Materials Management

Effective Date: 03/01/2000

Policy Statement 31: Ethyl Alcohol Regulations


The procurement and use of tax-free ethyl alcohol is authorized by special permit granted to the University by the U.S. Treasury Department, Internal Revenue Service. The Medical Storeroom is designated as the curator of all tax-free ethyl alcohol used at the University. The permit outlines the authorized uses in the following manner:

  1. Preserving specimens of anatomy, biology, and natural history.

  2. General reagent work in chemical laboratories.

  3. Research and laboratory work in the Medical School, as well as other research laboratories.

  4. Patient care and laboratory uses incidental to the care of patients at the Student Health Services.

Ethyl alcohol cannot be used for any purpose other than that listed on the permit. The handling and use of tax-free alcohol is controlled to use as follows:

  1. Tax-free alcohol must never be sold.

  2. Tax-free alcohol must be used on the premises named in the permit (East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina).

  3. Tax-free alcohol must never be used in the manufacture of food flavors, flavoring extract, food products, or beverages.

  4. Tax-free alcohol cannot be loaned to another person or institution, even if such person or institution is also authorized to use tax-free alcohol.

  5. Tax-free alcohol cannot be sold or issued to doctors for use in private practice even if these services are performed in the hospital.

  6. Research laboratories authorized to use tax-free alcohol in pure research must discontinue using tax- free alcohol when the research program is completed or discontinued.

  7. Tax-free alcohol must not be used as a cleaning agent in repair work and machine shops.


All alcohol releases are checked by Federal auditors for strict compliance with the permit as well as for quantities used. The auditors not only check the issue records to ascertain correctness, but may also check the supplies of the using department.


Ethyl alcohol is requisitioned from the Medical Storeroom by use of a Storeroom requisition. The regulations state that only the quantity that is expected to be used over a short duration of time; daily or, at most, weekly, be released at the time.