20 February 2023


Since 13 February, Member States have started to apply new excise duty rules following an update of the Directive on general arrangements for excise duty. These rules will make the taxation of alcohol, tobacco and energy products fully paperless across the EU. The move to digitalised and immediate information exchange on the movement of such products across the Union will help authorities fight excise duty fraud – a problem which costs Member States millions in budget contributions a year.  The new system will simplify life for traders, especially energy suppliers and smaller producers of alcohol, and help speed up trade in the relevant sectors.

Until recently goods needed to be accompanied by physical hard copy paper declarations when the excise duty was being immediately accounted for at their destination. Under the new rules, all traders moving goods between the Member States will only need to submit digital transaction information into existing the EU Excise and Movement Control System (EMCS). The system gathers and process data on movements, verifies entered data and provides dispatch and receipt notifications in real time. Additionally, the system enables secure online messaging that allows Member States to exchange precise information about consignments and movements, resulting in reduced administrative costs.

Along with a number of other excise duty measures, the Directive will encourage a closer Single Market by digitalizing declarations and reducing the administrative load on excise operators.

Source: European Commission