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Taxation and Customs Union

Excise duties on alcohol, tobacco and energy

Excise duties are indirect taxes on the sale or use of specific products, such as alcohol, tobacco and energy. The revenue from these excise duties goes entirely to the country to which they are paid.

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.

Legal texts

Related links

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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