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Taxation and Customs Union

Revision of the excise duties rules for alcohol

In order to assess if Council Directive 92/83/EEC is still fit for purpose, the Commission carried out a Regulatory Fitness and Performance Programme (REFIT) evaluation of the Directive in 2014/2016. The external evaluation report found that some provisions of the Directive are outdated and unclear and result in unnecessarily burdensome administrative procedures for both tax administrations and economic operators.

The recommendations and findings of the evaluation were taken into account in the Commission’s report submitted to the Council in October 2016 and in the Staff Working Document (executive summary).

Member States unanimously supported the call to review the Directive and the Council subsequently adopted Council Conclusions of 6 December 2016 requesting the Commission to carry out the necessary studies to prepare a possible legislative proposal for revision of Directive 92/83/EEC.

Against this background and according to the Better Regulation guidelines, the Commission launched an external study and prepared an impact assessment. On 25 May 2018, the Commission made a proposal amending Directive 92/83/EEC.

On 29 July 2020, the Council adopted a series of new rules amending Directive 92/83/EEC, which will be applicable from 1 January 2022 (Council Directive 2020/1151).

Background documents

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