U.S Code last checked for updates: Jan 28, 2023
§ 5002.
In general
For purposes of this chapter—
Distilled spirits plant

The term “distilled spirits plant” means an establishment which is qualified under subchapter B to perform any distilled spirits operation.

Distilled spirits operation

The term “distilled spirits operation” means any operation for which qualification is required under subchapter B.

Bonded premises

The term “bonded premises”, when used with respect to distilled spirits, means the premises of a distilled spirits plant, or part thereof, on which distilled spirits operations are authorized to be conducted.

The term “distiller” includes any person who—
produces distilled spirits from any source or substance,
brews or makes mash, wort, or wash fit for distillation or for the production of distilled spirits (other than the making or using of mash, wort, or wash in the authorized production of wine or beer, or the production of vinegar by fermentation),
by any process separates alcoholic spirits from any fermented substance, or
making or keeping mash, wort, or wash, has a still in his possession or use.
In general
The term “processor”, when used with respect to distilled spirits, means any person who—
manufactures, mixes, or otherwise processes distilled spirits, or
manufactures any article.
Rectifier, bottler, etc., included

The term “processor” includes (but is not limited to) a rectifier, bottler, and denaturer.

Certain operations not treated as processing
In applying paragraph (5), there shall not be taken into account—
Operations as distiller

Any process which is the operation of a distiller.

Mixing of taxpaid spirits for immediate consumption

Any mixing (after determination of tax) of distilled spirits for immediate consumption.

Use by apothecaries

Any process performed by an apothecary with respect to distilled spirits which such apothecary uses exclusively in the preparation or making up of medicines unfit for use for beverage purposes.


The term “warehouseman”, when used with respect to distilled spirits, means any person who stores bulk distilled spirits.

Distilled spirits

The terms “distilled spirits”, “alcoholic spirits”, and “spirits” mean that substance known as ethyl alcohol, ethanol, or spirits of wine in any form (including all dilutions and mixtures thereof from whatever source or by whatever process produced).

Bulk distilled spirits

The term “bulk distilled spirits” means distilled spirits in a container having a capacity in excess of 1 wine gallon.

Proof spirits

The term “proof spirits” means that liquid which contains one-half its volume of ethyl alcohol of a specific gravity of 0.7939 at 60 degrees Fahrenheit (referring to water at 60 degrees Fahrenheit as unity).

Proof gallon

The term “proof gallon” means a United States gallon of proof spirits, or the alcoholic equivalent thereof.


The term “container”, when used with respect to distilled spirits, means any receptacle, vessel, or form of package, bottle, tank, or pipeline used, or capable of use, for holding, storing, transferring, or conveying distilled spirits.

Approved container

The term “approved container”, when used with respect to distilled spirits, means a container the use of which is authorized by regulations prescribed by the Secretary.


Unless another meaning is distinctly expressed or manifestly intended, the term “article” means any substance in the manufacture of which denatured distilled spirits are used.


The terms “export”, “exported”, and “exportation” include shipments to a possession of the United States.

Cross references
For definition of manufacturer of stills, see section 5102.
For definition of dealer, see section 5121(c)(3).
For definitions of wholesale dealers, see section 5121(c).
For definitions of retail dealers, see section 5122(c).
For definitions of general application to this title, see chapter 79.
(Added Pub. L. 85–859, title II, § 201, Sept. 2, 1958, 72 Stat. 1315; amended Pub. L. 89–44, title VIII, § 807(a), June 21, 1965, 79 Stat. 164; Pub. L. 94–455, title XIX, § 1906(b)(13)(A), Oct. 4, 1976, 90 Stat. 1834; Pub. L. 96–39, title VIII, § 805(e), July 26, 1979, 93 Stat. 278; Pub. L. 103–465, title I, § 136(c)(1), Dec. 8, 1994, 108 Stat. 4841; Pub. L. 109–59, title XI, § 11125(b)(13), Aug. 10, 2005, 119 Stat. 1956.)
cite as: 26 USC 5002