Alcohol-based products taxed in Switzerland


Due to their VOC content, alcohol-based products - including hand sanitisers - are taxed in Switzerland.

Isopropanol is a key component of alcohol based gels and is considered under European legislation to be a man-made Volatile Organic Compound (VOC). Concentrations of VOC’s are at their highest indoors.

Typically paints have historically had high VOC’s, but manufacturers are producing water based alternatives wherever possible to reduce localised excesses of VOC’s.

VOC’s may have harmful characteristics, but they are not necessarily immediately toxic. Instead, they may be associated with long-term health effects which build up over a long period of time.

There are also concerns that the Industrialised world is adding to environmental strain. Man-made VOC’s can add to Smog issues at ground level, and can be involved in altering the properties of Chemistry in the atmosphere - leading to Global Warming issues.

Financially, some countries are introducing additional taxes to discourage consumers from using high VOC products. According to the Federal Authorities of the Swiss Confederation, Isopropanol appears on the Positive List of Substances (Volatile Organic Compounds) subject to Tax under SR 814.018 Ordinance on the Incentive Tax on Volatile Organic Compounds.

In products such as alcohol hand gels, this tax is generally applied as most of these products contain greater than 3% by weigh VOC content.

All of our Endurocide® products are alcohol free and are therefore safer for the health and environment in the long term. 

Additionally in countries such as Switzerland our products are not subject to VOC tax.

For the latest information on Switzerland and VOC tax please visit the Swiss Federal Authorities website and in addition if you want to know more about other environmental incentive policies, refer to the OECD website

For questions and enquiries please contact us.

Posted on the 5th October 2012. Updated 23rd of April 2014.