Obtain permission to operate a severance distillery Unfortunately this specification of service has not yet been completely translated.

If you want to operate a so-called severance distillery, you need a permit to do so.

As a rule, alcohol may only be produced in Germany in distilleries that are sealed by customs (sealed distilleries). An exception to this principle are severance distilleries. These distilleries are not sealed and the alcohol tax is estimated at a flat rate according to the type and quantity of raw materials processed. The permit authorizes you to operate such a distillery. You may produce up to 300 litres of pure alcohol (annual quota) per calendar year in your severance distillery.

Before granting a permit, the tax authorities generally check that certain requirements are met with regard to your tax reliability, your bookkeeping and your business facilities. You must also prove that you have an economic need, for example because you grow a lot of fruit as an agricultural business.

The permit is tied to your person and can be temporary. Independently of the operating permit, you must also have each individual burning process approved and submit a so-called severance declaration. The information in the settlement declaration is used to determine the lump-sum amount of alcohol you obtain for each distilling operation. Your annual quota is debited accordingly.

If you do not have your own package distillery, you can process your self-produced raw materials fruit (including fruit must and fruit marc), berries, wine (including wine yeast and wine marc), roots, Jerusalem artichokes or the respective residues thereof into alcohol as a so-called substance owner in a package distillery approved by the customs administration or have them processed by the owner of the respective package distillery (substance owner distilling).

You do not need a formal permit to act as a substance owner. However, even as a substance owner, you must declare each individual distillation process to the main customs office. To do this, you submit a "substance owner's settlement declaration". The declaration also serves as a tax return for the alcohol tax. As a substance owner, you have a quota of up to 50 litres of pure alcohol per calendar year.

For the "Permission to operate a compensation distillery" additionally 2-fold in each case:

  • Site plans of the premises of the compensation distillery showing the addresses as well as the functions of the rooms, areas and equipment, in particular
    • Floor plan and elevation of the distillation room
    • List of the agricultural areas cultivated by the enterprise with indication of the location book number, size and kind of use
    • current assessment or contribution notice of the agricultural old-age insurance fund or the agricultural trade association and written lease contracts or land register excerpts
  • drawing and description of the burning apparatus and all components used
  • List of premises and equipment (Forms 1204, 1205)

On a case-by-case basis, your principal customs office may request additional documentation or waive certain requirements.

Forms: yes
Online procedure: no
Written form required: yes
Personal appearance required: no

Related Links

  • "Antrag auf Erteilung einer Erlaubnis zum Betrieb einer Abfindungsbrennerei mit Betriebserklärung" (Formular 1248)
  • "Verzeichnis der Räume und der Betriebseinrichtung (Titel)" (Formular 1204)
  • "Verzeichnis der Räume und der Betriebseinrichtung (Einlage)" (Formular 1205)


For permission to operate a severance distillery:

  • You are fiscally responsible.
  • To the extent you are required to do so, you keep proper records and prepare timely financial statements.
  • You have an economic need. Typically, you must have a farm that is economically self-sufficient and has at least 3 acres, or 1.5 acres if you have vineyards or intensive fruit production.
  • The firing room must be of such a nature as to eliminate the possibility of tampering to the greatest extent possible.
  • They use only permitted equipment.
  • The distillery is economically independent.
  • If there are signs that the tax is at risk, you may be required to provide security.

Related Links

  • § 9 Alkoholsteuergesetz (AlkStG)
  • § 10 Alkoholsteuergesetz (AlkStG)
  • §§ 19 bis 20 Alkoholsteuerverordnung (AlkStV)

Related Links

  • Informationen zum Abfindungsbrennen auf der Internetseite der Zollverwaltung
  • Informationen für Stoffbesitzer auf der Internetseite der Zollverwaltung
  • Informationen zur Erlaubnis auf der Internetseite der Zollverwaltung

You must apply in writing for a permit to operate a cask distillery:

  • Download the form "Application for Permission to Operate a Severance Distillery with Declaration of Operations" (Form 1248) from the Customs Administration website.
  • Fill out the form completely, gather any required documents or other forms, and mail them to your main customs office.
  • The main customs office will examine your application. The main customs office will usually check whether the information provided in the application corresponds to the actual operating conditions before issuing the permit on site.
  • You will receive notification of the permit or a refusal.

The main customs office from whose district you operate your business or, if you do not operate a business, in whose district you have your residence is responsible. If your business is operated from a location outside Germany or if you do not have a place of residence in Germany, the main customs office in whose district you first appear for tax purposes is locally responsible.

Responsible for the content
Federal Ministry of Finance

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