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Taxation and Customs Union
News article25 May 2018Directorate-General for Taxation and Customs Union


Commission proposes update of rules governing alcohol excise duties

The Commission has today proposed to reshape the rules governing excise duty on alcohol within the EU, paving the way for a better business environment, reduced costs for small alcohol-producing businesses and better protection for consumer health.

Concretely, today's proposal will:

  • Put in place a uniform certification system confirming the status of independent small producers throughout the EU. This will reduce the administrative and compliance costs for small producers who will be able to benefit from reduced excise rates under certain conditions.
  • Ensure a precise and consistent classification of cider across the EU
  • Clarify the correct manufacturing processes and conditions for denatured alcohol.
  • Update IT systems to track movement of certain denatured alcohol.
  • Increase the threshold for lower strength beer that can benefit from reduced rates from 2.8% volume to 3.5% volume.

Today's proposals also include measures in general excise duty rules to remove barriers for SMEs, such as the use of modern IT systems and lifting the existing obligation to employ tax representatives.

Press Release
More information on excise duties
More information on excise duties for alcohol

Proposal amending directive 92/83/EEC on the harmonization of the structures of excise duties on alcohol and alcoholic beverages

Read the proposal
Read the impact assessment
Read a summary of the impact assessment

Proposal for a COUNCIL DIRECTIVE laying down the general arrangements for excise duty
Read the proposal
Read the annex to the proposal
Read the impact assessment
Read a summary of the impact assessment

Proposal amending regulation (EU) No 389/2012 on administrative cooperation in the field of excise duties as regards the content of the electronic register
Read the proposal

Proposal for a decision of the European Parliament and of the Council on computerising the movement and surveillance of excise goods
Read the proposal
Annex to the proposal


Publication date
25 May 2018
Directorate-General for Taxation and Customs Union