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EU: Agreement for new rules regarding excise taxes on alcohol

EU: New rules regarding excise taxes on alcohol

The European Commission today announced an agreement has been reached in the Council regarding new rules concerning the excise taxes (duties) imposed on alcohol within the EU.

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According to the EC release, the new rules will provide small and artisan alcohol producers access to a new EU-wide certification system and confirm their access to lower excise tax rates across the EU. The new rules will be effective 1 January 2022.

Excise duties are indirect taxes on the sale or use of specific products, such as alcohol, and are usually applied as an amount per quantity of the product (e.g., per 100 litres). All revenues from excise taxes go to national budgets of the EU Member States.

Existing EU rules on the harmonisation of the structures of excise taxes on alcohol and alcoholic beverages were agreed in 1992, and set out common definitions of alcoholic products that are subject to excise tax and provide that all EU Member States are to treat the same products in the same way. The rules also specify the method to calculate excise duty on alcoholic products and the criteria for products to benefit from reduced rates or exemptions.

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