Industrial Denatured Alcohol in the UK

The procedure for getting a licence for receiving and using IDA in the UK for preserving invertebrate specimens is straight forwards.

A form can be found on the HMRC website and this should be copied and pasted into Word, completed and sent to

National Registration Unit (Industrial Denatured Alcohol)
HMRC
Portcullis House
21 India Street
Glasgow
G2 4PZ

You will get a paper licence in 2 to 3 weeks. Phoning proves a fruitless task as only the switchboard number is given followed by endless menus that don't give you the option you are seeking.

Your local chemist will not sell it as they would have to have a licence to hold it. It is available online but buyers have to a) send a scan of their licence and b) pay high delivery charges due to the nature of the product.

It is not economical to have a licence for less than 5 litres per annum as the price for small quantities is proportionately high and delivery charges are the same for 1 litre as they are for 5 litres.

The link is:

Section 19 gets you the form.

I understand that for DNA testing that IDA is not suitable for preserving specimens.

For a no obligation chat about your requirements call Dave Bentley Ecology Services on 0161 478 6594 or 07598 742566 (sometimes 07944 122292). We are here to help. Emails and attachments especially welcomed at info1@davebentleyecology.co.uk. If you are sending large files please send them to big2@dave...... In the case of over quota bounce-backs try "big2" before the @ symbol. We are a Bury-based ecological consultancy. 33 years experience in nature conservation!!

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