Frequently asked questions about
excise duties on alcohol
Excise duties on the distance selling of alcoholic beverages is a tax levied on the sale of alcoholic beverages by online merchants or distance sellers. These taxes are generally levied by the government to regulate alcohol consumption, protect public health and generate revenue.
Excise duties may apply to various types of alcoholic beverages, such as beer, wine, spirits, liqueurs and other fermented beverages.
As a general rule, the remote seller is responsible for paying excise duties on the remote sale of alcoholic beverages. However, laws and regulations may vary between countries and jurisdictions, so it is important to refer to the specific tax laws of each country.
Excise duties on alcohol and alcoholic beverages are calculated according to the quantity and alcohol content of the product, with rates varying from country to country.
The method of calculating excise duties is established by the national tax authorities, based on criteria such as volume, degree of pure alcohol or the quantity of alcohol contained in the beverage.
Producers, importers and distributors must pay these duties in accordance with the tax legislation in force in each country. It is important to refer to the specific laws of each country for details of how excise duties on alcohol and alcoholic beverages is calculated.
The rates of excise duties on alcohol and alcoholic beverages applicable on 1 January 2023 are:
|Tax category of products||Rates 2023|
|Still wines||3.98 €/hl|
|Fermented beverages other than wine and beer||3.98 €/hl|
|Sparkling wines||9.85 €/hl|
|Intermediate products belonging to one of the |
categories of vine products
|Other intermediate products||198.91 €/hl|
|Beers below 2.8% vol.||3.91 €/hl per alcohol content|
|Beers over 2.8% vol.||7.82€/hl per alcohol content|
|Small breweries ≤ 200 000 hl||3.91 €/hl per alcohol content|
|French overseas departments rums||917.72 €/hl of pure alcohol|
|Other spirits||1,834.42 €/hl of pure alcohol|
|Reduced duty on distillers||917.21 €/hl of pure alcohol|
Yes, distance selling of alcoholic beverages is often subject to specific requirements. These may include obtaining appropriate licences or permits, collecting and declaring taxes, verifying the age of purchasers, complying with labelling and other regulations relating to the sale of alcohol.
What are the consequences of non-compliance with excise duties for distance selling of alcoholic beverages?
Non-compliance with excise duties for the distance selling of alcoholic beverages may result in legal and financial consequences. This may include fines, penalties, revocation of licences, criminal sanctions and other enforcement action by the relevant authorities.
Are there any international regulations on excise duties for distance selling of alcoholic beverages?
Excise duties regulations for distance selling of alcoholic beverages may vary from country to country. There is no single international regulation governing these duties. Each country may have its own specific laws and regulations on excise duties for distance selling of alcoholic beverages.
To comply with excise duties for distance selling of alcoholic beverages, you generally need to take the following steps:
- To comply with excise duties for distance selling of alcoholic beverages, you generally need to take the following steps:
- Find out about the specific tax laws in your country or jurisdiction.
- Obtain the necessary licences and permits for distance selling of alcoholic beverages.
- Keep accurate records of sales, taxes collected and payments made.
- Calculate and pay excise duties according to applicable tax rates.
- Comply with labelling, product safety, age verification and other relevant regulations.
Are there any differences between excise duties for distance selling and excise duties for in-store sales?
Excise duties may vary depending on the sales channel, whether distance selling or in-store sales. Differences may relate to tax rates, licensing requirements, labelling requirements and other regulations specific to each sales channel. It is important to comply with the requirements specific to each channel.
Are there any organisations or resources I can turn to for information on excise duties for distance selling of alcoholic beverages?
Yes, there are a number of organisations and resources that can help you obtain accurate information on excise duties for distance selling of alcoholic beverages. These may include the tax authorities in your country, trade associations in the alcoholic drinks industry, law firms specialising in alcohol law, and government websites dedicated to tax regulations and the sale of alcohol.
‘Contributions Indirectes En Ligne’ (CIEL) is an online service offered by the French customs authorities. It enables traders to declare and pay indirect duties and taxes relating to the distance selling of certain products, including alcoholic beverages, from non-EU countries.
The French Customs’ CIEL service facilitates administrative procedures by providing a secure platform for declaring goods and paying the duties and taxes due. Users can access this service online via the following link: https://www.douane.gouv.fr/service-en-ligne/contributions-indirectes-en-ligne-ciel.
It is important to note that the CIEL service is specific to France and may not apply in other countries. Traders selling alcoholic beverages remotely from non-EU countries are encouraged to check their own country’s customs and tax regulations to ensure that they comply with applicable legal obligations.
What are the advantages of using the 'CIEL' service to declare and pay duties and taxes on distance selling of alcoholic beverages?
There are a number of advantages to using the Online Indirect Taxes (CIEL) service:
- Simplification of procedures: The CIEL service facilitates the process of declaring and paying indirect duties and taxes online, by offering a user-friendly and intuitive interface for economic operators.
- Saving time: CIEL makes it possible to carry out the necessary administrative procedures from any location with an Internet connection, thereby avoiding physical visits to customs offices.
- Traceability and tracking of operations: The CIEL service makes it possible to keep a record of declarations and payments made, providing better traceability of operations carried out.
- Transaction security: The CIEL service is secure, guaranteeing the confidentiality of personal and financial information transmitted during declarations and payments.
- Reliability and compliance: By using the CIEL service, traders can ensure that they comply with current customs and tax regulations, thereby reducing the risk of non-compliance and any resulting penalties.
It is important to note that the specific benefits of the CIEL service may vary according to the situation and needs of each economic operator. It is recommended that you consult the official website and resources of the relevant Customs administration for full and up-to-date information on the specific benefits of using the CIEL service.
What is the Simplified Accompanying Document (DSA) and how is it used in the context of distance selling of alcoholic beverages?
The Simplified Accompanying Document (DSA) or Document Simplifié d’Accompagnement in French is an administrative document used in the transport and logistics sector to accompany goods as they travel between different countries within the European Union (EU).
In the context of distance selling of alcoholic beverages, the DSA can be used to facilitate customs and administrative formalities. It provides essential information about the goods being transported, including alcoholic beverages, such as the nature of the products, the quantity, the origin, the destination, and other details necessary for tracking and controlling the goods.
The ‘DSA’ may be required when there is a movement of goods between different EU Member States. It serves as documentary evidence of the goods’ compliance with current customs and tax regulations, including excise duties applicable to alcoholic beverages.
It is important to note that the specific requirements linked to the use of the DSA may vary according to the customs regulations of each country within the EU. Economic operators involved in the distance selling of alcoholic beverages are encouraged to inform themselves about the applicable customs regulations and to consult the competent authorities to ensure that they comply with the legal obligations in force.