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Private pálinka distilling equipment underutilized

The National Pálinka Council has discovered interesting anomalies in the tax authorityʼs 2018 data about private distilleries, revealing that less than 7,000 of the more than 23,000 distilling machines were used in 2018, according to a press release sent to the Budapest Business Journal.

The machines distilled a grand total of 115,000 liters of spirits, amounting to about 16 liters per machine.

Registering private distilling equipment became mandatory in 2015, with 12,755 machines registered that year alone. In 2016, this was followed by a further 5,848 registrations, and in 2017, some 2,618 more. The lowest amount of new registrations occurred last year, with a mere 2,441 new reported private distilling machines.

While most new machines, 420, were registered in Borsod-Abaúj-Zemplén County, the lowest amount of privately distilled spirits (3,489 liters) was also registered there. While the total number of distilling machines amounts to 1,700 in the county, only 230 spirit tax tickets were registered. The absolute lowest amount of machines  (507) was registered in Nógrád County.

On the other hand, the highest amount of spirits were distilled in Pest County. Of a total 2,423 machines, 525 were used, resulting in almost 9,000 liters of privately distilled alcohol.

Since 2015, the National Tax and Customs Administration (NAV) has confiscated 28 private distilling machines in the country.

The National Pálinka Council says that it does not think that NAVʼs numbers are realistic, and notes that the numbers are a cause for major concern in the pálinka industry. The council advises all private distillery owners to be extra careful and to get to know all relevant rules, regulations, laws, and proper distilling practices.