Guide

Taxation law in Europe

Excise duties & taxation law

Excise duties are not payable on goods traded between European Union (EU) member states, except on alcoholic drinks, tobacco products, and energy goods such as fuel, heating oil, and gas.

Goods exported to the three non-EU member state countries in the European Economic Area (EEA) - Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway - are subject to excise duties at the rates set by EEA tax authorities.

Goods in 'excise suspension' (goods which are being moved from one member state to another and for which excise is not yet payable) used to be accompanied by an Accompanying Administrative Document (AAD).

Excise Movement and Control System (EMCS)

The EMCS is an electronic system for tracking goods in excise suspension. It has replaced the paper AAD with an electronic version - the e-AD.

It aims to:

  • simplify movement of goods under excise suspension by replacing the paper system with electronic equivalent
  • allow information about traders to be checked and speed up notification that goods have arrived
  • monitor movement of goods