Excise duties in France, what is it?

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Excise duties are indirect taxes on the purchase of certain products such as alcohol and alcoholic beverages. They are calculated by applying a price according to the type of drink.

The sale of alcohol and alcoholic beverages to French individuals from another Member State of the European Union is subject to the system of distance selling, that is to say both VAT and excise duties.

VAT system

Sales are subject to VAT in the Member State of departure, as long as the amount of sales to France in a calendar year is below the threshold of € 35 000 before tax. If the threshold of 35 000 € HT is exceeded, or if the seller opts for taxation in France, then the VAT is due in France.
In the second case, the seller therefore has the obligation to register in France to file his VAT returns and to return the VAT to the French State.

If the seller is established outside the European Union, and sells liquor or alcoholic beverages to individuals in France, it will be required to appoint a tax representative in France.
On the other hand, if the seller is established in a Member State of the EU, he has the possibility of appointing a tax agent in France.

Excise duty

Unlike VAT, excise duties on sales to individuals in France are still due in France from the first euro.

The foreign seller, established or not within the European Union, has the obligation to appoint a fiscal representative in France in order to fulfill the declarative obligations incumbent upon him and to pay the excise duty in his stead.

Namely that the excise duty must be registered with the French customs even before the shipment of the goods from the country of departure. The goods must imperatively circulate under the guise of a DSA (Simplified Document of Accompaniment) on which appears a number delivered by the French customs and which will make it possible to attest that the excise duties were indeed recorded with the French customs.

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