Since the establishment of the Internal Market on 1st January 1993, wine and wine-based products have been subject to excise duties imposed by EU legislation on specific categories of products, including alcoholic beverages.
Excise duties on alcohol are regulated through two pieces of EU regulation: Directive 92/83/EEC, defining the structure of excise duties, the categories of products they apply to and the basis on which they are calculated; and Directive 92/84/EEC setting out harmonized minimum rates for each category of products, above which Member States are free to fix their own rates according to their needs. Minimum rate imposed for wine and sparkling wine is currently null, while intermediate products (e.g. liqueur wines) suffer a 45 EUR excise duty per hectolitre.
General provisions common to all excisable products were also adopted through EU Directive 2008/118/EC, which mainly regulates the production, storage and circulation of excise products between Member States, including the framework for the Excise Monitoring and Control System (EMCS) which records in real-time the movement of alcohol, tobacco and energy products for which excise duties still have to be paid.
- To prevent the introduction of a positive minimum rate for wines, which would seriously undermine the competitiveness of the EU wine sector and aggravate the market imbalances, in total contradiction with the key objectives of the EU wine policy within the Common Agricultural Policy.
- To monitor and identify any practical issues in the implementation of the EMCS system, in dialogue with Member States and European Commission’s DG TAXUD, and ensure consistency for de-materialisation of accompanying documents and registers in the wine sector in line with the EMCS scheme.