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Products already released for consumption and transported by seller to another member state will be subject to excise duty in the member state of destination.
The person liable to pay the excise duties is the vendor / tax representative.

This post describes how excise duties payment works.

This information is highly relevant to you, if you are either a vendor or tax representative.

Legal framework for excise duties payment

Two Directives are actually in force:

  • First, the ‘Horizontal Directive’ Council Directive 2008/118/EC lays down the general provisions applicable to harmonised excise goods. It leaves member states free to establish non-harmonised consumption taxes on other goods. Among other things, the ‘Horizontal Directive’ regulates how and where excise duties are paid and collected, but also the regime applicable to operators under duty suspension. It sets the rules for distant selling. It also lays the basis to create a computerised procedure to monitor the movement of excise goods, which has been later adopted with the name of Excise Movements and Control System (EMCS).
  • Second, the ‘Structure Directive’ Council Directive 92/83/EEC on the harmonisation of the structures of excise duties on alcohol and alcoholic beverages (‘the  Directive’).

The Directive provisions are essentially of three kinds:

– Classifying alcohol and alcoholic beverages – as defined in the Combined Nomenclature – into five different fiscal categories :
> beer
> still wine
> sparkling wine
> intermediary product (still or sparkling)
> ethyl alcohol

– Tax structures applicable to fiscal categories.

– Exemptions and reduced rates for certain products or producers/brewers, etc.

These will have an affect for you, when you deal with excise duties payment.

Correct approach when you deal with competent authorities

Finally, if you use the standard duty-paid scheme, you may not defer the duty. However, you must secure it before the goods are dispatched.

It is very important that you read and stick to the Directive 2008/118/EC in the order of its articles. The requirements for distance sales are different. These include, many dispatches at the same time, or regular dispatches. This differs for other duty-paid movements. These would include, holding of excisable beverages in another member state, or non-continuous dispatches.

A correct application of the Directive and/or specific rulings or agreements, if you apply them, will reap benefits for you. This will let you defer payment and declaration on a monthly/weekly/daily basis. This is instead of a dispatch per dispatch approach. This will make all the difference to you.

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