EU countries agreed on common EU rules to make sure that excise duties are applied in the same way and to the same products everywhere in the Union.
This helps prevent trade distortions in the Single Market, ensures fair competition between businesses, and reduces administrative burdens for companies.
In addition, EU law sets out common provisions, which apply to all products subject to excise duties. These common provisions include the framework for the Excise Monitoring and Control System (EMCS), an IT system for monitoring the movement of excise goods within the EU.
- Council Directive (EU) 2020/262 laying down the general arrangements for excise duty (recast)
- Council Regulation (EU) No 389/2012 on administrative cooperation in the field of excise duties as regards the content of electronic registers (subsequently amended by Council Regulations 2020/263, 2021/774 and 2023/246)
- Decision (EU) 2020/263 on computerising the movement and surveillance of excise goods (recast)
DG TAXUD published an external study (2020) on the common provisions relating to cross border acquisitions of excise products by private individuals, cross border distance selling of excise products by businesses to consumers and the wholesale to retails sales of excise products by a business in one Member State to a business in another.
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