producers. Commercial producers who do not possess their own commercial distillery can have their raw materials processed at a contract distillery (Art. 13 b of the AlcA). If you wish to produce spirits yourself, you will need a commercial distiller's licence, which can be requested from the Alcohol Sector of the FOCBS. The granting of licences is severely restricted, and rigorous checks are carried out on whether licence applicants have the necessary expertise, building and technical facilities, and meet the prerequisites for running a commercial distillery.
Commercial distiller's licences
A commercial distiller's licence is granted if:
- annual production of 200 litres of pure alcohol was achieved at a contract distillery in the last three years;
- regular annual production of 200 litres of pure alcohol can be expected in the future. Converted to consumption strength of 40% alcohol by volume, this equates to 500 litres of spirits.
The production of spirits and ethanol is subject to tax. The spirits tax is CHF 29 per litre of pure alcohol. Products with an alcohol content of up to and including 1.2% by volume are not taxed. The tax obligation for commercial producers arises at the time of production of the spirits.
Commercial producers cannot claim tax rebates, but they do benefit from credits owing to shortfalls in spirits during production, bottling, processing and storage (Alcohol Shortfall Ordinance).
This page contains a variety of information and forms relating to commercial production.