Proofing Tolerances in the UK

I cannot find the answer to this anywhere:

For the UK market, what is the proofing tolerance, in ABV % when proofing a spirit?
For example, if the spirit is 40% ABV.

I understand the tolerance on beer between 1.2% and 5.5% ABV is plus or minus 0.5%.

I cannot find any information on spirits though.


  • edited July 16

    My understanding is that you require Kite marked hydrometers to BS5470. I think most UK distillers go to Stevenson Reeves. These have a 0.2kg/m3 tolerance.

    You use them for Spirits declarations using the Practical Alcohol Tables Volume 2 and a suitable thermometer. If you contact Stevenson Reeves directly, they will send you a price list for distillers, which is a lot more informative than their website!

  • Thanks for the info.

  • that doesn't answer your question, I wish I knew.. I work off 0.2% but always try to get it bang on.

  • HMRC don't provide any info whatsoever. Easy to find out what equipment is accepted, but not the tolerance.

  • try calling them. our tax office rep here in Aus is very helpful

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